1. Resume Examples
  2. Paraprofessional
Written by Susan ShorSusan Shor

Paraprofessional resume example & writing guide

Ready for your next adventure in education but are unsure of the ABCs of the job hunt? Below you’ll find an expert lesson in paraprofessional resume writing that will get you an interview in no time!
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Paraprofessional resume example & writing guide
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A paraprofessional resume is the helping hand of your job search as a teacher’s assistant. When you reach out, do it with a resume that makes them pay attention. Engagement is the key to a successful job search. If you don’t capture their attention, they’ll move on quickly. Focus all eyes on you with an energetic, attractive resume!

Entry-level
Mid-career
Senior-level
Entry-level Paraprofessional Resume Example
Mid-career Paraprofessional Resume Example
Senior-level Paraprofessional Resume Example

How does a resume make that much difference? By infusing it with an enthusiastic yet clear message.

Educators need to get student buy-in right from the start or they’ll be fighting the lure of the cell phone the rest of the semester. Those first few days are crucial to how the students will view the class. In a job search, you only get a few seconds to make a great impression and keep the hiring team reading. Take a step toward the classroom with a resume that piques their interest.

Resume guide for a paraprofessional resume

Aim for an A with aid from Resume.io. Our bank of guides for more than 500 professions, our resume examples, and our resume builder are all the tools you need to develop a dynamic resume.

This resume guide and the accompanying paraprofessional resume example will cover the following:

  • How to write a paraprofessional resume
  • Choosing the right resume format for a parapro
  • What contact information to include and how
  • Writing compelling summaries
  • Adding your paraprofessional experience
  • Making an impact with your education and relevant experience
  • Picking a resume design/layout for maximum effect
  • What the paraprofessional market looks like and what salary you can expect

How to write a paraprofessional resume

Every unit contains the same elements, starting with the essential question. A special education paraprofessional resume also contains consistent elements. Your resume should include the following sections:

Every education professional has heard the question: “Why do I need to know this?” You probably have a great answer to that question. That’s good preparation for answering every principal’s question: “Why is the information in your paraprofessional resume important to me and my school?” A great resume answers that question by understanding the student population and the school’s teaching philosophy to directly address the district’s needs with your unique talents.

This study guide outlines the key aspects of a great resume:

  • Tell what you’ve achieved. The principal knows you work with special education students and assist in classrooms, but how did that enhance the educational environment or student success?
  • Each school, age group and subject are different. Directly address the specific job by customizing each resume. The high school district wants to know that you can cope with hormonal teens, not that you taught kindergarteners how to wash their hands.
  • Even if you want to work with little ones, keep your resume layout professional. Omit the ABCs and chalkboard images in favor of a clean, readable look.
  • Understand that most schools use an ATS that ranks your resume based on keywords and other data. Pay close attention to what the job ad includes and use those words.
Expert tip

Make the grade with the ATS

Applicant Tracking Systems, such as Frontline or PowerSchool, are a tool for school districts to sort and rank applications.

To get past this initial screening, ensure you have included all the skills and attributes from the job listing that apply to you. If the school requires:

  • An associates degree in education with a preference for a bachelor’s
  • Experience with students with autism
  • Knowledge of computerized reading programs
  • Proficiency in modifying assignments

A paraprofessional resume summary could read:

“Elementary school paraprofessional with extensive experience modifying assignments for young students with autism. Specialization in both computerized and teacher-led reading programs. Attending bachelor’s of special education program part-time with expected graduation date of May 2027.”

The article, “ Resume ATS Optimization,” offers more advice on this topic.

Choosing the right resume format for a parapro

A resume for a paraprofessional needs to get straight to the point with clarity and precision – and without distracting design.

The best format for most resumes is reverse chronological order, in which you begin with your most recent position and work your way back. This format is optimized for the ATS and the one that hiring managers are most accustomed to.

If you are a first-time paraprofessional and want to play up your education (educators love education!), a hybrid or functional format may be the best method for delivering your message. These flexible options give more freedom to showcase your skills and education over your employment history.

Check out our resume builder, where you will find resume templates that are sure to fit your needs. We have plenty of versions of the three formats available as resume examples.

Look for a design that signals that you’re up-to-date on educational pedagogy and conduct yourself professionally. A modern template would work well.

Include your contact information

We know we don’t have to remind you to put your name on your paper, but there’s a right way and a not-so-right way to approach the contact information in your resume header. Here’s the right way:

  • Full name and title. Highlight your first and last name. Copy the title of the job from the listing.
  • Email address. Keep it professional with a [email protected] or similar format.
  • Phone number. Use  a number you check frequently, with a professional voicemail greeting.
  • Location. List only your city and state. Don’t list street address or zip code. It’s both outdated and unsafe. If you live in the neighborhood where the school is, this selling point can be addressed in your cover letter.
  • LinkedIn or other professional online content. Make sure your profile is up-to-date. If you write education content for a blog, or share lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers or another site, include links here.

Don’t include:

Do

Karina Mahindi

Elementary School Paraprofessional

[email protected]

(774) 218-0936

New Bedford, MA

www.teacherspayteachers.com/readinglesson

Don't

Miss K

All-around Parapro

[email protected]

(774) 218-0936

New Bedford, MA

www.teacherspayteachers.com/readinglesson

Make use of a summary

Introductions to new students, especially those who have had a difficult time in school, must be made cheerfully and thoughtfully. Making an immediate connection, or at least a positive start, can lead to a fun and fruitful school year.

The summary of a paraprofessional resume is your introduction to the people you hope will be your new colleagues. These 2-3 sentences say, “Hello! Here’s how my talents and personality are going to blend with the school culture and improve student performance.”  

Education can be exhausting, so pump up the energy level with action verbs like differentiated, accommodated, co-taught, designed, or communicated followed by the results of your work. Data plays a huge role in education, so back up your assertions by quantifying your achievements.

Just as the opening paragraph is an overview of an essay, your resume summary, AKA profile, is an overview of your career thus far. Instead of repeating information found in your work history, skills and education sections, use this section to focus the principal on the overarching picture of who you are and why you’re a great fit for the job. Are you great at communicating with your students’ families? A lover of math who can explain any concept to students? Passionate about inclusion? Make this known in your summary.

You can find adaptable paraprofessional resume examples summary below:

Entry-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Community college graduate with degree in education eager to bring my enthusiasm and newfound special education knowledge to a paraprofessional role. Strong foundation in educational pedagogy and experience working with students with developmental delays in summer camp. Collaborative and communicative nature and passionate about including all.

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Mid-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Adaptable and passionate paraprofessional with four years of experience in fourth-grade inclusion classroom. Excellence in assisting diverse student populations to achieve their academic goals. Skilled in implementing individualized education plans (IEPs) and behavior management techniques to promote a positive and inclusive learning environment.

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Senior-level adaptable resume summary/profile example

Seasoned paraprofessional with a history of driving student success in diverse academic environments. Adept at managing classroom dynamics and behavior, to create  a positive and inclusive learning environment where all students feel valued and supported. Strong mentor of junior staff and effective collaboration with educators, administrators, and families ensure a positive learning experience.

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Outline your paraprofessional work experience: show off your high marks

Beginning with your most recent position, create a story of achievement within your educational career. Experienced paraprofessionals need only go back 10-15 years as earlier experiences are no longer relevant. If you are shifting careers, consider adding an “other experience” section.

Employ those action verbs at the beginning of each item and follow it up with an example of real success. A dynamic employment history section avoids sounding like an echo of the job listing. 

For example:

  • “Worked in reading room assisting students with dyslexia for four years”
  • “Communicated student progress with parents and guardians”
  • “Assisted teacher in differentiating lessons”
  • “Applied educational best practices to manage classroom behavior”

All of that may be true, but it does not tell the principal what value you will add to the school staff or how you will improve student experiences and learning. Instead, highlight what outcomes you achieved through those expected tasks. Here are improved versions of those bullet points:

  • “Engendered enthusiasm for reading by carefully choosing high interest books for dyslexic readers, leading to 10% improvement in standardized test scores”
  • “Developed website with individual private pages for each student and updated with “weekly progress reports for parents and guardians”
  • “Collaborated with math team to design differentiated assignments resulting in average of one letter grade increase per student”
  • “Implemented system of clear, concise behavior rules with student input, reducing disruptions to fewer than one a week and improving classroom environment.”

Take a look at the paraprofessional  employment history resume sample below:

Adaptable resume employment history example

Paraprofessional at Mesa Public Schools, Mesa 
August 2018 - Present 

  • Assist teachers in implementing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with disabilities
  • Provide one-on-one and small group instruction to reinforce learning objectives
  • Collaborate with teachers and other support staff to create and maintain an inclusive classroom environment

 

Teacher's Aide at Bright Horizons Child Care and Early Education, Tempe 
June 2016 - July 2018 

  • Supported lead teachers in planning and executing age-appropriate learning activities
  • Assisted in maintaining a safe and nurturing classroom environment
  • Communicated regularly with parents regarding their child's progress and development
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How to write a paraprofessional resume with no experience

Parapro work can be a great entry into an education career. If you’re attracted to working with students, you may have done so in other capacities. This experience lent you transferable skills that apply to classroom positions you can use in a paraprofessional resume with no experience.

Other relevant roles include camp counselor, babysitter, or sports coach. These demonstrate your responsibility, teaching skills, ability to manage children’s behavior and to make connections with young people.

SInce you want to go into education, play up your schooling! Any childcare classes, education classes or other training you have had illustrate your knowledge of teaching and working with students.

Include the relevant key skills that make you a great professional

A paraprofessional resume skills section blends the best of your hard and soft skills to create a well-rounded view of what you bring to the classroom.

All knowledge of learning differences and how to assist students who have them, curricula, online learning programs, data collection and other abilities you learned in school or on the job are hard skills schools seek.

However, in a profession where you work closely with students, their loved ones, and colleagues, your soft skills are paramount. Communication, patience, empathy and creativity add to your value.

Choose from among the pre-written skills within the resume builder or write in your skills.

Here’s what the skills box looks like in our car sales resume template. 

Key Skills and Proficiencies

Teaching
Management
Administration
Supervision
Independent
Organized

Repetition is the key to success in learning and your resume. A list of your paraprofessional skills is convenient for the hiring manager, but they’ll want to see how you applied them. Thread skills throughout every section of your resume by offering examples of  what you achieved.

Showcase your skills in your summary and employment history sections. For example:

  • Classroom management by describing how you set behavioral expectations or a time when you defused a potentially volatile situation
  • Data collection with an example of the IEP form you use to track student progress
  • Collaboration by providing details of your working relationship with the classroom teacher and how it aided student progress
Expert tip

No two jobs are alike

Head back to the job listing to understand what the school considers the role of the paraprofessional to be. Highlight the skills that best suit each job. For instance, some parapros lead small group learning, while others act as one-on-one aides for an individual student. These roles require overlapping but  different skills.

Detail your education & relevant paraprofessional certification

The academic requirements for a paraprofessional vary by state, however, they must have a high school diploma and either an associate’s degree or two year’s of higher education or pass a formal state assessment. List your degrees or academic progress in reverse chronological order here.

If you are working on a post-baccalaureate degree, you may leave out your high school diploma.

Educators rarely stop going to school, but they aren’t always in degree programs, and they value continuing education. Show that you are a lifelong learner as well by listing any training or certifications you have including:

  • Training and certificates. Some states, such as New York, require paraprofessionals to be certified to provide direct instruction. List that here. Also include any training such as CPR, seminars in curriculum development, behavioral interventions or other educational topics or classes focused on specific learning differences and how to address them.
  • Internships. If you’re working on a teaching degree, list any extended periods you have spent working in a classroom.
  • Formal education. University students in the midst of earning a bachelor’s degree should list their program and expected date of graduation.

Educators of all types should consider a functional or hybrid format that allows them to showcase their academic and continuing education achievements.

Adaptable example for education and certifications

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe 
August 2012 - May 2016

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Choose a paraprofessional resume design/layout for maximum effect

Why do teachers and staff get to school a week early to decorate the classroom? Because looks help create the learning environment the teacher wants to develop. The look of your resume helps create your image in the eyes of the hiring committee.

Education can be a creative field, but your resume layout is not the place to get too artsy. Project a professional, organized look with a dash of personality. We recommend clean lines and easy-to-read font. Applicants for elementary school jobs may add a touch of color or subtle icons, but paraprofessionals aiming to work in a high school should temper their creative impulses and go for a monotone look—unless the job is in the art department. 

For elementary school parapros, we recommend one of your field-tested resume templates in a modern or creative design, while high school paras should choose from our modern or professional layouts. 

Paraprofessional text-only resume example

Paraprofessional resume example (text version)

Profile

Dedicated and compassionate paraprofessional seeking a position within a school district where I can apply my experience in providing individualized support to students with diverse learning needs and contribute to a positive educational environment.


Employment history

Paraprofessional at Mesa Public Schools, Mesa 
August 2018 - Present 

  • Assist teachers in implementing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with disabilities
  • Provide one-on-one and small group instruction to reinforce learning objectives
  • Collaborate with teachers and other support staff to create and maintain an inclusive classroom environment

 

Teacher's Aide at Bright Horizons Child Care and Early Education, Tempe 
June 2016 - July 2018 

  • Supported lead teachers in planning and executing age-appropriate learning activities
  • Assisted in maintaining a safe and nurturing classroom environment
  • Communicated regularly with parents regarding their child's progress and development


Skills

  • Educational technology
  • Behavior management strategies
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Fluent in American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Microsoft Office Suite


Education

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe 
August 2012 - May 2016

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Paraprofessional  job market and outlook

While the U.S. labor bureau predicts a stagnant market for teacher assistants including paraprofessionals over the coming decade, the attrition rate will leave open about 151,000 jobs per year. These jobs are sensitive to municipal and school district budgets.

Statistical insight
  • The attrition rate for paraprofessionals in Washington state in the 2021-22 school year was 23%
  • 35% of districts found parapro openings among the hardest to fill, according to a Frontline Education survey.
  • There were almost 1.2 million paras and teacher’s assistants working in schools in 2022.

What type of salary you can expect as a paraprofessionals

Paraprofessionals cannot expect to start out earning much more than minimum wage. They are typically paid by the hour for a 180-day school year, so although many work full time, they are not always year-round employees.

The salary range for a parapro is $22,956-$45,712.

Paraprofessional average salary

Paraprofessional
$41.4k / yr
 

Key takeaways for building a paraprofessional resume

A dynamic paraprofessional resume illustrates to the hiring committee what contribution you will make to the school as a whole, the students you serve and your direct colleagues. Make this point clearly within the 2-3 sentences of your summary. While the skills section is important, as you tell the story of your educational career, illustrate your successes with the skills you used to achieve them.

You smooth the path to your students learning. Let our online resume builder smooth the path to your next education job.

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