Education Career Fairs Tips to Communicate Your Teaching Superpowers
A face-to-face meeting has been shown to deliver up to 10 times the results, so why not polish your shoes and get out to the next education job fair? In one day you can meet more potential employers than you would typically meet in two years of online job searching.
Education job fairs are the job prospectors goldmine – school districts, schools, recruitment consultants, and education technology and service suppliers are all available to advance your teaching career. By preparing in advance, you can get the most out of these job market resources. If you are not ready, you could lose the chance of landing a second formal job interview and offer.
Reasons and Benefits of Attending an Education Career Fair
- Find out what job opportunities are available
- Learn the hiring preferences of districts and schools
- Meet key hiring managers
- Submit your teacher resume to many job positions
- Participate in pre-interview screening
- Network with other job seekers to find openings and obtain information about job prospects
By following these tips, you can increase the odds of success at the next teacher job fair you attend:
Research the School Districts That Will Be Present
Before you even head out to a job fair, make sure you know what school districts will be present. Research the particulars of each school district by visiting their website. You will more than likely be asked the question: "Why do you want to work for our school district?" It is critical you have a strong response, or you may not be ask for a formal, second interview.
Find out what makes the school community unique.
- What are the demographics?
- What is their mission statement?
- Who are the key personnel?
- What teacher profile do they hire?
Once you have pinpointed the school districts you want to interview with, make sure you know what type of teacher they are looking for and what particular skills are required.
This information will allow you to target your strengths to match the district's needs. Create a priority list of the ones that interest you the most; doing so will help you prioritize, so you don't run out of time.
Make a list of the details you found out about each school district, just before approaching their table/booth, review your notes, so you don't mix up information. I can't stress it enough — going unprepared to a job fair will decrease your effectiveness as a job seeker and ability to land a position.
What Goals do You Wish to Reach by Attending the Career Fair?
Setting objectives is important if you want to be productive, especially if you have a tendency to be shy. Set targets for how many introductions you will make, teaching resumes you will pass out and follow up contacts made. Make a list of districts and schools you want to make an effort to meet. If you have a new teacher resume – no experience – you may be able to get advice on resume development at a job fair.
Once you have answered this question you can prepare yourself appropriately. Are you going to see what kinds of opportunities are available in the current job market or are you doing research or networking? Once you have established which category you fall into, then you can mentally prepare yourself by doing the proper research on each school district you want to seek out. Review these essential teacher job preparation steps.
Dress for a Teacher Interview
Whatever your objective is, you must dress the part. If you are carrying around a head teacher resume, deputy head CV, or another administrator resume, wear a tie.
If you are a male, then slacks and a collared shirt are appropriate; a suit may be better. If you are a woman, a blouse and blazer, along with slacks or skirt are appropriate attire. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed and your shoes polished.
A job interview isn't a party; don't wear anything too short, too tight, or too revealing. It's just not appropriate.
No excess jewelry, outrageous hairstyles, overbearing perfume or hairspray. Review these pointers on how to dress for a teacher interview. Keep the saying in mind, first impressions count!
Prepare Yourself to Answer the Interviewers Questions
This is a vital stage, because if you can't answer questions concisely, informatively and with enthusiasm you will be screened out. Recruitment personnel need to evaluate you in a very short time, so prepare a two-minute commercial about yourself. Your commercial will need to sell a product, and that product is you. What value can you bring to the school district and how will you ensure students are successful?
Examples of questions that may be asked are:
- Tell me a little bit about yourself.
- What grade level do you wish to teach and why?
- Why do you want to work for our school district?
- What are your strengths?
- How will you motivate students to enjoy learning in your classroom?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Tell me something about yourself that isn't on your resume.
- Describe the physical appearance of your classroom?
- How could the administration help you to be successful as a new teacher?
- What teaching strategies do you find most useful?
- What would be the ideal school community?
Remember, the competition is fierce for sought after education jobs and every interview only has one winner. To get hired you need to be fully prepared and not make the same mistakes other candidates do.
Have Interview Questions Ready to Ask the Interviewer
Once you have pinpointed the school districts that have jobs available which you are interested in and qualified for, prepare a few questions that you would like answered by the school district representative.
Examples of questions are:
Could you provide me with an idea of what you are looking for in a successful candidate?
Are there immediate openings in your school district? If so, in what areas? If not, do you anticipate opportunities in the future?
What are the interview process steps?
When do you expect announce the successful teaching candidates?
A well-prepared teacher candidate also will have all the items needed for a teacher job interview on hand – references, certifications, and a philosophy of teaching statement. Make plenty of copies.
Make Sure Your Resume and Cover Letter Are in Tip-top Shape
It is a mistake to treat a resume at a job fair as a placeholder. Where you end up in the high heap of resumes will depend on the quality of your resume. Write a teacher resume that will generate interviews. Let me ask you, would you give your resume and cover letter an A+?
Does your teacher resume increase your confidence?
Does your cover letter communicate your passion, personality and the value you can bring to the school?
Share unique traits or abilities to catch attention.Something no other teaching application will include in their CV or resume. Your resume gives the prospective employer something to remember you – call it a tangible if you want.
If you make a good impression on the representative and your resume is current and unique, you have a solid chance of getting a job interview.
Highlight results and accomplishments, rather than what you think you can do. It's becoming more and more important for teachers to show that they HAVE produced excellent results. When you create your resume, make sure that you include specific examples of your successes. Use the C.A.R. approach: What was the challenge, the action you took, and the result?
This formula will clearly present your accomplishments. Achievements sell.
For each job include relevant success stories.
Use the Latest Teaching Industry Buzzwords
Incorporating keywords will show you are staying current in your profession and increase the odds of your resume getting read by a personnel manager. If your resume is scanned it needs to include these keywords; if it doesn't it will likely not reach the human eye.
Likewise, keep abreast of the latest developments in education so you can tailor your resume and cover letter to these trends. Resume keywords relevant to education are critical to your ability to get the attention of hiring managers.
A Visually-Appealing Resume or CV is Vital — Your Information Needs to Stand Out
Some position openings have over 1000 applicants. Does your resume pique the interest of the reader?
Does it say TAKE A CLOSER LOOK?
If not, you will be excluded from the invitations to interview for the teaching position. View our sample resumes and cover letters.
Popular education fairs take place in slow and booming economies. Use keywords to communicate your value to position your resume towards the top of the resume pile for the next hiring wave.
Also, visit online education job fairs. Geography no longer limits teachers. If you are in California but open to teaching jobs in Portland and Washington state, virtual job fairs make it easy to connect with schools and districts up and down the West coast.
Make sure your resume includes your current and accurate contact information, including address, phone number, and email address.
I wish you the best at your next teaching job fair – your top-priority it to show passion and enthusiasm.
Be authentic! Be you!
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