Building Opportunities

What things have you been wanting to change or improve on lately? We want improvement, but we do not necessarily know how to get that improvement. For most of us, the difficulty probably lies in getting started. Perhaps we are afraid of what might come from change or maybe we lack the resources or momentum to build the right circumstances for change. Oftentimes, the idea of change will feel like it threatens the existing balance and routine in place, but think about what good might come from change. Even when it does not feel like there is time to make ...


The Power of Experience

There is a quote I found recently attributed to Soren Kierkegaard which says "life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." In many ways, our past can easily influence our present and the people we are today. We might not consciously think about it very often, but our experiences with the world around us shape our career trajectories, too. Think about the resources, relationships, and environments which have shaped you as a person. How did you learn the skills you have today? How did you arrive in the occupation you have now? Perhaps there was an "Aha!"...


Monitoring Your Professional Identity

We have all heard the stories - teachers let go because of a blog post, peers asked to show their Facebook profiles in an interview, or employers googling their prospects to see what pops up. According to a survey released by Microsoft, 79% of hiring managers and recruiters in the United States admitted to reviewing information online about interviewees and potential applicants. 70% of those managers and recruiters admitted to rejecting applicants due to uncovering an offensive social media profile. As technology and social networking continue to flourish, as a job candidate, particularly for a teaching position, it is up ...


Extra-Curricular Activities - Does Anyone Really Care?

A question that often arises when I am speaking to students and alumni about their resumes is "is it important to include my non-classroom experience?" I always answer with a resounding "yes!" Often, people play down the activities and experiences they are involved in outside of their "professional" life, thinking that the resume should focus solely on the classroom. While you definitely should lead your resume with your most important and relevant information (i.e. degree, certifications, classroom experience), it is also important to include information on some of the other activities you are involved in. For example: Volunteer experiences ...


Behavioral-Based Interview Questions: How to Prepare for the Unexpected

Behavioral-based interview questions are a popular way for employers to gain knowledge of your experiences and how you may make decisions or act as a potential employee. A typical behavioral-based interview question would start out asking for you to "Tell me about a time when..." or "Give an example of..." The employer is trying to use your past experiences to gauge how you will act in the future. These questions can often throw interviewees off, as they try to come up with past experiences to meet employers' expectations right on the spot. Job seekers often incorrectly believe there is no ...


LinkedIn and Your Job Search

Often when I discuss networking with people, they focus on two main issues: A discomfort with entering a large room of people for a networking event. An uncertainty on how to find people to network with in the schools or districts they are interested in working for. LinkedIn can help you with both of these problems. Although attending networking events and career fairs is an important aspect of job searching, an informational interview is another nice way to network with a professional in a 1:1 setting, controlled by the job seeker. This can often ease some of the stress ...


Networking - For Job Seekers and Job Lovers

Networking has become a buzzword for those who are job searching and the lack of networking can definitely hurt your job search in the long run. The networking process should not stop when you land a job or when you are in a job you love. Networking can help you exchange ideas with other teachers, solve problems you are facing in the classroom, or learn of new and existing resources. Here are a few tips to help you begin networking: Job Seekers: If you are student teaching or observing in a school - schedule informational interviews for yourself throughout your ...


What do you believe about children?

Ultimately, that is the fundamental question. With all of the programs and initiatives that we implement in schools, the greatest factor in the academic achievement of students is the teacher. There is no amount of interview coaching or resume development that can substitute for a teacher that is qualified to teach and passionate about the success of students. If your passion for the learning and success of your students does not come through, your interview process will be short. Before you launch into a career move or into your first teaching assignment search, spend some time reflecting on what you ...


Does Your Paperwork Tell Your Story?

There is a saying that "the job isn't finished until the paperwork is done." There is a different spin on this when applying for a position. The job won't begin if the paperwork is not done correctly. Your application and resume introduce you as a prospective candidate. Often attention to detail makes the difference in whether you are screened out or brought to the table in an interview process. Building and personnel administrators can tell stories of paperwork blunders that sometimes cost a potential candidate an interview and ultimately a position. First, take care in the story you tell. Your ...


Do You Really Want to Work Here?

As a principal it was so clear when a candidate just wanted a job and when he or she was truly interested in working at my school. We hosted a multi-step interview process that gave potential teachers an opportunity to interact with various members of the staff. Each stage of the process painted a clearer picture of the candidate under consideration. Additionally, however, each stage gave the candidate an opportunity to learn a little more about our school, its climate, culture and values. I typically will ask a simple question, "Based on the questions you have heard, what do we ...


The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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