Career Advice Opinion

Ensuring Success at Teacher Recruitment Fairs

By AAEE — February 09, 2010 2 min read
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Spring is just around the corner and we are quickly approaching the recruiting season for teachers. Teacher Career Fairs are great “one stop shops” for school district research and job search. For information about the teacher career fair and other teacher recruitment events, check your state or county’s Departments of Education and teacher job websites, such as www.topschooljobs.org and www.aaee.org .

Special Tips For Fair Success:
• Check with the host organization (usually on their website) to find out who will be attending the fair.
• Complete any necessary forms prior to attending (to avoid waiting in additional lines).
• Bring multiple copies of your resume to the fair.
• Dress in professional attire (a suit is your best bet) with a clean and well groomed appearance.
• Arrive early to orient yourself to the facility.
• Check in at the candidate registration table upon arrival.
• As you approach the school district’s table, establish good eye contact, present a firm handshake, introduce yourself with confidence and smile!
• Be prepared to ask a few standard questions (researching the district website in advance helps).
• At the end of the mini-interview, offer a firm handshake and express your appreciation using the interviewer’s name.
• Visit with as many representatives as possible, especially those from districts outside of the local area! All school districts are not alike; this is your chance to really shop around.
• Within 24 hours, send or email thank-you notes to recruiters from districts that interested you (collect business cards for contact information if you can).
• If the line at the district table is very long, it may be more efficient to select another school.
• Be sure to follow any instructions that may be given and check back with the district regularly.

Be Ready To Ask Questions:
The school district representatives want to talk with you. Approach them and have at least three generic questions you can ask anyone. Be the initiator.
• What open positions do you anticipate having this year?
• What hiring do you plan to do in the next three to four months?
• What are the qualities you most look for in your new hires?
• Are you looking for someone with my credential and practical experience?
• What types of people are successful in your school district?
• How does your district support beginning teachers?
• What direction do you see your district going (growing)?
• What factors led you to choose your school district?

--Diana Sanchez
Career Counselor, California State University San Marcos AND
Technology Chair, California Association for Employment in Education

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