It’s that time of the year again – when teaching positions are opening up and being posted. This year, I have noticed more job openings posted than usual (at least that’s the case at the districts near me). It’s important to put your best foot forward and be prepared, so here are a few suggestions that can help you get ready for this crazy and exciting process.
Update Your Resume
Before you send out or post your resume for a position, take some time and make sure all the information on your resume is up to date. For instance, make sure each of your certifications is listed correctly. If you just completed a Master’s Degree and additional certification, include that on your resume. Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the details and check over the dates of the positions that you have held to make sure they are accurate. A couple of years ago, a student of mine did not update the dates for the teaching positions she held, so her resume showed her currently working in two different districts and teaching two different grade levels. This detail ended up costing her the opportunity to move on to the next round of the interview process. The principal told her that if she had forgotten to update her resume, she questioned the lack of attention that she would have on other documents, such as emails and letters to parents. The lesson here – pay attention to everything that you include on your resume and make sure it is accurate and up to date! As you are updating your resume, make sure that it is in a clean and professional format. Recently, I have been asked (more than once) if a photograph should be included on a resume. My answer is no. I do not recommend including a photo of yourself on your resume.
Check-in with Potential References
Often teaching positions require a reference or a letter of recommendation – someone who can speak about your teaching expertise. Before you apply to a position, contact potential references and make sure they are still willing to be a reference and speak with principals and/or superintendents. When you verify your references, ask what contact information you should give to the district or school. For example, what email address and phone number should you give to the district? If you need a letter of recommendation make sure you give the person plenty of time to write you a letter. As I mentioned above, there are many openings and if you are looking for a recommendation from one of your professors, chances are you are not the only one.
Read the Job Description and Certification Requirements
Finally, before you submit your resume for the job, make sure you read the job description and certification requirements carefully to make sure that you have the qualifications for the position. You want to show that you are attentive to details, so I do not suggest applying for a position that requires a certification that you do not hold.
The job search can be a stressful time, but it is also an exciting time. Try and stay organized and calm and really try to enjoy the journey. Remember, you are working towards your goal – to find a teaching position, so keep going!