For most undergraduate Education majors, student teaching will be your most in-depth teaching experience, one that will be featured prominently on your resume and from which you will share numerous examples of your work impacting and educating students. And while student teaching is an incredibly busy, stressful, amazing experience, consider the following to set yourself up for a successful job search:
- Update your resume throughout your student teaching. Certainly it is important that you always submit your most up-to-date version of your resume for any position, but as you progress through your student teaching, the things you did early on will become harder to remember. Even if your bullet points are not fully developed, at least note the key accomplishments and experiences to be fine-tuned later. As student teaching winds down, be sure to ask your cooperating teacher for feedback as well, as he/she will be able to remind you of any key experiences you forgot to include.
- Really get to know your cooperating teacher. He/she could be one of your strongest references, so be sure to give student teaching your all, seek out advice and feedback, and consider asking for a letter of recommendation. Ask for coaching on the job search and inquire about the opportunity to connect with members of their professional network for informational interviews and additional advice.
- Connect with other teachers at your school. Schedule informational interviews to gain insight as to their paths to their current positions, advice for the job search, and what skills and experiences are most valued in qualified candidates.
- Schedule a meeting with your principal. Ask if he/she would be willing to review your resume and prepare some questions to inquire about the application and interview process at that school, the skills/experiences/qualities of greatest value, and advice for the job search. If you are invited to interview at that school, you’ll have great advice to help you prepare, but even if not, you’ll get some helpful insight for other opportunities.
- Reconnect with your campus career services office. They may offer an Education career fair, panels, workshops, or the 2017 Job Search Handbook for Educators which can all be integral parts of you job search. Don’t forget that they can also offer resume feedback, coaching on building a personalized cover letter, and help you prepare for that first professional interview.
Assistant Director, Career Development
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.