Effective Teacher Job Fair Preparation to Win the Job Search Race
Whether you're brand new to teaching or are looking for a new placement, the teacher job fair is the perfect place to showcase your skills, distribute your resume, and network. Attending a teacher job fair can be a daunting experience - especially if this is your first time. You may encounter hundreds of teachers filling the room, which can make even the most confident educator question his or her abilities.
Here are some important tips to consider so that attending a teacher job fair will be a fruitful experience.
The first rule you must follow is to prepare ahead of time for the teacher job fair.
- Determine who will be attending. There should be a list of schools or districts that are registered for the teaching job fair. Use the list to find out as much as you can about each of the schools. You can usually find quite a bit of information by checking their online website.
- Sort the schools into several categories. Use your own criteria to decide which schools you are most interested in. Everyone has different criteria that are important, such as location, student makeup, and rankings. Since your time at the teacher job fair will be limited, you'll want to visit your first choices early in the day so that you do not run out of time.
- Review your resume. You want your resume to stand out at a teacher job fair. It can often be helpful to pay for a professional to critique your resume. This can help you improve your resume a great deal. Use a professional resume critique group that specializes in teacher resume writing. Make sure you have the perfect resume and cover letter prior to attending a job fair. You can review our samples here
- Print your resume. You'll want to bring plenty of copies of your resume to leave with prospective employers. It's best to have them professionally printed on special resume stock paper so that they are high-quality documents.
- Practice answering questions. You'll want to be prepared to answer typical interview questions. Rehearse the answers so that you are clear on what you want to say. Also, bring along any questions you have for a specific school or district.
- Dress well. Always wear business attire to a teacher job fair, no matter how casual it may seem. Get plenty of sleep the night before the teacher job fair, and eat a good meal so that you won't be hungry and tired.
At the Job Fair
While at the teacher job fair, you'll want to keep some things in mind. To get the most out of your time at the teacher job fair, follow these expert tips:
- Get the most out of a teaching job fair that you can. Arrive early and map out your visit so that you are certain to visit the booths that you are most interested in. Plan to spend enough time at each booth so that you can ask any questions that you may have about the school and pick up applications and other information.
- Gather business cards. A teacher job fair is a great place to network. Even if the contact doesn't turn out to be immediately useful, it may be later on. Once you get a business card, make some notes on the back of the card. This will help you later on when you are trying to identify the people you met.
- Smile and show your enthusiasm for teaching.
- Never say anything negative about a school or district at any time during the job fair. You might be overheard.
After the Job Fair
After your visit to a teacher job fair, you'll want to remember these steps towards ensuring that you get the most out of the experience.
- Review the information as quickly as possible. Make more notes now while the teaching jobs offered are fresh in your mind. It is helpful to make a page or two for each of the booths that you visited. Write down everything that you can remember, as well as any questions that you have.
- Treat the teacher job fair just as you would a real interview. If you spent time talking with someone and you left your resume, you should consider it a pre-interview. Drop a thank you note in the mail thanking them for their time. This helps the interviewer to remember you and keeps you fresh in their mind. It also indicates your continued interest in their school or district.
- Start a Rolodex or file folder with the cards of people you met at the teaching job fair. This will help you build your own network which you can improve as time passes.