School Administrators' Advice for Teaching Candidates
Throughout the course of the academic year, I sat down with several administrators and discussed the skills and qualifications that they are seeking in teaching candidates' applications. While answers varied slightly depending on the school administrator and the specific needs of their districts, below are common action steps they recommended for teaching candidates:
• Your application must be complete. Failure to do so will eliminate your candidacy. Read and follow application instructions (e.g., required documents)
• Update your application, so it reflects your current experiences.
• When completing your resume, include key information such as your certification, teaching experience, leadership/diverse experience, and technological skills
• Application materials should contain NO SPELING ERRERS
• Language used during application should be student-centered, focusing on the impact of your actions on others rather than simply stating what you did.
• Be careful with copy and pasting.... Address documents to the correct district
• Do your homework, know information about the school districts, and demonstrate that knowledge by customizing your cover letter and resume accordingly.
• Descriptions should highlight key words such as desired skill sets.
• Tell an authentic, consistent story about your experiences and philosophy as an educator rather than disconnected brief answers.
• Field experiences are appropriate to include, especially if the experience is unique.
• Highlight specific experiences, skills, and programs--avoid generic language and buzz words.
• Positive references from administrators are very valuable (Develop rapport)
• Reach out to individuals (e.g., friends, family, teachers, and administrators), informing them about your job search.... You never know who may be able to help you!
(Refer to the May 8th and May 15th Networking Redefined Blogs)
Hopefully these insights give your application the competitive edge during the job search!
By Joel O'Brien
Marquette University Career Services Center