10 Ways to Jumpstart a Stalled Education Job Search
Conducting a job search in education can be challenging. Are you saying to yourself, "It's a tough job market!" These five words could sabotage your career ambitions.
Not to worry, many educators rationalize having a stalled job search in education because of the job market. Being unsuccessful in your school administrator, higher education instructor, or teacher job search can be frustrating and disheartening.
Read on to find ways to jump-start your educational job hunt and find success quicker.
In many cases, the root of your job search problems can be found in your career objectives, job search strategy and the writing and formatting of your administrator or teacher resume. Instead of blaming the job market, give your job search strategy an overhaul.
Have you been out of the workforce for an extended period of time?
Do you feel like you will never secure a rewarding full-time position?
You can continue to steadily submit resumes and cover letters that cross the desks of unresponsive employers, or you can re-evaluate your job search strategy.
Take the time to re-examine your career objectives, job market approach and teacher resume, as well as your support systems.
Are your resume and application letter targeted toward the sought-after position?
Education Job Search Strategies to Stay on the Right Job Hunt Track
Strategically Think Like a Savvy Job Seeker
If you have been searching for employment for at least six months, it is time to examine your strategy and ask yourself if you have been targeting the right places. It is important to do your research and weigh your options to make sure you're heading in the right direction. I have found that individuals tend to give in easily when they keep doing the same thing time after time without ever getting a positive result.
Benefit From a Fresh Perspective
Ask new job counsellors, peers and friends to critique your resume and job search strategy to develop fresh ideas and approaches. If you are targeting a move to administration from elementary school teacher, ask administrators and principals to read your resume. You can also get resume help online. The vast world of online job counseling makes it easier to find expertise in specialized areas. Do not forget the importance of local school district knowledge.
Assemble a well-rounded team of teaching job specialists from the online and offline worlds. A new pair of eyes may be just what you need to identify problem areas in your job search.
Enhance Your Education Resume & Cover Letter
Take another look at your education resume and cover letter, asking yourself these questions:
- "Have I been clear in my career objectives?"
- "Do I have a vital-to-this-market skill that I haven't mentioned?"
- "Have I been specific enough in my accomplishments?
- Have I demonstrated how I will add value to this company?"
- Do your special education teacher skills reflect the latest teaching methods?
Once you have reviewed your resume and letter, resend the "new and improved" version to everyone you have been in touch with since you began your job search. If it starts getting responses, you know your job search in education is on the right track.
Conduct Informational Interviews
Ask school districts or boards you want to work with and teachers in jobs you are targeting for an informational interview.
With the advantage of Skype, today it is possible to interview with individuals across the world. The convenience of an online interview also means more professionals are likely to agree to a short interview. Remember this is not a job interview.
You are seeking career advice. In a future teacher interview, you want to be able to communicate what the daily challenges of a head teacher are and how you would cope with them. Ask her for a sample CV for a head teacher.
Carefully prepare your questions in advance and be prepared for a short, 15-minute interview. These inside interviews often elicit helpful strategic advice, insight into a company and, if you are really lucky, a heads up on upcoming job openings that can give you an edge.
Learn From Your Past Job Search in Education Errors
If you had an interview but didn't secure the position, ask the recruitment officer if there was anything you may be able to do to improve. Most recruiters will be pleased to assist you and provide you with ideas for improvement. Remember, you can only gain insight by asking questions, but you must be open to constructive criticism.
Social Network to Build Contacts
Maintain a strong connection with your previous contacts. If it has been over six months since you last visited or telephoned them, re-establish those connections. Simply pick up the phone or send them a letter indicating that you are as eager as ever to become a part of their team. Or if they are an informational interview contact, ask for an update on the district, school and job prospects.
Re-state your skills and proficiencies and re-orient them to your career goals and objectives. Devise fresh ways to elicit more information. For example, ask her about deputy head teacher job skills and opportunities.
Contact Relevant Recruiters Who Specialize in Education
If your career search is stalled, consider adding a recruiter. An education recruiter may have new leads and possibly a new network to tap for teaching job leads. Sign up with as many well-qualified recruiters you deem productive. Many heads are better than one.
At the same time, keep in mind a recruiter doesn't work for you – they are working on behalf of their client.
Ask the recruiter if they have specific experience in the field and if they are aware of any job positions you are targeting.
Attend Education Related Industry Events
Did you know that a face-to-face meeting is six times more likely to lead to an in-person interview? Get out to recruiter and education events and meet people. When you do call, they will be able to put a face to the voice.
Brainstorm Your Education Career Objectives
Use a mind map to brainstorm your career goals to re-evaluate your job search in education. Make sure they are aligned withyour life and family goals.
An educational job search may not be fruitful because you are not intrinsically motivated to pursue the career path you have created.
For example, if during your last high school math teacher interview you found yourself discussing the sports and physical education activities for 20 minutes it would be counterproductive.
In this case, it showed your ambition is to be a physical education teacher and coach, not a math teacher. The interviewer culled no information from you on your approach to teaching math. The desire for the interviewer to move forward with your application would be limited.
Understand your intrinsic motivation and goal - align your career objectives and search with them.
Conduct a Personality Assessment
Most recruiters and employers use personality assessment tests before hiring. Are you interviewing as a teacher but profiling as an administrator? As I am sure you know, personality assessments are not only for dating sites.
Many free online personality assessments can provide you the opportunity to better understand your personality profile before your prospective employer evaluates you. You may re-evaluate your career direction, or take steps to change personality traits you do not like.
If you profile as impatient and lacking in social skills, you either need to reconsider your job as a primary school teacher or work on improving in this area.
Either way, this trait revealed on a personality assessment will present an unsuitable personality for the targeted job. Online sites offer the opportunity to assess your teacher personality, teaching style, and aptitude (verbal, reasoning, etc.) and many more personality-related metrics.
Read in-depth blog posts about education job search help for teachers and administrators.
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