Career Advice Opinion

The Top 5 Ways to Use Your Winter Break

By AAEE — December 11, 2012 2 min read
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5. Prepare your professional interview outfit: With holiday sales galore, now is the perfect time to purchase a suit for your upcoming interviews. If you are unable to invest in a suit, it is appropriate for females to wear a sweater or blouse with dark colored pants and closed toe shoes; for males it is considered appropriate to wear a button down shirt, preferably with a tie, and a dark pair of pants. Making a positive first impression is important, as well as demonstrating that you are a polished and mature candidate. Remember, dress for the job you want, not the job you already have!

4. Work on your printed portfolio: It can be helpful to transfer your electronic portfolio or credential file into a printed version for easy reference during an interview. Include pictures, copies of lesson plans, and newsletters or communication with parents. School administrators may request to keep a copy of your printed portfolio to review after your interview.

3. Review, reflect, and practice interview questions: Select a few interview questions each week of your winter break to review and reflect on your experiences, knowledge, skills, and accomplishments. Jot down notes and practice your response to get a feel for the timing and become comfortable talking about yourself. When you feel ready, practice with a classmate or career center advisor. Interview preparation takes time and is a skill. Practice makes perfect!

2. Create your list of preferred 5-10 schools or districts and begin researching them:
Visit the school or district website. Use LinkedIn to identify alumni from your college or university who work at the institution and reach out for an informational interview. Visit the city or regional newspaper website and read the articles written about the school or district over the last few years. Speak with any family or friends who are familiar with the geographic location and schools in that area. Know your stuff!

And the number 1 way to use your Winter Break ...

1. Update and polish your resume! Your hope with your resume is to land an interview right? In order to land that coveted interview, be certain that your resume is doing its job. Update your resume with recent practicum and student teaching experiences. Include professional conferences attended, as well as recent membership into relevant professional associations. Have multiple eyes review your resume: career center advisors, faculty members, and your cooperating teacher. Then, you’ll be prepared to send off your resume with confidence and optimism in the new year!

Enjoy your Winter Break!

Holly Klenk
Assistant Director, Cohen Career Center
College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA

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