Monday, May 5, 2014

Tips for Navigating a Job Fair/Interview

I had the pleasure of joining my administration team for my district's annual teacher recruitment fair. This my first time going as a representative of my school.  Being there made me think and reflect on the time that I was the newbie attending the job fair.  I had all types of emotions going through my head, excitement, anxiousness, nervousness and being a little overwhelmed.  I  know that graduation season is in full effect and many of you recent school counselor graduates are embarking upon the next chapter in your careers and from that thought, I wanted to share a few tips and pointers I thought of as I got to be the person "on the other end" this time around.

-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.

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment