And Here's How I Got A Job!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by NJSocialStudies, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    So, before you read this, understand one thing. NJ is cutthroat and the weak get eaten alive. This is the most corrupt, nepotistic state in the union. That being said...how did I just land a full-time teaching job teaching Social Studies in a great district in Northern NJ (just signed the contract)?

    I Lied! Haha, no, no its not what you're thinking. There are certain things you can't lie about. Your transcripts, GPA, major, certifications, background check, Praxis, etc... All of those things are readily checked upon and you will be caught. Don't do that.

    However, I had decided that most people I graduated my certification program with were all pretty well qualified to teach. There was barely anything separating the top half of the class from each other. It made me realize that being part of the pack, even if its a pack full of amazing teachers, is not good enough. So, I made myself stand out in documentation.

    Example #1: I have tutored children for the past few years to make ends meet while attending school. I had this listed on my resume under a sub-heading "Activities". I switched this to part of my experience and put it at the top of the list. I stated I started my own tutoring company. Did I? Well, no, not exactly. I had friends that also tutored and we'd give each other referrals. However, there is no way for anyone to "check" whether we filed paperwork to become incorporated, nor would we have to if we were defined by the IRS as a "cash business". Second, there were no questions as to how successful the business was (It earned me enough to not move home to mama) or how many people were employed there (just me!) The interviewers loved the initiative.

    Example #2: My previous job in the private sector was for a law firm. My role was very technological. However, I constantly had to teach lawyers how to use programs we created. So...I switched my premier job responsibility to "educating lawyers". Was that all I did at my job? No. Did I even do it everyday? No! However, it caught the interviewers eye and it impressed them. If you can teach lawyers, you can teach absolutely anyone. We had a good laugh about it.

    Example #3 (and this one takes real skill on your feet, do not attempt unless you think you can pull it off): Upon the ending of the interview, they asked the standard, "Do you have any questions of us?" I figured this thing went so well, I might as well try it, it couldn't hurt. So I asked, "When do you think you'll have a decision by?" I barely listened to their answer because I was building up the courage to say what I did next: "OK, great! That works for me, because actually I have to let another district that offered me a position know the day after that. Its a great school, but I gotta tell you I think I like this place a little better. I'd hate to accept their position and then turn them down if you offered me one." Did I have another offer? Not at all. I went on an interview a few days before and just pretended to myself they offered me a position. Why do this at all? Well, simple psychology: People always want what they cannot have. A man with a girlfriend is always more attractive to the opposite sex than a man without one. The rich get richer, etc...The more in demand people think you are, the more that they want you, just like the the latest fad or "must-have" item.

    So you see, yes...I lied. However, in this dog eat dog world, you sometimes have to stretch the truth out a little bit to get your foot in the door. The job search is war, and all is fair. Most importantly, I did not once embellish anything having to do with my skills or how I teach, so there's no fear that I may be "found out"...the only thing they'll find is a teacher who really wanted to teach. I was offered the position two days later, and accepted.

    Good luck to all, and remember: You're all d*** fine teachers. But when there is an oversupply of d*** fine teachers, you need to be better than that.
     
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  3. MzQualified

    MzQualified Comrade

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    Aug 5, 2011

    Oh wow...
     
  4. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I kind of hope that you are not in my school district, to be honest.
     
  5. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Wow, I guess working with lawyers you really learned how to manipulate information. Congratulations on getting the job!
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I'm not sure I'd like someone like you in my school. If you "embellish" or "lie" about these things, what else might you lie about? :whistle:
     
  7. Mrs.SLF

    Mrs.SLF Comrade

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    So, I'm going to commend you on your efforts and methods instead of taking some moral high ground. Glad it worked for you! :)
     
  8. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Nobody is perfect, so I can't judge you. Congrats on the job!
     
  9. MzQualified

    MzQualified Comrade

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    Hopefully, no one who interviewed you will be on this forum "looking around..."
     
  10. Toy_03

    Toy_03 Companion

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    Gawd look at the people who are judging. In this economy you got to do what u have to do to eat and survive!

    Now that being said...I wouldn't lie, but hopefully it turns out well for you :)
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Congratulations. I actually got my job by going to the principal and asking her when they were making a decision because I had another interview in another district. She offered me the job that morning.
     
  12. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    You do what you need to do in this economy. It sounds like you will be a dedicated teacher. Maybe your methods aren't quite what others on here would have done, but they haven't walked in your shoes. Good luck!
     
  13. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    Congratulations!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    NJSocialStudies: I'm proud to be a NJ educator. NJ has long been a tightly competitive market and is even more so now. Still, hardly all districts in our state are "cutthroat and the weak get eaten alive. This is the most corrupt, nepotistic state in the union". I serve on my school hiring committee. We hire highly qualified, intelligent, passionate teachers who are a fit or our workshop model. We have nepotism policies restricting who can be hired. There is nothing corrupt in the process in my district, or the districts around where I work. I'm sorry if your experience has not been as professional. I do wish you luck in your new position. Live up to the expectations they now have of you....that's what will help you keep your job regardless of how you got it.
     
  15. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    While I don't think I would ever do what you did, I'm glad it worked for you.

    And I do agree NJ is tough to find a job in, definitely down in Ocean County. It is who you know, not what you know. Czacza is right as far as north Jersey schools go though, I was hired based on what I knew, not who I know (which was not a soul).
     
  16. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    I'm sure you are proud czacza. But to say this state is not corrupt? What jughandle have you been hiding under? The state assembly in January 2011, only six months ago, introduced for the first time EVER bill A-646...an anti-nepotism bill in public and charter school hiring. It hasn't even passed the Senate yet...We had a NJ State Trooper stopped for DUI three times and let go thanks to the "police fraternity" until finally she was suspended after a media investigation...Over thirty of our elected officials all over the state were arrested three years ago in the "pay-to-play" bribery scandal...I can keep going on and on. I was born and raised right here and I have no problem admitting our state has a serious problem. Perhaps in your neck of the woods things are fine and dandy, but this is a geographically small state so you are definitely not far...
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I was talking about schools in my area....and by the way, my 'neck of the woods' is NYC metro, northern NJ. Definitely competitive, but not corrupt. Again, sorry if that has been your experience.

    ....and despite our fine state's reputation in pop culture, by most standards (including data on percentages of Public corruption,
    Racketeering and Extortion,Forgery and Counterfeiting, Fraud, Embezzlement), we don't make the top ten of 'corrupt states'.:blush:

    Again, good luck to you.
     
  18. teacher304

    teacher304 Companion

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    What would you have said if they asked you what school you had an offer from? They could have verified with them or known someone who knew someone there.

    Would you have lied?
     
  19. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    That's surprising we don't make the top 10 corrupt states. lol
    We are pretty freaking corrupt here.
     
  20. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    I would have said I prefer to keep that private. Its understandable. They have absolutely no right to know.
     
  21. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    Ummmm, yes. I'd love to see these stats. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that it is just ingrained in NJ. It just occurs and if no one does anything about it, then no record is kept. Case in point: During my job search alone I had two positions that I interviewed for that I learned ended up going to people with connections...blood connections. But did I cry foul? No. Don't get mad, get even.
     
  22. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I'm speechless. I'm shocked the interviewer wasn't alarmed by so many great resume fillers. I would have been and I would have tried to check into them.
     
  23. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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    Trust me, I've been there. I'm from Toms River....where our superintendent was under FBI investigation.
     
  24. NYTONJ

    NYTONJ Rookie

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    CONGRATULATIONS NJSS!!!! I'm so happy that you beat this corrupt state at it's own game! Finally, someone with a view on reality can see SOME of the towns for what they are worth, corrupt and nepotistic! I am not saying ALL of them are but SOME are! I even had two principals comment on how rampant nepotism runs in the county that I live in ....***cough union cough**** I have lost numerous jobs, in one district in particular, to people who were "in the family". For those of you who will say it probably had something to do with my teaching skills or attitude I will tell you this....it didn't! I bent over backwards, forwards, and twisted myself into an emotional pretzel for that school district and got only as far as the blood that didn't run in my veins would get me. So again....GOOD JOB NJSS! You didn't lie about your abilities so what is the big deal. As long as you live up to what they expect from you, which I am sure you will, I don't see anything wrong with one tiny lie about the other "offer". Don't listen to those holier than though naysayers!!!
     
  25. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    You know, you could have made all this same points without lying. It is expected and encouraged to list how your past jobs relate to the one for which you are applying.

    I had a mindless student check-in desk job. However, because I was known to have excellent computer and math skills, I was sometimes called upon to do other things not in my job description like teach students how to use programs. On my applications, I highlight those experiences, gloss over the mindless part, and list my actual job title. My supervisor wouldn't take issue with that.

    I've also tutored. I did not go through the trouble of setting up an actual business (I was actually able to use another business my mom had to handle taxes, etc). On applications, I say that I was self-employed as a tutor, working an average of 25 hours a week. I then address the things I specialized in.

    I mainly posted to say that sometimes it only takes a few shreds of inconsistency for your credibility to be doubted, and that is not a good thing!

    Congrats on getting a job.
     
  26. joe22k

    joe22k Rookie

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    I know when looking for a job I considered the idea of calling a district and telling them that I had an offer from another district. I was talked out of it, but I could see the positives in doing that.

    Congratulations on getting your job!
     
  27. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Congrats on your job! I "embellished" a little on my interview for my current job. I'm not sorry I did it- it's SO hard to get in to a school for so many reasons, and I knew I'd prove myself if they would just give me a chance. In my student teaching school, all IEP meetings were held in late May after I was already gone, so I had never written and IEP or led a meeting, which is obviously a huge part of my job responsibility. In the summer, I asked my dad to teach me how to write an IEP (he's a special ed teacher) and I did a practice one involving info from one of my former students. I showed that as an IEP I had written, without mentioning that it was just for practice at home (they didn't directly ask if it was used, so no I technically didn't lie, but I'm sure they assumed it was). In my evaluation this year, my P mentioned that she thought one of my strongest skills was my ability to run meetings and involve everyone in the IEP process so well. I knew I could do it given the chance- I just needed someone to give me that chance and being a special ed teacher saying I'd never touched an IEP wasn't getting me anywhere.
     
  28. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    As a NJ teacher who lives 20 minutes from NYC, I completely agree with czacza. Our state has its issues, yes, but the grass isn't any greener elsewhere.

    Unlike the opening poster, I did not have to lie or embellish any of my resume points to get a job. On thing that got me hired was that I did online tutoring-- I didn't do it too often, more on a case-by-case who needs some free help. The admin was aware of that. I also did not have to lie about teaching technology to someone-- I have experience holding mini workshops to teach educators about technology and how to use it in the classroom and offer free one-on-one tech assistance at any time for my faculty members.

    Either you truly have the skills or you don't. If we were interviewing for the same position, I hope the admins wouldn't pick the liar out of the bunch. Yes, you got a job, good for you, but you lied. That is completely unprofessional.

    I don't care what state you live in-- that's not okay to do even in NJ. The school you are hired at will now expect that you truly have these skills and I hope for your sake you can produce them, otherwise you might be losing that job after a year.
     
  29. r2turtle

    r2turtle Rookie

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    Congrats, NJSocialStudies on the new position! I didn't see what you did as being terrible. You just sold yourself in the best light possible. Plus, I don't think that just the resume got you your job. I am sure you blew them away at the interview. The resume helped get you in the door, but you yourself ultimately showed them you were the best possible candidate. Just my thoughts. :)

    I know about keeping it in "the family" around here. I live in very rural Arkansas. If you don't have the right last name you have a super hard time getting a position at the local school districts. The school my daughter goes to is wonderful. I have bent over backwards and jumped through hoops for this school subbing and being a LTS. Then wasn't even interviewed when they had a position come open! This is after they told me what a wonderful job I was doing with the students and how I was such a great fit for the school. I guess it's hard to replace a "good sub" and that is what they view me as. :(

    Anyway, enjoy your new teaching position. You got there being you and now it's time to show them what you got. Congrats, again!
     
  30. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    She embellished what she was actually doing. And last time I checked that was called lying. So we-- as professional educators-- are to praise her for lying to the school that hired her?

    :eek:hmy:
     
  31. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I think your ethics are questionable.
     
  32. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    Yes I agree and I think that it is very couragous (or lots of confidence) to post that on a public forum ....
     
  33. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    I'm not sure if I'm more shocked by the original post or some of the responses to his post. I hope we hold teachers to higher standards than this. So much for integrity...How can we expect it of our students if we can't do that ourselves?
     
  34. Geauxtee

    Geauxtee Comrade

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    I think we should lay off with sanctimonious talk about the OP.

    Personally, i would caution the OP about spilling too much info to his/her colleagues when school starts. You never know who likes to chat with the principal and will mention certain things to make themselves look better. (Sorry, this happened in my old school quite a bit).

    You also never know when your principal will really sit down to call your last employers and go over your job descriptions so yes, while you may have job this could very well bite you in the rear in a few months. On the hand, you could have no problems. It's a toss up.

    Congrats on the job and i hope everything works out for you.
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    NJSocialStudies:
    In another thread, you posted the following:

    The discussion was about withholding information about a pregnancy during the interview process, but wouldn't your same thoughts about honesty and deceit apply in any job interview? Just curious how these two scenarios 'fit' in your thinking...
     
  36. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    You probably wouldn't normally do these actions under regular circumstances, but more power to you for taking the bull by the horns & finding a way to stand out & not just be another number when there's so many other great teachers. I hope you're d@mn good at your job now that you've got it.

    And now that you've passed that hump, do you plan to show some humility? That goes a long way you know.

    Good answer!
     
  37. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    There are two reasons why I appreciate this post:

    1. You admit that you didn't get the job simply because you were so spectacular, wonderful, and well-qualified, when there are many such people not getting interviews or jobs.

    2. Because you knew you weren't spectacular, wonderful, and brilliant, you made yourself seem as such. Although you stretched the truth about what you actually did, I see that as playing up your experience, not flat-out lying.

    On these boards, people always advise others to "play up" their experience, in order to stand out among the throng of candidates. There are people out there who have great experience to put on their resumes, and on paper, look awesome. However, in practice, that may not always be the case. On the other hand, there are those who have not had the opportunities to create a wonderful resume with great experience. In that case, you MUST play up what little experience you have.

    Principals generally do not want to hire those whom they consider mediocre. And, the reality is that there are so many teachers graduating from college, who have been "under-employed," and who have been searching for a teaching job for a long time. They do not have a lot of teaching experience and are often considered mediocre.

    Instead of accepting the fact that she doesn't have much experience in the field, and hoping some principal will see her potential and, ultimately hire her, she completely turns it around and extracts the "teacher" from all of her jobs. I think that's commendable.
     
  38. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    So do I, but we all have bills to pay. While I disagree with your approach, I congrat you on a job.
     
  39. indigo-angel

    indigo-angel Companion

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    Wow...I cannot believe that someone actually dug up old posts by the OP to use against her. I mean, someone shares her experience about how she was able to "stand out" and get a job, then gets indicted? Would we rather have heard that she just "lucked up" and was hired because some principal believed in her and really just saw something special? Would we have rather heard that she just "wow-ed" the principal some other kind of way? Give me a break. She is a qualified candidate, who has been trained to do the job for which she was hired. She didn't lie about being something she was not in order to get a position she was unqualified for.
     
  40. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I agree. :confused:
     
  41. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    The only part that was more of a lie was the part where the OP mentioned that he had another offer. I don't see how this got the OP a job. If the P didn't like him/her this wouldn't have made a difference. This only accelerated the process of getting the offer.

    I think it was good to focus on the parts of the job that were teaching related in order to showcase the experience needed for this job. It would be out of line if he/she lied about the qualifications, which I don't think was the case here. He/she did tutor and she/he did teach lawyers. If I was going to look for a job in another area other than teaching, I would draw more attention to the duties that would prove that I have what it takes to perform that job.
     

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