Updated: Feb 19, 2018
Congratulations! After you watched my VIDEO and read my blog on finding a teaching job, you did just that--identified a few positions you’re interested in and secured the dates of a few education specific job fairs. Now, you need to secure an interview!
Securing an interview is not quite as difficult as you think. After reflecting on my experiences as both the job seeker and the interviewer, I’ve created a list of tips that can help you when you are trying to secure that interview!
1. Grammar, grammar, grammar! People fail to understand the importance of using excellent grammar! Your written application, cover letter, resume, and/or introduction email will be your first impression, so you want to make a good one! Make sure you have a different set of eyes read your longer pieces such as cover letters and resumes. Be sure to read your shorter pieces to yourself aloud (a great trick I’ve used and taught my students to use) so that you hear your errors. When a hiring manager or principal has thirty resumes to review, items that are grammatically incorrect are the first to go.
2. Make yourself known! Online applications are the worst—it’s true. We all know it. They’re long and impersonal. That means it’s up to you to see where the application or resume goes, and put a face to the name. It’s fairly simple to locate hiring managers and principals. Check the company/district/school’s website and send an email to the hiring manager/principal introducing yourself. Do you have a LinkedIn? Pay the hiring manager/principal’s page a visit. I also ensure that my headshot has been uploaded to my Gmail accounts—these are all things that can’t hurt!
3. Be friendly and personable. If you find yourself at a job fair, set those nerves aside and be your friendly, personable self! It’s easiest to do that when you have practiced your elevator pitch beforehand. Prepare a small introduction that introduces who you are, what you do, what you have done, and what you’re looking for. It shows that you’re prepared and the more you talk, the more relaxed you’ll become.
4. Be knowledgeable. Revisit the job description and research potential interview questions for your subject area. Be prepared to discuss the information in the job description and answer potential interview questions. Someone may ask you about “deconstructing standards” when you’ve only heard the term “unpacking standards”—be prepared to know the difference!
5. Be presentable. Yes! Be presentable! Don’t be afraid to Google “How to dress for an interview” to see what comes up. Now is the time to break out the blazers, slacks, pencil skirts, loafers, and heels! Come dressed to impress!
Now that you have a few tips and inspiration, go out and secure that interview! Next week, I’ll move on to the components of a stellar teaching portfolio!