Monday, May 5, 2014
Tips for Navigating a Job Fair/Interview
-It's time to "suit up" meaning that wearing a suit or professional attire is an absolute must when job hunting. I'm all for fun prints and bold colors (you've seen what I wear in my wear to work series posts) but save that look for when you land the job. When in doubt, go for a conservative look. Black, navy, gray suits and closed toed pumps (no sandals) are a safe bet. For males a shirt and tie with a blazer goes a long way. Stuck on what to wear, check out Pinterest for ideas.
-Research the school district and schools that you're interested in. Almost every school/district will have some sort of web info, be sure to check it out. When you meet with a representative of the school(s) you're interested in, mentioning some programs, school theme or something school specific screams that you've taken time to research the school and feel that you'll be a good fit for it.
-Be prepared, have plenty of copies of your resume, be prepared to talk about why you're so awesome and need to be the person that the school hires. Play up your skills and use school lingo like "student achievement/success" in your dialog.
-Network, this is a biggie. Make a good impression when talking with school principals, etc. School principals have a connection between one another, even if one school doesn't hire you, doesn't mean that they can't recommend you to another school to hire (this has happened to me and I've had friends have the same thing happen to them).
-Be flexible, as a school counselor are you interested in working with just a certain grade level or particular part of town? Keeping your options open may allow for more opportunities to come your way. I had no intention of working on the elementary level but I began to broaden my search from just high school to all levels and I got a position (elementary has worked out well for me).
-Patience, the bulk of hiring is done during the summer months so check job postings periodically. I've always been a late hire.
Good luck to you as you interview and prepare to begin your career as a school counselor.