As you all know, the education market is very tight right now. Competition is at its highest level--many districts receive hundreds of applications for one opening. What is a candidate to do?
How can you stand out from the crowd? At SchoolSpring.com we speak with hundreds of administrators and they tell us what they look for in an applicant’s resume. Below is a summary of their do and don’ts.
Cover letter: This is the first impression you make with the employer. Make sure it is specifically written for the job you are applying for. Find a way to connect your qualifications with the position. Try and grab the reader’s attention. Don’t make it too long--after a couple of paragraphs they lose interest; remember they have hundreds to read! Make them want to continue to read the rest of your resume.
Resume: This critical document consists of your education and experience. Make it clean and if there are gaps provide an explanation. Be thorough but not too detailed. Employers don’t care what you did during the summer unless it applies directly to your teaching experiences. If you have unique experiences or awards make sure you add them as additional information.
References: Your references should be germane to your teaching experience. They should be relevant, recent and detailed. Most employers want to see letters not more than 3 years old.
Do not send an incomplete application...it will NOT be reviewed. Have your complete application ready to go when you see a job you want, many times jobs are only posted for a few weeks. Remember to update your cover letter to speak directly to the job you want.
Do not rely on spell-check; review carefully to ensure that you have no typos or spelling errors.
Research the school and job you are interested in so you can speak knowledgably about it and how your skills will meet their needs. Check out the district website for names and news about the district schools.
Check your answering machine message. Make sure it sounds professional. This also applies to your social media pages and email address.
Use networking whenever possible. Connect with your college career offices, alumni, etc.
Be willing to move outside your zip code, local area or even your state if you want a job.
Best of Luck!
Susan Fitzpatrick, VP SchoolSpring.com
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.