Many candidates ask themselves, “What are recruiters looking for? How do I set myself apart from other applicants?” Whether your field is education or otherwise, I have settled upon two main pieces necessary to impress the recruiters/interviewers: likability and trustworthiness. Employers want to like and trust you because it’s not enough to simply be smart anymore. You must marry your technical skills with interpersonal skills to be the full package.
Likability includes social and emotional intelligence. If we are defining emotional intelligence as one’s capacity to monitor, identify, and regulate one’s emotions for more efficient thinking and behavior and social intelligence as one’s capacity to effectively navigate social relationships and situations to a desired end, then the sad reality is that many adults across the globe lack proficiency in one or both subareas of likability. What’s more is that some educators have not developed sufficient interpersonal skills to transmit to students, who spend the bulk of their waking hours observing and emulating their teachers’ behavior.
In regards to trustworthiness, the subareas are character and technical skills. More to the point, can employers trust you to do the right things with the right motives at all times for the school? Let’s assume yes. Then can they trust your technical skills to affect positive results in the classroom or school? Do you have data of past results that corroborate your pedagogical skills?
If you align with the principles above, then it behooves you to stress that from the very first introduction to a recruiting rep or an HR person because with varying degrees of cognizance, they are looking for these traits in every candidate. Emphasize these traits successfully, and you are most likely to receive a call back.
Associate Director of Talent
Atlas Preparatory School
Colorado Springs, CO
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.