Trying to land that first (or second) teaching job can be a nerve-racking experience. While some areas are in desperate need of qualified teachers, other markets are flooded with candidates. Having a professional, attention-grabbing cover letter and portfolio can make all the difference when trying to impress a hiring committee. Here are five job search tips for teachers:
1. Be Persistent And Personable
You want districts to remember you. Education Week surveyed a group of teachers for advice on obtaining a teaching career. When applying for a job, it is more personable to drop off your application in person and introduce yourself to an administrator, if possible. This puts a face with a name. As far as being persistent, send out resumes monthly so you are less likely to be forgotten. Call to ensure that districts have received your applications and write thank-you notes when given interview opportunities.
2. Write A Winning Cover Letter
As far as cover letters, Job Star stresses that it is important to personalize each one to the school to which you are applying. The letter should be formal, addressed to the person responsible for hiring with a formal title for his or her name (Mr., Mrs., etc). Make the letter personal, so that it expresses your enthusiasm and passion for the teaching profession. Make it clear that you are knowledgeable about the school that you are applying to and sincerely desire to work there. Be meticulous with checking your grammar and spelling. Errors can prevent you from getting an interview.
3. Carefully Complete The Application
The Guardian emphasizes that your application be neat and thorough. Since teachers should be technology literate, type your application, unless you are specifically asked to hand-write it. Make sure all of your employment history dates are correct and that you do not leave any gaps. This is actually a common mistake and could send your application to the bottom of the pile. If you have gaps in your employment history, explain why.
4. Have A Professional CV, Resume, And Portfolio
Have a polished and professional curriculum vitae or resume. Anything longer than two pages is usually too much for a hiring committee to review. Work Bloom says to have a clean, reader-friendly format with up-to-date information. Best Sample Resume reminds teachers to include their identifying information at the top, types of certifications with endorsements and certificate numbers, teaching experiences with job titles, locations and related experiences. Also, having a portfolio can give you an extra edge during the interview. In your portfolio, include your teaching philosophy and evidence of work that you have completed.
5. Practice Your Interviewing Skills
The teachers surveyed by Education Week offered the following tips:
- Study the school where you are interviewing and practice mock interviews with peers or family members.
- Dress professionally and express your gratitude for being given the interview opportunity.
- While you should be prepared to answer a variety of questions, be sincere with your answers so you do not sound rehearsed.
- Most importantly, be yourself and let your passion show.
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