Teaching Jobs

Wednesday, 21. September 2011

You’ve spent the last five or so years in school and have finally finished your practicum. At long last it is time to teach, but without an actual teaching job it can be quite difficult to do.

To tell you the truth, I think that trying to teach without a job may actually be called preaching, which is typically reserved for ordained priests and those crazy guys on the street corner. So unless you in fact are a priest, you’ll need to find yourself a job, and fast, before you end up on that street corner I was talking about.

Here’s how to begin:

1) The very first thing you will need to do is determine which districts you will be willing to work in. Are you going to stay local, or are you willing to branch out as far as possible to find a teaching position?

2) Now before you even begin contacting schools about openings, you will need to work on your resume. A professional teacher resume will help you to get to the top of the list when it comes time to call prospective teachers in for interviews.

3) Once your resume in up-to-date you’ll want to begin contacting the school districts human resource departments about current teacher job openings and their application procedures, this includes full contract positions and the substitute teacher list as well.

4) After you have found out about the application procedure, you should immediately get yourself on the as many substitute teacher lists as possible. The more experience you gain subbing, the better chance of securing a fulltime teaching contract will be. Especially if you sub for many different schools and districts. Like any industry, it is all about networking, and the more you make yourself familiar with a school’s principal, the better chance you will have at getting a teaching job.

5) Keep in mind, there may be thousands of other teachers on the substitute list, and as someone new, you will likely be further down the list. It’ll take a little bit of effort on your part to make yourself known, and one of the easiest ways is to simply introduce yourself. After getting your name on the substitute list visit each school and personally deliver your resume to the school’s principal. Ta-da! A face has now been put to a name.

6) In order to make yourself more hireable, you should spend your free time, like summer vacation, taking courses that will expand on your teaching skills, such as courses for early childhood education, second language training and special education training.

7) Make sure your professionally written resume clearly defines any skills or hobbies that can be transferable into the education system, such as your ability to play, and subsequently coach, basketball, or your background in music or art. Any additional skills in the extracurricular category will make you more valuable, both as a substitute and a full time teacher.

In the end, when it comes to teaching jobs, many last minutes decisions are usually made. So in order to be successful, remain as flexible as possible and try not to get too discouraged. Your dream of becoming a fulltime teacher is possible.

Could Library Books Sink Your Next Career Move?

Thursday, 15. September 2011

How would this look on your resume?

Why not ask Christopher Anspach. He is the 28-year-old Iowa man in the mug shot (and today’s Resume MAG cover star!).  He earned this distinction for not returning his library books on time. OK, also for not returning the library’s phone calls, and effectively becoming a thief.

And now any potential employer researching “Christopher Anspach” online will discover that this guy has spent time in jail for theft. And that won’t endear him to potential employers.

There is only so much that a professional resume writer can do to make you shine. Your pro-active resume can look great, but if the other part of your resume – the photos, articles, and embarrassing tidbits posted all over the Internet – make you look like a con artist, a puppy torturer or someone likely to pick his nose at a client meeting, don’t expect employers to be lining up to schedule interviews. And don’t think you can brush it off with an answer like “I was out of town” or “I really never got their letters”, because you can’t answer interview questions if they don’t even call you for an interview.

Your mother probably told you to behave. More than once. Perhaps more than a thousand times. Hopefully you were listening.

This post was featured in the Yakezie Carnival (sort of edition).

Summer Round-Up & Inquiry Letters

Wednesday, 7. September 2011

Students have just finished the last shifts of their summer jobs, while their teachers are, more than likely, begrudgingly ending their summer vacations. Here at ResumeMag we are doing a round-up of all our top summer posts.

In previous posts we’ve supplied you with tips on how to handle an interview, from a list of 79 sample job interview questions to advice on how to answer the 10 most popular ‘about you’, job specific and even situational type interview questions.

We’ve discussed the importance of including volunteer experience on your resume and obtaining references and recommendation letters.

We’ve provided you with some key tips on how to perform a successful job search, as well as explaining the significance that networking will play on your ability to get an interview.

Today’s post will go one step further, where we will not only teach you the importance of writing an inquiry letter, but will also provide you with some tips on how to write a letter that will give you access to the most sought after jewel of any job hunter. The unadvertised open position.

Why write an inquiry letter?

Simply put, your job searching skills can only get you so far. Not all companies advertise each and every open position they have available. This is one reason why we’ve tried to stress the importance of networking. Knowing someone in the company, even Bob from Accounting, may open some hidden doors for you.

If there is a company that you have set your sights on, but have yet to build any networks, all is not lost. This is where the inquiry letter comes in. A well-written and professional letter will help you to gleam some information about the company that may be otherwise unavailable to the general public, such as unadvertised open positions that are currently available.

Tips on writing an inquiry letter:

An unsolicited letter of inquiry, sent to a company that you have targeted as your next career move, can go a long way to getting your foot in the door. If done properly, your letter of inquiry will help you to establish a relationship with the hiring manager, which will greatly increase your success rate of being invited in for an interview.


As with all correspondence you have with any hiring manager, formal business writing should be maintained. Your inquiry letter should in no way duplicate your cover letter or your professionally written resume.

Your inquiry letter should do the following:

  • Be able to not only grab, but also retain, the reader’s attention immediately
  • Clearly specify your intentions in language that is simple and direct
  • Identify your strengths and how they match the company’s requirements
  • Accurately describe your accomplishments and how they would benefit the company
  • Close strongly with a request for a further discussion or meeting

Additional things to include in your letter

It might go without saying, but it is extremely important to sign your letter of inquiry, and in ink. You also should include as much contact information as you feel comfortable divulging, be that your mailing address, a contact number, email address, or a combination of all three. Finally including a self-addressed, stamped envelope, may increase the odds of getting a response, be it a positive one or simply to send you a PFO letter.

When it comes time to follow-up your letter of inquiry, the general rule is that you allow the hiring manager at least two-week to respond to your initial request before sending a follow-up letter, phone call or email.