Opinion
Career Advice Opinion

“Initiative among job seekers is breathtakingly rare.”

By AAEE — December 02, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

This comment, made by a recruiter at a conference I attended a couple of years ago, points to the need for educators to engage in best practices in all aspects of their job search. If you are to stand out in a candidate pool that might number in the hundreds of applicants, you simply must do more than only what is required by the application process.

What does initiative look like in the job search?

Seek knowledge about the district and school you are applying to. Spend at least 30 minutes browsing the website of the district you are applying to. You need to know what their mission is, what their challenges are, and how you can contribute to those objectives. And while you’re at it, look at the website of the specific school if they have one. It doesn’t hurt to recognize the names and faces of key players in the hiring process, and you’ll often find them on a district or school website.

Stay in touch with others in the field. Written thank you notes or follow up with employers is an under-practiced skill. Personal follow up shows that you paid attention to the names of the people you’ve had contact with; that you appreciate their time; and most importantly, that you want to work for them. In addition, stay in contact with others who have been instrumental in your educational preparation. Take the time to thank them in writing or give them a phone call. It will make you stand out and leave a favorable impression.

Join a professional association and participate in it. If you become actively involved, you’ll gain access to colleagues, information about education best practices, and job leads. Launching your professional life starts now, whether or not you’re currently employed. Many professional associations allow students to maintain their memberships even after graduation.

There is no room for “average” in a job search. You send the wrong message to a prospective employer if you only do what is required, even if you do it well. Meet the employer’s expectations for applicants, and then exceed them. Move your grade from “C” to “A” by bringing innovation and thoroughness to your job search strategy.

Diann Lloyd-Dennis
Assistant Director of Programs and Training
Center for Calling & Career
Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Career Advice Thinking of Becoming an Administrator? First, Consider These 4 Things
Teachers who stayed in the classroom and those who left share their perspectives on making the leap from teaching to administration.
5 min read
A woman thinks about a choice between 2 options.
Denis Novikov/iStock
Career Advice 5 Essential Questions Teachers Should Ask During Job Interviews
When being interviewed for a teaching job, it's as important to ask questions as to answer them. Here are 5 key questions to start you off.
5 min read
Woman being interviewed remotely.
Getty
Career Advice Want to Be a Principal? How to Prove You're Right for the Job
What it takes to attract the attention of K-12 recruiters looking for their schools' next principals.
5 min read
illustration of hiring.
Nadia Bormotova/iStock/Getty
Career Advice Opinion The Three Question Interview
Most interviews begin with a time-wasting question such as: "Tell us something about yourself." Why? As the interviewer, you have the candidate's resume, cover letter, and some other documents like a portfolio, reference letters or surveys, transcripts, and test scores. What more do you need to know about a 22-year-old interviewing for their first teaching position?
AAEE
4 min read