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Principal Resume Example & Writing Guide

  • What is a principal’s job?
  • Why use this principal resume example?
  • How to write a great principal resume
  • Which key skills are relevant for a principal resume?

You want your principal resume to move you to the head of the class. Having the right background, training, and experience is half the battle. A principal always has to make a good impression, and your resume has to do this for you. Check out our example principal’s resume and read on for some good information on how to create an outstanding resume.

What is a principal’s job?

School principals are education professionals that oversee teachers and other educational staff. They guide student performance, and school activities, and ensure that all school facilities are well-maintained and safe for students and faculty.

Why use this principal resume example?

The opening line on your resume can set the tone. Our example resume starts with one line that lists the candidate’s top capabilities. This is a great way to begin because it puts the most important skills right up front to grab the potential new employer’s attention.

The visual format of this example resume is great because it is very clean, simple, and easy to read. It makes good use of single-column and two-column formatted sections to display information in a pleasing and easy-to-look-at layout. The coloring is in shades of gray because this is easier to print and is more subtle. Just make sure you use formatting elements like columns, shading, and lines sparingly. It is easy to go overboard and make your resume too busy and more difficult to read. On a resume, less is more.

The career experience section is also well done because each role has a section with a paragraph explaining the key responsibilities and tasks. More importantly, there is a separate section that explicitly calls out accomplishments. Showing your potential employer how you were able to be successful in your previous roles is critical. Achievements show how you have been able to apply your skills and be productive in the organization.

Make sure your job experience and skills sections include plenty of keywords related to the job or profession. Look at the job description that you’re applying for and find the keywords in it. Use the ones that match your background. This is important because most places use ATS (applicant tracking systems) to automatically scan resumes and cull those that do not have the right terms and keywords.

How to write a great principal resume

As a principal, your education plays a major part in whether you get your next role. Place your degrees in a separate educational background section. List them in reverse chronological order. You don’t need a lot of details. It is okay to just list the degree type and name of the school. But, it is also acceptable to list more details like your majors, GPA, and location. This is more applicable to people with more recent degrees or less experience. If your education is especially exceptional, then you may want to move this section up toward the top of your resume.

People in the academic world can also have a lot of certifications. Include all of your certifications and licenses that are relevant. This can be in a separate section or, if you don’t have too many, at the end of your education section. 

As with many technical and scientific careers, educational professionals tend to have a lot of training and expertise that use complex terminology and acronyms. Avoid using too much of this in your job descriptions because the first person to review your resume may be a recruiter or HR person. They may or may not be experts in education, and you want your resume to be understandable to anyone that reads it. However, it is okay and expected to have some industry terms and acronyms on your resume. Use them judiciously and where they will match up with the role you’re applying for.

Which key skills are relevant for a principal resume?

An education professional must have a variety of skills. For your principal’s resume, make sure that you include your best abilities that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Your soft skills are paramount because your job revolves around teaching people. Don’t forget to include some hard skills too. Technology skills can be as important as being up-to-date on your teaching certifications.

Below is a good list of example skills to have on a principal’s resume:

  • Communication

  • Critical thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Decision-making

  • Leadership

  • E-Learning

  • Curriculum development

  • Lesson planning

  • Teacher training

  • Strategic thinking


Summary example

  • Passionate Principal with a history of challenging status quo and inspiring continuous improvement in academic settings.

  • 16 years of visionary operational,  professional, and pedagogical leadership resulting in high student engagement, enhanced teacher accountability, and optimal resource alignment.

  • Educational pioneer launching instructional initiatives, ground-breaking sports and fitness drives, and new professional development courses.

  • Effective leader utilizing a facilitative style focused on overcoming obstacles and building relationships; emphasize innovation over management and people over systems.

Employment history example

Principal at Southern Gateway Public Schools, Hidden Creek, Alberta

2014 - Present

Oversee academic and administrative operations. Manage and adjust $2.5M budget to provide for state-of-the-art learning, literacy interventions, staff development, school supplies and equipment, and optimal physical facility appearance and safety. Coordinate positive and proactive communications between staff, faculty/school and families, and internal/external stakeholders. Develop and facilitate achievement of annual goals in alignment with strategic initiatives, including  monitoring instructional practices. Address personnel matters, student behavior issues, parent concerns, and community affairs.

Selected Accomplishments:

  • Established Numeracy Committee, which improved mathematics results by 30%.

  • Integrated “Program of Study” protocols into professional development initiatives.

School Support Officer at ABC District School Board, Mississauga, Ontario

2013 - 2014

Provided oversight for all school discipline and legal matters, providing advanced knowledge to principals and superintendents. Supported and guided 240 elementary and secondary school principals. Led crisis management team to proactively address security and safety. Consulted on student guidance and family/parent relationships.

Selected Accomplishments:

  • Presented a Cultural Proficiency program for all district administrators.

  • Mentored over 20 teachers and vice-principals for leadership.

  • Taught Principal’s Qualification Program, Ontario Principal’s Council.

Principal at Highland Secondary School, ABC District School Board, Mississauga, Ontario

2008 - 2013

Offered curricular and instructional leadership for a staff of 180 and student body of 2200 for the District’s largest and most complex school. Administered four learning streams in Vocational, Applied, Academic, and International Baccalaureate (IB), including offerings in Extended French and Vocational and International IB. Developed strong, authentic stakeholder relationships, maintaining high visibility and a hands-on approach to understanding students individually and as a student body.

Selected Accomplishments:

  • Achieved a 94% success rate guiding 800 IB students to the full IB Diploma.

  • Created Thursday night drop-in sessions for parents.

Education example

  • Master of Science at the University of Toronto

  • Bachelor of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo

  • Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Ontario

Skills example

  • Operations Structures

  • Budget Administration

  • Community Relations

  • Project Start-Up

  • Staff Development

  • Technology Implementation

  • Sports Coaching & Training

  • Cultural Proficiency

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