Making the Most of an Educational Job Fair
An Educational Job Fair is a great way to meet potential employers, and find out vital information about different school districts. I have put together a few ideas to keep in mind in order to make your Educational Job Fair a successful experience.
Preparing for the Job Fair:
- Keep a positive approach: It is important to focus on the benefits of a job fair. You will learn about school districts, find out about potential job opportunities, and have the opportunity to determine what it is that you want in a potential employment position.
- Review and update your resume: Ensure that your resume is current and professional. You should have at least 20 or 30 copies to hand out. Additionally, you may want more than one style (i.e., Accomplishments or Chronological Resume).
- Be prepared: Ensure you have reviewed the list of school districts, explore their Web sites, and spend some time gathering information as it will show your enthusiasm and genuine interest.
- Know your career goals: Be prepared to answer questions regarding your career goals and where you see yourself within the next five years.
- Prepare questions to ask: You will want to ask specific information on the school district, their goals, and their mission statement. As well, you will want to ask about the positions available and career development opportunities.
While at the Job Fair:
- Relax and enjoy: Remember you have already prepared for this great event. Now is the time to create a positive impression.
- Meet and Greet: Introduce yourself to district representatives and remember to establish and maintain solid eye contact. Present a firm handshake and have your polished resume ready to hand out.
- Remain positive and friendly: Keep your energy level high and remember that even though you are repeating the same thing to each person, the information is new to each individual.
- Maintain good notes: Take comprehensive notes as the representatives at the job fair may not be able to answer all of your questions. Keep the names, and phone number of those you may want to contact later. Make sure you ask for representative's business cards.
- Discuss your skills: Be prepared to discuss your skills, interests, background, and career objectives. You need to sell yourself, so be ready to discuss your benefits and advantages. Note your key features that make you stand out from the others.
There are several Educational Job Fairs that are held throughout the U.S., and simply by searching the Internet, and contacting the nearest school district, you will find vital information that will identify people and places.
Questions That Are Essential
It is true that attending a Job Fair could be one of the best moves you could make to secure a career within the educational field. However, it is also important to know just the right questions to ask while you are networking with potential employers. Below, you will find a list of questions that will assist you:
Questions to Ask About the District
- I am interested in your school district because......could you provide me with idea of what you are looking for in a successful candidate?
- Please tell me what type of experience you are looking for?
- What challenges do you see for your school district?
- What are the areas of strength within your school district?
- What do you like most about your school district?
- Are there immediate openings in your school district? If so, in what areas? If not, do you anticipate opening in the future?
- Do you have substitute or summer teaching opportunities?
- Considering my particular interest in teaching, are there other individuals in the district that I should contact?
- What advice would you give someone who wants to secure a teaching position within your district?
- Are there opportunities for career development within your school district?
Questions to Ask About Recruitment
- Do you hire on a continual basis or only during certain times of year?
- How should I follow up if I am interested in pursuing employment with your district?
- Can you give me an address and telephone number for the person I should speak with about teaching opportunities, or can you forward my resume to the individual?
After your long and successful day of networking, it is important to make notes about the districts while they are still fresh and easy to recall. Ensure you follow-up with thank you notes to identified recruiters that were helpful to you, and those that you are particularly interested in. Devise a tracking system for future follow up. A little time invested could bring you a lifetime of career satisfaction.