Most positions are never even advertised because many employers hire from within their own organizations or word of mouth. This is true in the teaching profession as well.
Schools are much more apt to hire their student teachers, substitute teachers, or contact teachers in their school over an outside applicant. Even if the positions are advertised, the school may only be publishing the vacancy as a formality to hire the candidates they already want.
So does this mean you are at a loss when it comes to applying for positions? Hardly. It just means your resume and interview skills need to be top-notch. It doesn’t hurt to utilize some of these strategies to get on the inside track of hiring.
Follow this list of job search tips, and you will gain access to the hidden job market through networking, professional associations, volunteering, and school district research.
Volunteering in a classroom or coaching a student team provides wonderful opportunities to develop your teaching skills, expand your horizons and help strengthen your community. Volunteering can help expand your network, enhance your resume and give you strong personal satisfaction. This is very important to new graduates, career transitioning and stay-at-home parents re-entering the workforce.
Volunteer work may be the only relevant experience you have when applying for a new teaching job. It is also a great way to develop relationships with schools. Rather than just being one piece of paper in a stack, your resume will remind potential hiring managers of your presence in their community and the great work you’ve already done.
Network Through Professional Associations
Join an association that is related to teaching and become an active member. Meet as many members as possible to develop professional relationships and uncover teaching opportunities. Surf the Internet and find the association’s website to learn about conferences and other events you can participate in.
If you have the expertise that ties in well with the organization’s mission and goals, submit a proposal to present at an upcoming conference, write an article, and submit it to an association’s journal. It’s a great way of putting your name out there, especially if you are job searching within a wider area, like a state or nationwide search.
Conduct Informational Interviews
An informational interview is a great way to meet teachers and administrators at a variety of schools. Rather than reaching out hoping to find a job, develop a set of questions regarding the population of students at the school, how your interviewee moved from teaching to administration, or how the interviewee believes that the education field in your region, state, or city will evolve in the future.
These questions can allow you to connect with a range of professionals, learn more about teaching students of different abilities, age groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, and learning styles, and help you determine the kind of place where you would like to apply to teach when the time comes.
You never know when a contact you met through an informational interview will have a friend or colleague looking for someone with a skill set or experience just like yours.
Find Creative Ways to Network
Networking consists of connecting with a wide variety of individuals who may help with your job hunt and career planning. Network with people at a higher level so you can find the types of jobs that might interest you.
Discover which skills and experiences are relevant. Practice your interpersonal skills to increase your visibility in the education field and uncover the hidden job market. Ask questions and seek answers.
Avoid staying hidden in your house attached to your computer. Get out often to meet new people. Jobs rarely come to the job seeker.
Attend career fairs. You never know what type of job opportunity you will stumble upon.
Listen closely and seize the job opportunities wherever they exist, even in a tough economy.
Study trends in the teaching industry and research different school districts in your search area to build a knowledge base to help you be competitive in your search.
Exploration is necessary to define career goals. Always research before writing your resume and cover letter or going to an interview. Investigate job boards, newspapers, professional associations, or give the school or school district a call to discover more about them. Knowledge about them will give you depth as a candidate and inform your choices as you decide where to apply for teaching positions.
This is just a brief outline of some practices you can use to tap into the hidden job market and increase your chances of securing a teaching position. I encourage you to learn more about how I can help you stand out as a candidate. Please reach out by calling toll-free at 1 877 738-8052 or send an email at your convenience to schedule an initial conversation with Candace.