Goal Setting for the Job Seeker

Congratulations! You have made it through college. You have passed all the testing and licensing. You are now ready to go! You are ready for your first "official" job as a teacher. Yet, the job search can seem so... overwhelming. It is important to know what you want - and what you do NOT want - when seeking a job. Yes, you "just need a job." But, you do not need just any job! You need a job that is worth the time, effort, and financial outlay you put into your degree. One of the best things you did as ...


Master Resumes for the Serious Job Seeker

Employers today expect targeted job search documents and well-prepared job candidates. One generic resume and cover letter for all potential employers simply is not very effective in this tough job market. If you want to get serious about your job search, create a master resume with all the details. The master resume is not just a template--it includes all you have done in your "public life;" it includes all your educational experiences, work experiences, volunteerism, clubs/organization activities, research, and perhaps even interests and ideas. With a master resume, it is simple to sit down with the job description and ...


Following Up Post-Interview

In the job search we find ourselves doing everything and anything possible to land an interview. We figure that if we land the interview and it goes well, then if the job is meant to be, it will be. However, even after you walk out of your interview, you continue to have the power to make an impact. How? Through the art of the thank you email. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are ready to write yours. Send a thank you email within 24 hours after your interview. This way you are meeting the expectation ...


Writing Values & Experience-Based Cover Letters

I recently sat in on an employer panel that included a CEO of a charter school here in Chicago. When asked about the importance of cover letters, he responded by saying, "If a cover letter isn't targeted to my school specifically, I won't read it." Even as a career advisor, I was shocked by the seriousness with which he stated this, and I immediately took note of how I could stress this important message to every teacher job candidate coming across my path. The steps below will help you transform your letter into a relationship builder. I always tell my ...


Overcoming a Lull in Confidence

The joys and perils found within a job search during summer months are aplenty. I remember my undergrad days of ferociously searching for employment in the summer months just so I did not have to leave my new home, beautiful Chicago. The full time teacher job search during the summer, though, is likely a daunting or anxiety-filled experience given the strict timelines put out by school districts; unless you have one very important part of your candidacy figured out-- your confidence! Confidence? Why is confidence so important? Are we not to focus solely on the resume, online applications, and interview ...


A Quick Resume Checklist to Keep You Going In Your Summer Job Search

Avoid using horizontal lines as the computerized applicant tracking systems that most school districts use may misread them as the end of the document so that your resume never even gets read. With this in mind, then, the entire document should have as simple formatting as possible. Because employers look at resumes for around only 30 seconds, it is best to have the most relevant and important information as close to the top of your resume as possible. Each bullet point should answer the question "Why am I unique?" and complete the sentence: "I am an effective teacher because..." Your ...


How Long Does it Take?

I often get asked "What is the average time it takes to get a job?" Now THAT's a loaded question! Usually the real question behind it is "I've been searching for x weeks - is that a long time? What's WRONG with me?" The short answer is that it varies - varies by person, region and especially by profession! AARP published numbers that said the "average" is 21.4 weeks if you are under 55, or 29.9 for those 55 or "better." The International Business Times had a figure of 8 months (32 weeks) and the Bureau of Labor ...


Thinking about Teaching Internationally?

Many educators consider the possibility of teaching abroad, but at times it can feel like a daunting endeavor. New teachers are excited by the opportunity to travel internationally and gain classroom experience. If, you are considering this option investigate the following: Attend an international teaching fair: There a few specific events related to this topic across the globe. In particular, The University of Northern Iowa's annual fair which will be held on January 30 - February 1, 2015 is a great one-stop-shop for locating positions. Preparation for the event should begin in November, since the candidates must build a file ...


Be a Detective: Do Your Due Diligence When Preparing For Interviews

Think Sherlock Holmes or Carmen Sandiego! An applicant needs to do more than simply know the school district's goals and mission - those should go unstated. Employers across the board, regardless of industry area, note that new hires need to know more about their organization and demonstrate that they took the time to do research in advance of their interview. As a follow-up to blog entry "Do You Really Want to Work Here?" in February 2014, candidates should have a strong understanding of why they want to be a part of XYZ School. Take some time to consider these strategies: ...


Encouraging Effective Listening Habits: Working with Co-Operative Instructors

How do you address a challenging working relationship with your co-op? While student teaching is a learning experience, a student teacher is also providing an important service to a classroom and working closely with those institutions' students (as a principal once said, "the most prized possessions of parents"). I found it helpful to think about active listening skills that were shared with me by a previous professor when navigating tough conversations. Identify your purpose for listening. Most of the time a student teacher is listening to learn information. Believe it or not listening takes energy and requires attention. Try not ...


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

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