getting your resume noticed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by lwag14, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. lwag14

    lwag14 Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I need some advice on how to get my resume notice. Currently I work in a private school where my paycheck is far less than that of a public school teacher in NJ (with no benefits of course). I've been there for two years now and the administration continues to disappoint me. This year we started off with no books, no crayons, no folders, and no glue (all essentials for a kindergarten classroom). Plus at the moment I am the only licensed teacher in the school. Last year there were three of us with a masters, but the other two teachers thought that they could make more money subbing and left. I would rather continue to have my own classroom. But on Friday the state was in the school looking around and the director pulled me out of the room and told me that I was the "Head Teacher." Of course this role doesn't come with any extra money or a bigger role to play in the school, it's just that I have the highest degree and therefore as far as they were telling the state my title is "head Teacher."

    Basically I love the kids and the curriculum of the school but I need to get into a better school, public or private. However, this is Jersey and the only way into a school is if you know someone. At the Moment I have 2 years experience teacher, a master’s degree, a great reputation with the parents, and I'm going back to school to be certified as a reading specialist. To me that sounds like a great resume, but apparently not enough to break trough the politics of jersey schools.

    I know I'm ranting, but if anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 14, 2008

    Well, you could always do like Elle did in Legally blonde, pink paper sprayed with purfume.

    I would say just get out there and make yourself know. Go visit schools/principals and introduce yourself. Personally hand them a resume.

    Maybe put your resume in a portfolio notebook that you can snazz up a little bit so it won't get lost in a stack of papers.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 14, 2008

    It's not all politics in NJ...It's having a great resume, having an impeccable, proof-read, well-written cover letter and some really good experience (and some luck helps)...Having a masters degree makes you more expensive for a district to hire so that can be a bit of a stumbling block for some districts, but not all. The longer you stay in private the harder it's going to be to break into public schools. I think your frineds who went to sub may have made a good choice-(if you can afford it...) we have hired 3 long term subs to be full time teachers in the past few years. You need to get out there, get your face known in districts...
     
  5. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2008

    You'll want to show them in your resume or cover letter how you can take your experience with private school curriculum and adapt that to the state standards.
     
  6. NYSTeacher

    NYSTeacher Companion

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    Sep 14, 2008

    An easy thing to do is.....don't use straight bright white paper for your resume. I used an eggshell color and I used 32 lb paper. Pick a paper that is a little heavier than traditional copy paper. Also having paper that is not bright white will catch the eye of the individual looking at it. After that it's all about selling yourself on the resume.

    Use as much education jargon as you can when you describe positions adn expereince you've had.
     
  7. 100%Canadian

    100%Canadian Companion

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    Sep 14, 2008

    My best suggestion is to focus more on the cover letter than the resume (the resume should be good though). The cover letter is what they see first and I'll bet that almost every one of them in the mail room says something about "eager to learn", "team player", "will do extra curricular" etc., etc., etc.,.....

    You need to zone in on the one thing that makes you different from all those other applications. Whatever that may be, sell it - sell it like it's going out of style! Too many covers sound the same; yours has to shine and that's the ticket to something better.
     
  8. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 15, 2008

    Do you have any of your lessons on video that you can put on DVD? Attach a DVD to your resume of your great lessons that way they can see what they would be getting. If you have pics of your Bboards, add those, too... a slide show of them.
     
  9. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    Sep 15, 2008

    Ooh, what a great idea! -snag- :whistle:
     
  10. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Sep 15, 2008

    Snag away. Sometime you can't put your true performance in writing. It just has to be seen!!
     
  11. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Sep 15, 2008

    czacza-Is it really true, that the longer you stay in private schools the harder it is to get into public? My prior experience was in public schools (subbing and maternity leaves), but I'm on my 5th year at a private school. I tried all summer to get hired by my local public schools and never even heard back for an interview.

    lwag14-I know how you feel and I wish you the best of luck.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 21, 2008

    It could depend on your area...there could be a mind set in the public schools about 'how things are' in private schools- In my case the private schools I worked in did not service their sped kids well, had limited resources so they used older recycled series, little professional development...if the private school you work in has a particularly great reputation then maybe you'll luck out...it's a tight market though in most states for teachers and districts are looking for particular experiences and skill sets from their candidates. Sorry about your summer...
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Sep 21, 2008

    Don't attach the videos to your cover letter or resume; mention in your interview that you have them and let your interviewer be the one to ask for them. NEVER attach anything to a cover letter or resume!! AAAAGH. Don't even attach your picture to it!

    And keep it short. Between a three-page resume and a one-page resume, the one-pager is the one that will be remembered positively. The three-pager will be mentioned in the staff room later, but not in a way you would like.

    As for the paper color/quality/etc., plain is best. Pastels and all cutesies are put in a pile we like to call the. . . well, never mind. It's offensive if you don't have a sense of humor, and pastel cutesies seldom do. No graphics, either.

    The cover letter should be short, and the resume itself should be short. Don't include your old high school clubs and jobs, and the fact that you won the Citizenship Award your junior year. Nobody cares about that stuff, sorry.

    Short, grammatically perfect, and right to the point. Not full of sentence fragments like this comment is.

    More and more - thank the good Lord - schools are requiring excellent grammar skills for all of their teachers. Be VERY careful with that on your cover letter and resume. One misspelled word and your paperwork might be permanently placed in File 13. I mean, why would they hire someone who isn't careful when they're probably got a whole stack of people who are?
     
  14. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Sep 22, 2008

    Mamacita, I like your advice. You sound like you have a lot of experience going through resumes. You are saying NO high school info, this I understand. What about college? You are saying it is better to have a one page resume than a two or three? How do you get the info on one page?

    And if someone has a moment, could you explain exactly what should be on the cover letter? I am also trying to land a job soon. Thanks. :thanks:
     
  15. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Sep 22, 2008

    I know that money may be tight...I once taught in private school and feel your pain! howver, the best money I spent during my 3 years there was the money I paid to have a professional resume writer write my resume and cover letter!!
    I know it sounds corny and perhap a waste of money, but I am not the best writer and it was worth every penny!!
    I only had to spend and hr or 2 on the phone...we went through a mini interivew so to speak, the resume writer wrote up a mock cover letter and resume and we e-mailed back and forth until I was happy with what was written!
    I paied extra to have the service personalize school district addressed and names on envelopes and cover letters...another great thing to not have to look up names and addressed of every super in every district in the area!
    I know that doing that helped my resume get noticed and get me in the door.......the service helped me get everything I can say verbally down on paper in a professional way!!
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 23, 2008

    spell check helps too...
     
  17. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Sep 23, 2008

    Add bad typing to my list of reasons why I had a professional write my resume!

    I often forget to spell check my posts......and at 11 last night it was the LAST thing on my mind!
     
  18. Mrs. Q

    Mrs. Q Cohort

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I'm lurking and snagging all the good ideas... I will be job searching in about a year and really need tips! Thanks for all the input (even though this wasn't my post! ;)
     
  19. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    Ouch! I don't spell check my posts all the time. I didn't really think I was being judged by that on this forum. Yes, a resume is one thing, but a forum post?

    I guess I just can't be perfect all the time, and wouldn't expect everyone on here to be either. :|
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I haven't read most of the responses; forgive me if I repeat.

    I think one trick is having a killer cover letter. The resume tells what you've done. Correctly done, the cover letter tells who you ARE. I think that way too many people ignore the importance of the letter!!!!

    And I think that too many also make the mistake of having too long a resume. For the typical new teacher, one page is sufficient. Unless you're incredibly atypical, a longer resume is probably including lots of trivial data that potential employers don't want or need to know.

    And I've read (and not considered) a number of cover letters and resumes containing typos. Come on, folks... if you want to teach the kids in my school, could you PLEASE get the name of the school right??
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2008

     
  22. ELA 11 12

    ELA 11 12 Companion

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    Sep 24, 2008

    Besides a perfect resume and cover-letter, send an e-mail to the principals, department heads and even the superintendents.

    That's how I landed my last two jobs. Both times I was in a pinch for a job and this technique paid off. The first time I moved to NY after teaching three years in Montana. I moved for the same reason you want to move: to make a fair wage. I believe it helped that I had my masters and that I was tenured.

    The second time my wife wanted to complete her 4 year degree. She could have commuted, but since teachers are needed almost everywhere, I started e-mailing again. Again I had tenure so that and the fact that my wife was the reason for the move helped.

    I took the same approach one last time when my wife wanted to complete grad school. This time, however, she agreed that our current location is great for raising a family. Though my e-mailing tactic worked to get interviews, I turned down two offers and stayed where I am.

    If a school responds, it's a good sign that they are looking for quality and perhaps more personal than that of a more bureaucratic district.

    Substitute teaching, though sometimes tough, is a great way to shop around for the perfect district and of course get your name and face recognized when position arises. Building administrators and other teachers will help you network, too--even if it is not in their district.

    If you aren't losing benefits and pay, and are discontented with subbing, what's the difference between having low pay, no benefits and not being happy with your current working environment? In the substitute position you're moving forward and making things happen. In your current position you are waiting for something to happen.

    Oh yeah, if your current district pays for professional development and advanced training, milk them for all they are worth. If they don't, look for free seminars.

    Having a masters in NY is a selling point, so if you are close to that border, you may want to get your license here, too. Districts get credit for having "highly qualified teachers", meaning teachers with a masters and at least 3 years experience in their content area.
     
  23. MrsWbee

    MrsWbee Companion

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    Sep 24, 2008

    Good tip about the emails! I have always wanted to do that, but was always afraid it would be overstepping my bounds or being pushy. Glad to know it's alright to do! :) Thanks!!
     
  24. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Sep 25, 2008

    There really shouldn't be so much information on your resume that it would need more than one page. A good resume isn't much more than a page of stats. Your personality, attitude, philosophies, and opinions will emerge during your interview.

    Remember also that you do not need to put your gender, age, or marital status on your resume, nor is your interviewer legally allowed to ask you about your personal life or your health.
     
  25. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Thanks! ;)
     
  26. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2008

    Alice: ditto!

    "Perfect" is one thing, and "careful" is quite another. None of us is perfect, but we can all be careful.
     

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