Getting the Most out of Education Job Fairs

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1 Getting the Most out of Education Job Fairs Tips for Candidate Success The Minnesota Education Job Fair is an event where school district personnel administrators and prospective educators meet one another. School districts can do initial screening of applicants and applicants can obtain applications from and information about school districts. On-site interviews often occur. Preparing for the Fair Try to determine the districts that will be attending the Fair by going on the web site for this event. This event is sponsored by the Minnesota College and University Career Services Association Gather information about your targeted districts. Review the names of school personnel in attendance and districts where you have had previous contact(s). Prepare and make copies of your resume. Practice your interviewing skills. Review standard questions, role-play with friends, and prepare questions to ask school district personnel. Plan to wear professional attire. Remember, first impressions count, even if you are just gathering information. At the Fair Check in at the registration table to obtain a list of attending school districts and their locations. Decide upon and prioritize the districts you wish to contact. Orient yourself to the facility. Select the school district for your first contact. Relax. You're prepared for the event. As you approach the district's table, respect other people's privacy as they complete conversations. As you approach the school district officials, establish eye contact, smile, introduce yourself and tell why you are interested in that district. Before leaving the table, ask the representative for a business card so you'll know how to address your thank you letter. After the Fair Make notes. While the Fair is still fresh in your mind, write down key names and information. Follow up with thank you letters. Don't overlook this courtesy, especially if an interviewer or school district official has been particularly helpful. This is especially important if you received an interview with a district that truly interests you. It gives you another chance to state your interest and to remind the interviewer of your conversation at the Fair.

2 Résumé Tips A résumé is a document that briefly describes your educational background, professional experiences, and interests. For job seekers, the résumé is an indispensable marketing tool. The résumé typically introduces you; for example, at job fairs and one-on-one interviews, you present your résumé as a business card. When submitting application materials by mail, your résumé is covered by a cover letter, many times referred to as a letter of interest or a letter of application. Nearly all employers request a résumé. It will be to your advantage to create a document that clearly identifies your academic background and highlights your relevant skills. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you develop this important employment tool: Use 8½" x 11" paper of good quality, typically white. Use ample margins and sufficient spacing; white spaces enhance the overall appearance. Include key identification information including name, address, , home telephone and or cell numbers. Include degrees earned and names of institutions granting degrees; high school degree or high school experiences are not generally included. Describe your experiences with action phrases; use words such as organized, supervised, created, developed, encouraged, collaborated, and accomplished. The appearance of your résumé will have an important effect on your professional image. Pay careful attention to your grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Include job-related material only; do not include personal data (age, gender, marital status, race, etc.), Social Security number, or photograph. Most résumés are one page in length. If two pages are necessary, identify the second page with your name and the page number. Computer generated résumés are easily produced and updated. Use the best printer at your disposal; employers may copy your résumés for other members of the selection team. The final copy must be error-free. Never underestimate the importance of proofreading. Interview Tips The interview is the most influential factor in the employment process. Hiring officials take several items into consideration during the interview including your expertise in your subject area, communication skills, enthusiasm, understanding of instructional theories and practices, and your commitment to the success of your students. As you begin to prepare for interviews keep the following points in mind: Interviewing is a two-way process. Be ready to answer questions and to ask questions. Know yourself and don't try to bluff your way through - phonies are easy to spot. Demonstrate self-confidence in your answers and in your body language. Non-verbal cues send strong messages to recruiters. Professional appearance and etiquette are important elements of successful interviewing. Take key materials along to the interview site - extra résumés, transcripts, and portfolio. Common Questions from. Employers Tell me about yourself, your career interests, and your work experience. Why do you want to teach? (or What are three reasons why you want to teach?) What interests you about this school district? Why do you think you will be successful in this field? What is your philosophy of education? Describe your student teaching experiences. Describe your style of teaching.

3 Sample Questions to Ask Employers Tell me about the students who attend this school (or attend schools within this district). What is your timeline for filling this position? What qualifications are important for this position? Do parents support the schools? Does the community? What is the teacher/student ratio in your district? What are prospects for future growth in this community and its schools? How can I best reach you to follow-up on this position? Education Fair Do's & Don'ts: Do: Present yourself with professionalism, enthusiasm, and confidence at all times - the person you meet in the bathroom may be a recruiter you see later in the day. Explore every school district that sparks your interest. Take breaks when you need them. Make notes about each visit and regroup before approaching the next recruiter. Focus on what you can do for the employer, not what the organization can do for you. Spend as much time as you can at the career fair to make the most of this networking event. Don't: Give your resume immediately to the employer as a means of introduction. Walk up to an employer and expect them to take control of the conversation. Congregate with your friends where the employer can watch you. Ask about salary initially. Research School Districts This is very important to do!! Know something about the schools, districts and positions. Keep notes on a 4 X 6 card (see example below) - write key points and bring the cards to Job Fair for quick reference. Suggest at least 10. Sites for research and information: -wwv.aaee.org- school district website. School/District Name, address and phone Positions available/interested in 1. Requirements/licensure/ for position 2. Other qualifications that may relate 3. Community information 4. My related skills/qualities 5. Financial information 6. Trivia note 7. Contact date/event 8. Contact name, . Phone 9. Results-next step for follow up Booth# (get this at the fair) Other resources:

4 Education Job Fair Floor Strategy Worksheet JOB FAIR OBJECTIVE: (What is your goal for attending the fair?) School Name (Sort the School districts you researched into priority rank order with an A-B-C preference) A List B LIST C LIST Strategy for floor time: (Think about when you will arrive and which school district you want to visit early or later in the day.) 10: :30 10:00-10:30 10:30-11:00 11:00-11:30 11:30 - NOON Noon - 12:30 12:30-1:00 1:00-1:30 1:30-2:00 2:00-2:30 2:30-3:00

5 *Smile *Eye contact *Handshake *Extend resume while greeting Education Fair Approach Greeting: (your name, what position interests you, and/or why that school district) Hook: (major, minor, student teaching, internships, volunteer, travel, International exp., GPA, personal traits, skills, school attending) Ask for an interview: (ask for a business card) If no, then find out what the next step would be: *stop back later- what time and where will the information be posted? *get a name of another person in the company who would be a lead *call them in days/weeks *wait for them to contact you (last option)

6 Teacher - Education 60 Second Commercial Use this strategy to answer the interview question Tell me about yourself, to introduce yourself at an education career fair, to netw ork at a professional event or to mingle at a party. The 60 Second Commercial is an advertisement of yourself. Be sure to keep it career-related and avoid personal information (w here you w ere born, what your parents do for a living, number of siblings, etc.). For help in creating your ow n unique 60 second Commercial, please contact the Career Development Center The 60 Second Commercial can be easily organized by answering the three following questions: 1. Who are you/where are you now? This should focus specifically on your college education. You should not include your high school education. Include the following information: o College o Location: city and state o Graduation date: month and year o Degree o Major/Minor o Emphasis or concentration areas o Teaching Certification 2. Where have you been? This should focus specifically on your experience. Try to focus more on your career-related experiences as these will be most relevant to the employer. Possible topics to include: o Student teaching experience o Career-related experience o Additional w ork experience o Volunteer experience o Study or teaching abroad experience o Leadership experience o Activities 3. Where are you going/how can you be of assistance to their school or district? This should focus on your career objective or future goals. Make sure you do your homew ork before the interview and complete adequate research on the position, school and/or district in order to specifically address the needs of that particular school or district and the w ays in w hich your unique skill set w ill meet those needs. 60 Second Commercial Example 1. Senior at University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN, majoring in Elementary Education, minor in Early Childhood Education, certification in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood 2. Student teaching at Westw ood Elementary School, Assistant Teacher at the UST Children s Center, 2 year captain of UST Varsity Track and Field 3. Seeking 3rd grade teaching position at Liberty Ridge Elementary School, interest in coaching athletics I am currently a senior at University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN. I w ill graduate this May w ith a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, a minor in Early Childhood Education and certification in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood. Through my student teaching experience at Westw ood Elementary School I managed a diverse classroom of 23 3rd grade students and designed and implemented lesson plans for all curriculum areas. Through this experience I quickly learned to adapt to new and challenging situations. In addition to student teaching I interact w ith children on a daily basis through my part-time job as an Assistant Teacher at the UST s Children s Center, w here I assist pre-school children in learning activities and playtime. Throughout my four years at St. Thomas University, I have been a member of the Varsity Track and Field Team. My last tw o years on the team I w as selected by teammates and coaches to serve as captain. This experience taught me to handle multiple responsibilities w hile successfully managing academics and athletics. I am seeking a 3rd grade teaching position Liberty Ridge Elementary School. I w ill bring to this position my passion for education, my experience student teaching, as w ell as strong leadership skills and an interest in coaching athletics.

7 Interview Schedule Please use this form to schedule your interviews during the Job Fair 10:00 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM 11:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 1:00 PM 1:30 PM 2:00 PM 2:30 PM 3:00 PM April 15, 2013 School Name Location Recruiter Notes

8 The Minnesota Education Job Fair 2013 April 15, 2013 at the Minneapolis Convention Center REGISTRATION FORM To register for the MN Education Job Fair, complete and return the form along with a check or money order for $20.00 before April 5, Make checks payable to the University of St. Thomas. Please spell your name how you want it to appear on your nametag Name (Last, First, MI) Telephone Day Evening Please write out your licensure (do not abbreviate). This will be on your name tag. Area(s) of Licensure (e.g., K-8 with math specialty): I am a (circle one): UST alumnus Senior Graduate student Year of graduation: Have attended fair in the past? Y or N How did you hear about the fair (circle one): ~Mailing~ ~ ~ ~Education Department Blackboard~ ~UST Career Center~ ~Fair Website~ ~Other~ Please return the form to: University of St. Thomas Career Development Center Education Fair Mail Summit Avenue St. Paul MN Ph: For Office Use ONLY (Please initial your name) Date attended Orientation Date registered Payment Received (circle): Check# Cash

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