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Teacher Job Search - Does Age Matter?

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The short answer is yes, but probably not in the way you imagine.

If you are a traditional-age college student, perhaps you are worried about how to compete against veteran professionals who have more years of experience.  If you are a more, ahem, seasoned candidate, you might be concerned over how you can compete with recent grads that have the most current training and technology.   To both groups, I say, take a deep breath!

Rather than your actual age being a benefit or a liability, consider instead the quality of your experience thus far; your past performance and future promise in the classroom and your understanding of best practices in education. This is what employers desire.

Your age is not under your control.  The age of other candidates is not under your control.  Rather than spend energy on how to appear older or younger, focus on how to best advertise what you bring to the table.  Research the district.  Craft amazing documents.  Leverage your strengths.  Emphasize technology skills.  Include transferable skills.  Network so employers get to know you.  Regardless of your age, if you have the skills and knowledge being sought, then you have a fighting chance. 

Don't let worries about your age stop your teacher job search.  If your application does not match what the employer is looking for, then you are simply not going to receive an interview offer.  If you do get called for an interview, then have faith that the employer has spotted something enticing and wants to know more about you.   

Sandra P. Sylvestre, MA, GCDF

Assistant Director, Career Services

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

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