Marketing Yourself: A New Educator’s Guide to Searching for a Job

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It’s that time of year again.  You have been working in your school district and you are grappling with the decision: Do I stay or do I go?

Fitting in with a school system is no easy task.  Not everyone finds their first teaching job and says, “This is where I am going to retire in 40 years.”  It may take one or two tries to find that school system that really matches up with your values and philosophy of education.

WHY MARKET YOURSELF?

In today’s job market, having a license may not be enough.  If you are looking for another job, you are competing with:

  • Groups of eager and fresh-faced undergrads that are finishing up their student teaching THAT JUST WANT A JOB
  • Teachers who may have a couple of years experience, but have been laid off due to budget cuts
  • Teachers like you who may just want to leave their district
  • Teachers finishing up their Master’s Degree that started directly after undergrad

There’s a lot that goes in to “Marketing Yourself” for a new position.  First step is to look!

THE SEARCH ON THE INTERWEBS

I know it may have been a couple of years, but where do you search?  When do you search? Think back to how you got your first job.  Did you find it in the newspaper?  On a Website?  Nowadays with school systems they are more apt to post on the World Wide Web. There are a couple of different choices to choose from for search engines:

School Spring

School Spring is probably my favorite search engine to use for teaching jobs.  Most Massachusetts Districts use it, its very user friendly, and after putting a lot of effort and time into making your application, applying for jobs can be a breeze.

When you go on to the website for the first time, you make a profile.  Then you set up your application for districts to look at when you apply.  You need A LOT of information for the application: College transcripts, letters of recommendation (either uploaded by the recommender or uploaded by you), experience of teaching, MTEL results, certifications etc.  Pretty much everything your resume says, but in different sections…And then you upload your resume as well.  Once you have everything you’re ready to search.  You can personalize a search and have emails sent weekly to your inbox regarding your personalized search.

To apply for a job, you click apply, write a cover letter regarding the job, select your recommendations to be included, and boom, you’ve applied.  Your cover letter should be personalized, as this shows you actually took the time to research the district and what it has to offer.

K12jobspot.com

K12 Jobspot is similar to School Spring, but different school districts use this.  It is a little bit more labor intensive than School Spring (sometimes includes essays to write) but similarly to School Spring, saves all your information so you don’t have to write everything up more than once.  The essays may change district to district, so keep that in mind when writing them.  It also might be helpful to save an essay to word, because it might show up as a question for another school district.

Doe.mass.edu/jobs

This site is run by the state of Massachusetts, and a good amount of jobs are posted.  Make sure you set up an ELAR (or remember your profile) when applying for jobs, as you can’t see the job openings until you are signed in.

Massupt.org

When you first find the jobs page, it asks that you log in, but you do not have to be a member to view the open job list.  This list is again, only for Massachusetts.  This is a site where it may be possible that you need to apply elsewhere or send your information elsewhere, not necessarily through the site.

AISNE.org or Carneysandoe.com

It may be possible you are taking the private school approach, and there’s a website for that.  AISNE is the Association for Independent Schools of New England.  They have many opportunities that also go beyond teaching duties as well.  Many of the independent schools are located in the New England area, so it is not too far.  Carney Sandoe and Associates is a little bit different.  You work with a team for placement, kind of related to a temp agency.  They work with employers and prospective job companies to find the right matches for the private school. They’re kind of like mediators of private schools.

Other Job Search Engines:

  • Monster.com
  • CareerBuilder.com
  • Craigslist.com
  • Indeed.com

These sites periodically have job openings in the k-12 market.  This can be helpful, and it may be possible districts will use these sites over others, possibly for cost purposes.

For jobs in higher education, check out: http://main.hercjobs.org/jobs

WORD OF MOUTH

In education, networking is key.  Do you know someone who is in education?  Teachers? Professors? Coaches?  Any connection is some connection.  It is possible they know what jobs are going to be available before they are posted.  They can also put in a good word with someone so your resume climbs to the top of the list.  Sounds crazy, but connections can be important in getting a new job.  For example, I had a co-worker who got hired in another district, and she was able to put in a good word for me with the principal so I was interviewed and offered a job within three days.  They went looking through my application of 100 other applicants.  Personal connections can be very helpful.

Even though it is the summer, many districts do not rest until positions are filled.  So look now!  There are hundreds of positions posted everyday.  Positions will close and open up as the summer goes on, so do not be afraid to check often.  The sooner your application is in, the better.

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Post written by New Member Committee member Erinne Wortham.

You can follow Erinne on Twitter: @SciencewithMsW

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