Learn what you need to know to get your interview, including the five general methods of applying for a job.
This is an excerpt from the eBook,
Your Basic Guide To Acing ANY Teaching Interview.
Getting an interview for the teaching position that you want doesn’t have to be rocket science. However, the methods of achieving one vary from school to school. Therefore, it is best to know what the school’s application process is before taking your first step.
Generally, when a school is hiring they must post the position, usually in an ad in the newspaper or an online job bank. How to contact the school is usually included in the ad as well. You don’t want to email a resume to a school that is requesting that you walk-in with your resume. You don’t want to call a school that requires a faxed resume, etc. Ignoring the school’s initial contacting information will guarantee that you will not get that interview because you have already proven that you can’t follow simple directions.
Sometimes, you can get a job lead from a friend before the job has been posted. If this is the case, you can ask the friend to give the superintendent/principal your resume and cover letter. If your friend doesn’t actually work where the lead came from, you can try calling about the position and ask about the application procedure.
There are five general methods of applying for a job, and they include: sending a resume, emailing your resume, faxing your resume, walking-in your resume, and applying online.
1. Sending a Resume
Many schools prefer that you mail in your resume. For this type of approach, it is best to include a cover letter with your resume. As mentioned earlier, in Your Basic Guide To Acing ANY Teaching Interview, the cover letter is a basic letter that describes the position that you are interested in and a few details of your qualifications and skills.
The cover letter is basically your lead-in to your resume. Remember, before writing your cover letter, you should know whom the letter is to be addressed to. You NEVER want to begin a cover letter with “Dear Sir or Madame” or “To Whom It May Concern”. It shows that you have not prepared and that you are not looking for a specific position within their school, but any job that you can get your hands on. Basically, it is disrespectful to your prospective employer.
2. Emailing Your Resume
Emailing resumes is becoming a commonplace way for schools to receive resumes. More and more schools offer this method as an acceptable alternative. However, there are few tips on how you should go about emailing your resume.
You should attach your resume as a word document or PDF file. PDF, or portable document file, is not only accepted but has a more professional appearance. And, any computer (PC or MAC) can read PDF files as long as the computer has Adobe Acrobat Reader (which nearly every computer in the world has these days). Find more information about creating PDF files in the complete eBook, Your Basic Guide To Acing ANY Teaching Interview.
These are the most common formats and what most schools will accept. Also, don’t forget the subject line. The subject line should read like this: Smith, John; 8th Grade Social Studies position. This makes it easy for the recruiter to know who the email is from, and what it pertains to. It also assures that your email will be read.
Sometimes there are specific methods for addressing an emailed resume. Some schools have certain subject line requirements, if so, follow them. If the school wants you to paste your resume, don’t send attachments because your email will be deleted right away.
3. Faxing Your Resume
Again, you will need to include a cover letter when you fax in your resume. If you are not using your own fax machine, be sure to include your proper contact information. The rules for your cover letter are the same as for mailing your resume.
4. Walk-In Your Resume
For this type of application procedure, you will want to dress appropriately. Basically, dress just like you would for an interview. Schools may ask you to walk in because they want to get a look at your appearance and grooming habits right away. Sometimes, a walk-in will have an administrator giving you a brief interview on the spot to see if a formal interview will even be needed. So be on your best and most appropriate behavior.
Although in most instances walk-ins do not require you to bring in a cover letter with your resume, it definitely can’t hurt to have one anyway. Sometimes, you will be requested to fill out an application form as well. Smile and be polite, no matter who you are talking to. That could be the difference between getting an interview and just taking an extra trip for nothing.
5. Online Application
More and more states/school districts are not only accepting applications through an online process, but they actually require it.
Florida is a perfect example. Most school districts in Florida now require that you apply online.
If this is the case, make sure to follow their online application procedure correctly. In most cases there will still be information you need to provide either by email, “snail-mail”, fax, or walk-in.
Telephoning for an Interview
It is not particularly common for schools to ask you to call them for an interview. That is usually saved for jobs that include sales and/or jobs that are not so easily applied for by the other methods. However, telephoning for an interview is a bit common when the job requires that you be on the phone a lot. It is possible, therefore, that a school will require a telephone interview. Therefore, I thought it was important to at least mention it here. Plus, a strong telephone presence could only help as you will likely find yourself calling/responding to your future administrator via telephone for interview follow-ups. (We’ll get to that later.)
Telephone interviews give administrators a feel for the quality and the personality of the person on the phone. When making this type of interview request, always speak in a clean and clear manner. Be polite and prepared to answer any questions that may be asked of you. You might approach the telephone interview like this: “Hello Dr. Brown, I am Mike Sandal. I am calling with regards to your ad in the New York Times about the middle school science position”. If you are asked about your teaching experience, be prepared to answer quickly and explain how long you have been teaching and give a brief description of your qualifications.
Get more teacher interview tips in the complete version of the eBook, Your Basic Guide To Acing ANY Teaching Interview, available for immediate download. Includes information on • Cover Letters • Resumes • Dos & Donts • Interview Questions • and More!
By Adam Waxler