7 Job Search Strategies to Get a Teaching Position in a Recession
Smarter job search strategies are required to get a teaching job during a recession. Recession-proof your resume, interview skills and job search strategy.
An economic downturn is no time to slow down your job search. Instead, work on polishing your job search skills and getting your education resume to the top of the resume stack for when the market and hiring pick-up.
While technically teaching jobs are recession-proof, in reality, governments tighten their belts, too. Finding a teaching position can be difficult in some areas, even during the best of times. In periods of economic difficulty, it can seem downright impossible.
When hiring slows, prospective teachers need to be aggressive with creative job search strategies to locate and secure a teaching position.
Teaching jobs are still available, but it may take more effort to obtain one.
Job Search Strategies to Increase Chances of Getting a Teaching Job
1. Learn Where to Find the Job Postings for Teachers
While school districts now post teaching positions on online job sites and through social media, some are still old school and only post on their website. Be sure to learn how the school district you are interested in announces job openings. It could be a teacher job fair, teacher newsgroups, and bulletin boards. To learn how to access hidden district jobs, read gain an edge finding and applying for teaching job posts.
To find the job postings, you will need to look at multiple school districts to ensure you do not miss a posting for the ideal teaching position for you. Add the sites to your Internet favorites and visit them often to make sure you don't miss an opportunity. Also take advantage of job alerts offered by many online job sites.
Your social media network can fill up quickly with teacher job posts if you are plugged into the right networks on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other popular social media. To narrow your social universe, join networks open only to high school teachers, elementary school teachers, and a network relevant to your content area.
Employ these social media networking tips to propel your job search forward.
2. Rewrite and Polish Your Teacher Resume and Application Letter
Your teaching resume needs to stand out to get attention. Ways to create a distinctive resume include using targeted keywords for teachers, especially in the top third of the resume. Emphasizing accomplishments, with evidence wherever possible; and using a compelling design, and even a dab of color in online resumes is important.
Be sure to select a format that will effectively highlight your talents and qualifications as a teacher. Review successful teacher resume and cover letter samples for ideas on how to position yourself for the teaching position you desire.
3. Improve Your Keywords to Optimize Electronic Searches
Review keywords to include when writing your education resume or CV. The proverbial resume heap is today a databank full of hundreds if not thousands of resumes targeting the same position as you. This database will be searched by keyword terms to fill teaching positions. During a recession, secondary school teacher and education administrator and superintendent titles may be searched, as these jobs are still in strong demand. Thus, a 'high school math teacher' resume will only be identified if these keywords appear in the resume.
4. Emphasize Teaching Skills Relevant in the Current Job Market
Remember, you will likely be up against a large number of candidates, so make sure you explicitly point out the strengths you possess. These may be the factors that stick in the hiring committee's mind, and may help you win out over other candidates Your competencies will also serve as keywords in your resume, which are critical to securing an interview.
Remember to match your keywords and skills with those needed in the teacher job market. If interview requests have slowed down, use this lull as an opportunity to update your keywords and skills in your teaching resume. If you can teach high school math, in addition to serving as job counselor, show how you can help fill the demand for math teachers.
5. Show How You Can Add Value When School Budgets are Tight
Do you have an extra or unique skill you can point out that would benefit the school? Be sure to mention other ways you could be an asset, such as coaching sports groups, teaching a literacy club, or facilitating a drama club. Many schools are interested in hiring someone who can perform double duty, or help out will extra-curricular activities.
6. Demonstrate an Authentic Interest in the School
Job candidates often, unintentionally, reveal their desperation in a difficult job market. Your cover letter should not convey: 'I am applying for this job because it is the only elementary school position open in the entire state!'
Research the school and show why you are the ideal match for the advertised position. Make sure that you learn about the school district for which you are applying, because if you do not sound interested in the school district, they will likely not be interested in you.
Schools hire teachers who care about and invest in their communities. Identify areas in which your expertise would be helpful. For example, if they have low reading scores, note how you have proven ability to increase reading scores by using innovative reading strategies.
7. Dress and Act Professionally
Schools hire strong student role models. You are applying for a position as a teacher, so act professional in your teaching job interview. Schools are less likely to hire someone who seems timid and nervous at an interview. After all, if you seem insecure in front of a hiring committee, how will you be in front of a class? Practice interviewing through mock interviews to get rid of your job interview jitters and present a confident front. Schools are looking to hire someone who can impart knowledge and lead a classroom, so let them meet that person at the interview. Learn what not to do in teacher interviews and interview techniques to get a job offer.
Teaching jobs are increasingly hard to secure. The market is flooded with qualified candidates who are eager to secure a full time position in their field. If you are serious about getting a teaching job, you need to be aggressive, and make sure that you prove yourself in your interview. If you WOW them with your knowledge, skills, and professionalism, it will be hard for them not to offer you the teaching position.
Do not forget to review our advice on how to recession-proof your teaching resume. Read in-depth blog posts about networking in the field of education, the key to many teaching job hires.
While you are there you will find lots of job search, and resume and application letter writing tips to get ideas on how to write your academic CV curriculum vitae to land a job at home or abroad.
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