If you’re looking for a job in education, then don’t miss Education Day on Tuesday, April 7. An annual career fair for individuals seeking jobs in education, Education Day provides candidates the opportunity to meet with several school districts in one day. Many administrators also plan to conduct interviews during this event, so come prepared.
Following are 10 tips to help you make Education Day a success. These tips are adapted from the 2015 AAEE Job Search Handbook.
- Before Education Day, visit the Career Center’s website to identify registered employers and research your top districts: http://bit.ly/1G8D4UK. Here you’ll see a list of more than 60 school districts and organizations that are registered to attend.
If you click on each employer’s name, you can read more details. You also can access the URL to their website. Give yourself plenty of time to do this research; don’t wait until the day of the event to look at the list and start your research.
- Bring several résumés. Even though you need to apply online for teaching positions, market yourself at Education Day by bringing several copies of your résumé. Be prepared to discuss your experiences, skills, and abilities outlined on the résumé.
- Bring your portfolio and completed applications. Portfolios provide evidence of your skills and experiences. If you have a portfolio for job interviewing, bring it to Education Day.
If you don’t have a portfolio, the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) provides some guidelines for creating one: http://bit.ly/1xySct3. The 2015 AAEE Job Search Handbook also discusses the portfolio. (Copies of the handbook are available in the Career Center in Carrington 309, but supplies are limited.)
Another reason to research the school districts ahead of time is so you can complete their application forms. Some districts may have applications at their table, but completing the form ahead of time and bringing it with you to Education Day will avoid the stress of having to fill out the form in the middle of a career fair.
- Introduce yourself and ask questions. Employers come to Education Day to talk to students, so don’t hesitate to initiate the conversation. That can feel intimidating, but if you review the Career Center’s handout on the “30-Second Commercial” http://bit.ly/1xyUUP1, you’ll be ready to approach employers.
- Meet with a variety of employers. Even though you may have selected the specific employers you want to meet, be open to learning about those employers who aren’t on your top list.
Every job fair brings at least one story of a student who accepted a job offer or internship from an employer the student hadn’t originally considered. Network. Meet administrators and develop contacts. This can lead to jobs later.
- Emphasize your strengths. Come prepared to talk about yourself and experiences. Employers at Education Day want to see your passion and hear about your classroom experiences, teaching strategies, technology you’ve used, differentiated instruction, classroom management, and other relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences.
Show your interest and enthusiasm not only for teaching but also for the district. This is another reason to research the participants ahead of time. After all, how can you show interest if you don’t know anything about the district?
- Be prepared to interview. All employers will ask questions similar to interview questions, but many representatives also will be conducting more formal interviews during Education Day.
Be prepared. Practice interview questions ahead of time and do a virtual practice interview with InterviewStream on the Career Center’s website. (Log in to JobTracks at https://www.myinterfase.com/missouristate/Account/LogOn and select InterviewStream at the bottom of the left navigation bar. Then select Conduct an Interview.)
- Dress Professionally. Dress as you would for a more formal interview. Many administrators will be wearing business attire, so wear professional attire, too.
- Stay Organized. Collect business cards from the employers; keep track of those you meet and take notes about the discussion—application procedures, information about the district, and other information that you want to remember.
- Follow up. Send thank-you letters or emails to the employers that most interest you. In addition to thanking them for their time, also express your interest and remind them of your conversation. The majority of candidates fail to send thank-you letters, so writing a thank you will make a positive impression.