How did you get an interview?

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by wldywall, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Alright everyone that has had at least one interview or even a job offer answer this one, do it for all of us who haven't even had an interview yet like me.

    What is it that you did, put in your cover letter or resume that got you that interview???

    Maybe you all have done something I haven't thought of.
     
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  3. teach57

    teach57 Comrade

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    Wondering the Same Thing

    I am wondering the same thing! The only interview I have had is one where I knew one of the new district office secretaries, but that didn't even help. Anyone out there with ideas and suggestions to land the interviews? Help!
     
  4. Deb06

    Deb06 Companion

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    I sent out more than 38 applications and only received three interviews. There aren't many teachers needed here in southeastern Ohio. Luckily, after my third interview, I was finally offered a job.

    After seeing a posting that I was interested in, I sent a packet directly to the school principal. The packet contained a cover letter, resume, letters of recommendation, and a philosophy of teaching (your personal beliefs and goals as a teacher.) I think it was important to add the teaching philosophy because it allows the principal to get to know you and to see your enthusiasm and attitude toward teaching.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I sent emails containing my cover and letter to 2 schools that hadn't yet advertised an opening. Both called within 24 hours (one within half an hour) to ask me to come in. I should mention that I'm math, and that we're hard to find.

    I say show up, dressed in professional clothes, resume in hand, and ask to see the principal. If (and probably when) they say he's not available, ask if you can drop off your restume.

    Good luck!
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I applied to 105 positions since March. I also sent a follow up email. I interviewed for 13 position and was offered a job at the last interview.
    So I think being persistant pays off. And make sure you email asking if they recieved your packet and if they have a timeline for the hiring process.
     
  7. Melisbaker

    Melisbaker New Member

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    I have been having the same problem

    I have been trying to get a teaching job in my area for almost four years. I have never had a real interview. Luckily, I have had teacher type jobs in my certification area, but it seems as if I don't know the tricks of the trade. I could't even get an interview at my sisters school. What am I doing wrong?:confused:
     
  8. anadinem

    anadinem Rookie

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    I went in to one district that had an intial screening interview to see if the county thought you would fit with their system but that went nowhere

    I recieved the job I am in now at a job fair for teachers. I say if your area has anything like that go - it gives you a chance to get in at least 4-5 interviews in one day! Almost everywhere around me has job fairs and you just bring your resume and anything else you feel would help you land the job, show up and get in line for the school or schools you are interested in.

    It seems like few places have these fairs so I suppose I was just lucky to be in an area like this - I am sure many other people will have some good advice on the issue and I truly wish you the best of luck!!!! I am sure you are an excellent teacher that any school would be priveleged to have - its just tough for people to see that through ink and paper you know? goodluck and keep your head up!
     
  9. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

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    The districts around the Phoenix area seem to interview recent graduates who student taught or interned in their districts.

    Other than that I would say it's who you know, who you know, who you know....

    Do you have letters of recommendation from principals and staff members currently employed by the district and/or school you want to teach in?

    Drop names when you meet principals -- say "So and so told me (insert wonderful fact here) about your school! I am so excited to learn more about it!"

    Go to job fairs and find something about you that makes you unique and sell yourself. This may be the only chance you have. Do something, say something that makes administrators and teachers you meet think -- "Wow, i'd love to work with him/her."
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Maybe it's your cover letter. Try reading the thread about cover letters. Or post your cover letter for us to help you with it. Of course make a new thread for that.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Hi and welcome!
    I agree with Jamie; the job situation here is brutal, but I bet we can help! Post the info, and we'll see how we can help.

    In the meantime, how about some particulars: what grade/level/subject are you hoping to teach? Where in NY? Tell us about those "teacher type jobs"-- we'll find a way to use them!
     
  12. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    After two years of subbing, I felt it was time to revamp my simplistic "plain Jane" résumé. However, something happened to the floppy disk it was on and I lost everything.

    I mulled over the fact that I had to start all over again from nothing so after some poking around I learned about A+ Résumés for Teachers from another Substitute. He claimed he had instant success with the résumé he got from the lady who did his so I decided to give it a try. For $120, I figured it was worth a shot.

    I sent Candace all the information she needed and within a couple of weeks my résumé went from a simplistic "plain Jane" to a detailed jazzed up résumé and boy, was I impressed!

    I really do think Candace's work helped me get the interviews I got this summer. So, I'd really recommend checking her out. Not only does she do résumés, but cover letters, and Philosophies of Education as well. She even puts stuff together for education administrators in addition to Subs and Aides.

    Here's the link:
    http://www.resumes-for-teachers.com/
     
  13. anadinem

    anadinem Rookie

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    I should add that the reason I think I was offered the position was that I did my research. I looked into the school prior to the interview and found things the school did that made me want to teach there and seemed to fit well with my beliefs and when I left the interview the principal said she was impressed with me and offered me the job without further though she said she wants someone who wants to teach at HER SCHOOL and not just A SCHOOL...... so i say as discouraging as it gets do your research and be prepared for when you do get to that interview to have something to show you did your homework as well and again goodluck
     
  14. Sub2Teach

    Sub2Teach Companion

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    I've sent out over 100 resume packets this year and I have not yet got a job. I did recently revise my cover letter based on the interview thread-interesting twist on cover letter which provides a link to a free copy of "The World's Greatest Cover Letter." CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!! It only takes fifteen minutes to read it and I think it might help. I filled out an online application and then sent an email to the principal of the school with my newly revised cover letter and was called in for an interview, so i would definitely suggest that. Just keep trying, the more you send out the better your chances and follow up as the others said especially via email because packets can get lost in the mail. Good luck to you!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm still hunting for a teaching job after three years of subbing, so I know how you feel.
     
  15. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    Last year when I was looking for a job, I filled out the district application and sent packets to every school I was interested in. I landed one interview. I didn't hear anything, so I then sent an email to all of those principals. That landed me an interview and I was hired.

    I was called for other interviews, and some principals emailed me back and said they weren't hiring. I think email is the best way, after you have sent your packets.
     
  16. WITeach

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    I know that at my district, they will look for things in cover letters that we are working on in our schools. For example, they may look for 6+1 traits writing. If you have those things they are looking for in your cover letter you have a better chance of getting an interview. Do research on the districts you are applying for. Check out what their goals are and see if you have experience in those areas.

    I also sent out my portfolio on a cd with my cover letters. I know that got me interviews.

    I agree that sometimes it's really about who you know and you need to be persistent. Good luck.
     
  17. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    In each cover letter I tried to use the school's motto or statement. I also explained how I am very deverse working with lots of different child. I put in information about me and what I have for a degree and what I'm going to be working towards.

    For the job that I have now, I didn't put in a resume or cover letter. They found me on an online teacher website for Iowa. They emailed 5 of us, and 2 of us had an interview. I interviewed on Wednesday, was called Saturday, and started Monday.
     
  18. Esperanza

    Esperanza Rookie

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    I have helped a few friends with this subject and so I thought I would add my two cents. I just decided I would try to apply for a position in a district close by and got an interview for this week.
    What I did:
    First, made sure I had a top-notch resume. Teachers with experience: highlight professional development seminars you have attended, programs you are familiar with, specific skills and unique hobbies that make you stand out. (Marathoner? Published poet? etc.)
    THEN, I sent my resumes to districts with advertised openings posted on their website or my state teacher's union website (for CT it is cea.org) or REAP (ctreap.net) which many states use. THEN I called the human resources number and asked which schools did the advertised positions refer to. If they didn't know, I called and spoke with each principal (usually in the summer the principal answers the phone!) or left a message with my credentials and inquired about positions. If they expressed that positions were open, I asked to come in and observe the school environment. I brought a PowerPoint portfolio on disk and left it for principal to review. Twice, i got an interview scheduled on the spot and another time I got a call back the next day. This time, all I did was call each school (no information about where the open positions were was available) and the secretary scheduled an interview on the spot. (Probably b/c i only decided to apply Aug 8 and it is crunch time!) I know it sounds like a lot of work and effort, but otherwise you are just a pile of papers on a desk (or now increasingly, a file in an online application search). A face, or at least a voice, with a name can do wonders. It REALLY works! My track record has been in my career 4 interviews, 3 jobs offered, and one turned down. Not sure how this next one will work, but all my eggs are in one basket so wish me luck, because I am still too on the fence about leaving my sweet baby to go whole hog with the search.

    My LAST piece of advice: tell everyone you know you are looking for a teaching job. See if they know someone who works there, someone whose husband or wife works there, has worked there, has kids there, etc. When I was teaching, we seemed to always interview people who "name dropped".
     
  19. sharona38

    sharona38 Rookie

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    I've mailed out about 75 resumes and cover letters whether the school advertised a position or not. I've had 2 interviews. One the principal told me she pulled mine out because it was on yellow paper! I think anything that makes yours stand out from the pile helps. Send a eportfolio CD if you can.
    I'm on the email track now and though I'm getting responses saying there are no positions, at least I know they saw my email. It gives me a little hope.
    Other than that I agree with everyone else - mention something specific about the school in your cover letter and name drop if you can!
     
  20. teach57

    teach57 Comrade

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    Emailing

    First off...WOW! This website is fantastic. I can't believe how many wonderful people are out there willing to share your successes and ideas. Thank you!

    I do have a question for anyone willing to answer...I see that a lot of you email principles. Does this method work and is it professional to just email your information? I have been wondering if that is something I should try...I suppose it doesn't hurt? When you do email, do you put in the same as you would a mailed packet? (Example: Cover letter, Resume, Recommendations, etc.)

    I also was wondering, for those of you who tried it, what do you bring with when you go visiting schools? I think I might try stopping in some next week. (Can you tell I'm willing to try anything now? It's getting to be crunch time!)

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Congratulations to those of you who found jobs already. And to those of you who haven't, keep trying! I know I get down about the job search, but keep going! You'll get a job soon. That's what I keep telling myself. Thanks everyone!
     
  21. Maithal

    Maithal Cohort

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    Teach57 I'm wondering the same thing. Does emailing the prinicipal of the school the job is in really land you an interview or is this considered smothering and being too "forward"?
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It got me 2 interviews (and offers) in the spring!

    Edited to add: sorry, I forgot to answer the other question:

    I sent a cover letter and resume (My resume had reference phone numbers on it.) They normally don't check references until after the interview though.
     
  23. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    If I hadn't emailed my principal, I wouldn't have a job! It landed me my interview--during which I was offered the job. My principal called me that same day for an interview the next day.

    My thoughts were that I wasn't getting called anyway. If it did turn a principal off, what did I lose? They weren't calling. Besides my current principal, I was offered other interviews that way. Some said there weren't positions. But I found out more information than not emailing.

    I would just make sure that it isn't the FIRST move you make--send in your packets to the principals. If you don't get a job, then you can email. Just be courteous and professional. Principals are very busy people, and therefore may overlook stacks of paper. Most check email frequently and it may make you stand out.
     
  24. KRaeLamb

    KRaeLamb Rookie

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    Is your ditrict/county on the BID system or just plain apply and interview method?
     
  25. Maithal

    Maithal Cohort

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    I'm still confused. I already sent out my application packet to central office and now just need to figure out what to say to the principal. I have another post detailing more about emailing principals. I don't want to sound too pushy but want to principal to see I'm someone worth looking into further. They're scheduling interviews next week (as deadline of application is this Monday). Do I email my resume, cover, letter, references, etc to the principal also (even though they'll get this when reviewing applications) or do I just write a friendly email (a mini cover letter) stating my interest and what draws me to their school? I'm afraid if I send a "US" mail it'll take too long and they may not read it right away in time for when they schedule interviews. Your thoughts??? Thanks!
     
  26. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    NOt sure what the BID system is, some schools post on their websites, but most are on systems like REAP and you can only apply thorugh the service. Others post jobs on several sites so it is easy to find if they have openings. Of course those jobs get the most applicants.
     
  27. sharona38

    sharona38 Rookie

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    What I did was sent out the formal cover letter, resume, and cert. to the superintendent of the district usually. I've been doing that over several months. I then made up a power point pres. of my portfolio (but smaller). I emailed each principal of each school with an informal letter stating my interest in the school, qualifications etc. (right in the body of the email) and then attached my eportfolio. I added a PS to my email stating that I had sent my info previously to the superintendent.
    At this point I don't think there is such a thing as being too forward -or picky about jobs. Send send send!
     
  28. Esperanza

    Esperanza Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2006

     
  29. Ann2006

    Ann2006 Cohort

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    You could also check with local universities about upcoming job fairs and find out if school districts in your area are holding job fairs soon.
    Best wishes!
     
  30. KRaeLamb

    KRaeLamb Rookie

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    The reason I ask is....in my county, interviews are only given to teachers who have never held a full-time teaching position. Once you have given an interview...for any position...you never have to interview again. Then, any and all jobs that are posted you can BID on.

    The system works like a ladder...you start at the bottom. Jobs are given to teachers that have the degree specific to the job with the most senority. Then, if no one bids on that job with senority they go to the next available degree. Get it??? Its confusing, but it cuts down on politics and suits.

    I work in a high-school even though I do not have a high-school degree. No one with a high-school degree BID on the job, so I got it because I had the next possible degree, with the next amount of senority (which was only half a year!).
     
  31. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    I sent out close to 40 applications. I got interviews at two public school districts, and didn't get any job offers. The job I did get was at a private school, and my brother in law currently teaches music there. He just casually mentioned a job opening, so I applied and gratefully was offered the position as 4th grade teacher. However, during that time of sending out what felt like endless applications, I was masively frustrated as well. It's hard not to feel that way. However, I always had hope. I truly believe that the energy we send out does eventually come back to us. :) So, cheers to all of you still looking. I applaud your efforts and all I can say is that they will come to fruition. :love:
     
  32. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    I got my interviews my Senior year of college just by passing out many resumes at our college's education job fair. We were required to go to a job fair they had in our arena with over 100 school districts present. I had interviews with in a month and got job offers within a week of interviewing. I guess I was just lucky! Schools that expressed the most interest are ones that I seemed to express the most interest or knowledge of. They also like it when you ask questions. I have heard people say, "Well, I don't think too highly of an applicant when they don't come with questions for me." For example, in one interview I had, I mentioned that I noticed their school had a lot of multi-cultural events going on and then asked the principal to tell me more about it. I also ask a lot about programs they have for students...whether clubs, tutoring, getting parents involved, etc.
     
  33. Sub2Teach

    Sub2Teach Companion

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    I had an question about the eportfolio, I wanted to make one to send out to principals. What do you usually include in these powerpoint eportfolios???
     
  34. Maithal

    Maithal Cohort

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    In the past, I've just followed procedure...sent out application packets (resume, transcript, application, letters of reference, certification, etc) and hoped to be called. Starting now, I'm sending emails to principals explaining why I want to work in their district. Hope it gives me another chance to say "hey, look at me."
     
  35. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    guess I am in the same boat as the rest of those who haven't heard anything, much less had an interview. I have mailed my resume, coverletter, did face to face drop off, phone called, all to no avail... Each time its usually the admin staff that tells me a gruff NO OPENINGs. No we don't care that its listed as having openings, we don't have any. THe district is Wrong!!" Then, sometime during the next 6 weeks, I sub at that particular school and see droves of newbies that are teaching.... Most of those are atleast 20 years younger or openly admit it is who they knew and the names they dropped. ..
    I have had teachers, administrators, principals and district HR people look over my resume and cover letters, they say it is fine. So, I don't think its those items. I don't have the benefit of being able to name drop, because for the most part, I do not see these people outside of the classrooms that I sub in on the occasional basis. Church life and membership of certian denominations seems to play an enormous importance here. So, Short of bouncing from church to church in search of where each of these principals attend..... but that idea simply turns my stomach. I am not willing to bend THAT far as to change my entire belief system just to get a job.
    Somehow, I need to get that preverbial kick in the pants, or boost in my morale, and the thought of it is really depressing.
    I am now considering sending a promotional blast with a power point presentation on a CD to the schools I really want to work at. OR making up booklets with my "portfolio" in it and doing a mailing blast. In my county, school starts tomorrow. In the county that is next door to me, its 1 week from tomorrow. In others, it varies from today through the 21st.
     
  36. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I've said it once and I'll say it again. YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN BEST ADVOCATE...I work for a LARGE LARGE district. Think we're the third largest in the country these days but Miami may edge us out soon if they keep wrecking the projects! Anyway here the best bet is FACE TO FACE contact or honeslty knowing someone. Don't let the "knowing someone deter you." I hopped on a bus from Wisconsin and went to a job fair. I had done my research (and this is part of being your own advocate!) I knew what I wanted and found out schools that seemed to mesh with what I wanted. I dressed nice (but comfortable) and went to the job fair. The first principal I met at the job fair was the one who hired me. I did have 5 interviews lined up. One cancelled, 2 said they wanted "more experience, 1 I didn't WANT to work at (and you need to know this too!), and last one is the one I accepted a position for. I would say that I know it is the thing to E-mail, fax, and mail your resumes. Principals are OVERWHELMED by these! The best way to stand out around here is to go to a job fair OR walk right into the school dressed nice and say "Hi my name is _______ can I speak to the principal?" Then with the principal "Hi Mr./Mrs. Principal I am certified in x,y,z... I see you do x at your school and I am interested in a position here. Do you have any positions available?
    My two cents--- Remember YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR BEST ADVOCATE... Also find teacher interview questions and find people to sit down and ask you questions. So you are prepared---
    Good luck--- this is good advice I promise!
     
  37. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Sometimes I don't think name dropping is a bad thing. I guess it depends on how the dropping happens. I have had good things said about me to the head of my department. I keep in regular contact with her with problems and keep her updated on things going on at my school. I don't know that I could use her as a "reference" as she has only been to my school once. However, if I am looking for a job again ever I know I will call her and tell her I am looking and see if she can help me out. It may seem like name dropping but I see it as I worked my butt off and I deserve someone who has heard good things about me in power to speak up for me.
     
  38. SpecEdTeacher

    SpecEdTeacher Companion

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    Aug 9, 2006

    knowing someone doesnt have to mean a close personal friend.
    i was vacationing in aruba, after happy hour, went to a gift shop in my hotel lobby and met a woman browsing...got to talking. "What? You work in such and such school district? Do you have any openings? Yes, I would love to take your email address. I would really appreciate anything you could do."
    It's all about networking. i got my current job because i "knew someone"...my mom was at a graduation party, met someone who is on the board of directors for a private school, said she would love to help out, and gave my mom her email address for me to send my resume. she personally delivered it to the principal. now, when i was originally called, i was told they only had para positions available, i went on the interview anyway. a teacher had quit 10 minutes before my interview. i was hired the next morning.
    keep your eyes open and let people know your looking for a job. i cant tell you how many sundays someone would call me and tell me that they were looking in the education want ads and saw a job they thought i would be interested in.
     
  39. Musica

    Musica Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Unfortunately, so school districts are not so open with their hiring. I know two I applied at that didn't even interview (but had everything posted) and just hired who they wanted, knowing before hand. It sucks, but what can you do.

    I had 3 interview requests (one I had to turn down because the only time they were interviewing was when I was already scheduled at an interview 2 hrs away... and they just passed because of the time conflict). I did pre interviews with all 3 districts at a local job fair. 2 of them were local districts that I had to submit my resume to and then they invited me to interview, and another was a district that had a listing and I signed up to interview.

    I think the combination of strongly answering questions and my resume (with a good amount of applicable experiences for being a recent grad) really helped me. These job fair interviews were only about 15 minutes long so I really had to get to my point. I kept my resume fresh in my head since it is a basic outline I can draw from for just about any question, and relating it to me personally. My resume was organized in such a way that the interviewer could see what exactly my experiences were and what I did in them. Even with a "normal" length interview, these two skills really got me in well.

    I hit it off great with one of the job fair interviews; so much so that the principal didn't even finish with all the questions, and told me she was definitely having me come back for the panel interview in the future. I was called back in July and in 2 weeks had made it through both a hour long panel interview, teaching demonstrations with 3 seperate students two days later, and then superintendent interview. I go sign my contract this week :)
     
  40. Ann2006

    Ann2006 Cohort

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    Aug 10, 2006

    I was introduced to our other staff members at a meeting yesterday evening. The principal mentioned that scheduling interviews can be so overwhelming for her because she receives an average of 20 reumes per day in the mail, as well as over 25 daily through e-mail contact. Occasionally candidates walk in but that's only about 5 per month on average.

    She said that when she and the asst. principal met me at the job fair, they looked at each other and said...she's the one!! How wonderful is that? She said this is front of everyone!

    It made me feel so validated as a teacher because I know I am a good teacher and a hard worker and it's nice to have someone openly say that they just knew you were the one.

    I am sooooo glad I went to that job fair!

    For those of you walking in to places, keep going because face to face introductions mean a lot.
     
  41. Esperanza

    Esperanza Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2006

    I totally agree it is about putting a face to a name and making yourself stand out. That is why I think physically dropping off an e -portfolio is the best scenario for a walk in. This was, you have an 'excuse' to walk in, and a conversation starter, without just a question about openings, etc. It also makes you look tech-savvy. In my e-portfolio, it is very simple: On PowerPoint, I use no more than 10 slides (they dont have that much time) with pictures of things you have done with children, highlighted volunteer work, professional statements, etc. Anything you would not be able to devote much space to on a resume, or documents/pictures you can scan to show you 'in action'. I think if you have the skills, electronic is better than paper. Good luck!
     

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