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Education job-hunting season is open! Whether you’re looking for your first position, or your next one, here are 12 things to consider when trying to land that dream position.
1. Network: If “network” is too informal and scary, see it as making connections with other educators and those in the education world. You never know who may “know” someone!
2. Check district and job posting sites frequently: You do want a job, right?! You might want to create a folder of bookmarked district sites to check on a regular basis.
3. Scan and save important professional documents as PDFs: Licenses, certificates, transcripts, and recommendation letters are needed for most application procedures online. Many districts hire through digital application programs and platforms, such as Applitrack. Saving these essential documents ensures you have them ready for quick uploading. Google Drive is a perfect place to store items like these.
4. Jazz up your resume: If you think black “Times New Roman” text is boring, so will your potential employer. Consider adding colors, graphs, charts, or other items to make your resume stand out. Keep it to one page. For some ideas check out A Resume for the Modern Art Teacher and 5 Secrets for Landing a Job in Art Education.
5. Stalk the school and school community: Do your research and explore school and district websites to research mission statements, visions, curriculums, and behavioral supports and philosophies. Find similarities between their goals and yours. Articulate these similarities in your cover letters and during your interviews. See a few more tips in this article.
6. Practice interview questions and answers: Check out sites like these for great interview questions to practice. Or, search “education interview questions” and you’ll get a whole slew of them! Don’t forget to read How to Ace Your Next Job Interview!
7. Dress for success: Check out Amanda’s article for some excellent interview fashion advice.
8. Google yourself (they might!): If you have personal social networking accounts, be sure your content is appropriate. Better yet, make these accounts private.
9. Have a professional digital presence: Update and be prepared to share your classroom Twitter, classroom blog, classroom webpage, LinkedIn information, and more. One tip that I used was to bring an iPad preloaded to my blog page. That way, I could simultaneously demonstrate my technology skills while sharing my content.
10. Bring an easy-to-navigate portfolio. You will want to include artwork of yours and your students, as visuals can help you communicate your ideas quickly and effectively. You will also want to bring items such as lesson plans, assessments, reflections, rubrics, research data, or handouts you’ve created. Remember that the interview team doesn’t have all the time in the world to look through volumes of your portfolio. Pick the best items that will allow them to get a well-rounded picture of who you are as an educator. When the conversation feels right, pull one out and share it.
11. Follow up, follow up, follow up: Send the principal and other interview team members a fabulous letter of appreciation for their time. This should be similar to your cover letter. It should reiterate how you’ll fit within their school’s community, attain the school’s goals within your art room, and any other important information about yourself that you think is essential for their consideration. Include links to any professional digital resources they may want to revisit. This should be sent within 24 hours or less of your interview. The sooner, the better, as many decisions are made FAST. Ask for a timeline of their decision process and follow up with calls or emails if you haven’t heard anything within that timeframe.
12. Stay true to you: Don’t try to be someone you’re not in your interview. They want YOU! You are awesome. You are the expert. Your passion will shine through.
Did you land your art education dream job? How did you do it?
What other advice do you have for job-hunting?