How to get an interview
Now that you have a killer resume and cover letter, you can just sit back and wait for those interview calls to come in right? Wrong.
Doing a little extra legwork will pay off.
Do to my husband’s career, we’ve moved five times, which means I have had to get hired at a new school and go through the interview process five times. I’ve learned through these experiences that just filling out an online application IS NOT ENOUGH.
If you have a specific school in mind, it doesn’t hurt to email the principal, assistant principal in charge of hiring in the department you’re applying to, or the chair of the department (i.e. English Chairperson, Social Studies Chairperson) and express your specific interest in their school. Send one, short, to the point email. Don’t bug them!
Usually, the assistant principal in charge of the department makes the initial decisions. They look through all the resumes and may even do an initial interview. Then the principal makes the final decision.
If you know someone at the school, a little name dropping doesn’t hurt.
“So and so told me how much he loves working at your school. I’d love to become part of your team. My resume is on file in the application system.”
Use social media
An email might be enough to put you at the top of the pile, but how do you know who to email? In the past I’ve used social media and Google. When I was moving from Richmond, Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland I didn’t know anything about the school systems so I reached out on social media. I posted something like this: “Hi guys, I’m moving to Baltimore, anyone know anything about the school systems in the surrounding counties? I need to apply soon.”
One friend responded that he was from that area and knew someone in HR in Howard County Public Schools just outside Baltimore. I filled out an application and sent an email to the woman he knew letting her know that he recommended I reach out to her and express my interest in teaching high school English in Howard County the upcoming fall. I attached my resume and cover letter.
Within a week I had a response and an initial interview. Several weeks after that I was offered on campus interviews at two different schools in the county and was offered the job at both schools. (Check back later for a post on how to chose which school to teach at if you have multiple offers, but right now, let’s just focus on getting you the offers).
Another avenue to get your face known is to substitute teach at the school you’re most interested in. Countless teachers have gotten their jobs by getting into the school via substitute teaching. Be sure to be extra nice to everyone in the main office, especially the school secretary/ administrative assistant, whoever staffs the front desk, and any administrators you encounter.
If you can’t do any of these things, cross your fingers and hope no one else can either, because they’ll be first in line for the job instead of you.
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