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Sell YOU to the employers you would like to work with!

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Last week I met with a few groups of students currently participating in a student teaching experience. After the meetings, during which we engaged in conversation about creating an effective resume; strategically thinking about how to select items to include in their portfolio; and identifying resources for the job search, I began to realize that a central item I'd like to highlight here, in this blog is - sell YOU to the employers you would like to work with. What I mean is that many of you will graduate with similar experience. You will have things like a student teaching experience, observation, practicum. You will have completed the necessary requirements to teach in your respective states. These things, although part of your credentials, will not necessarily make you stand out from the crowd. You want to ensure that when you are selling yourself that you highlight the things that others may not have - language ability (even ones that seem obscure), committee work (think leadership roles), community service (remember that walk-a-thon you planned), your talents (remember when you played piano in 3rd grade). Sell those things that will make a principal say - "wow, this candidate can bring so much to our school and classrooms!" Principals seek teachers who are engaged, both in- and out-of the classroom with students, parents, the community. In addition to ensuring that you market your ability to teach, to move students ahead in their learning and to impact their success; market YOU to employers.

Joni O'Hagan
Senior Associate Director, Career Center
St. John's University

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