What’s Your Education Job Search Advice?

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Canter-c120x148As the school year and my internship wind down, I’m looking forward to next year but am also anxious about future uncertainties.

Due to the nature of my internship—one year, ending August 2011—I’m unsure what position I’ll hold in the coming school year. Hoping for a placement in my current district, where I’ve learned a great deal about how the system works and built several solid professional networks, I’m nonetheless steadily filling out applications both inside and outside my current district lines.

The wait is killing me. Daily I check job postings, polish my resume, make phone calls, and keep my ear to the ground about any possible openings. After my internship, I now know I’d prefer an assistant principalship at the elementary or high school level. My middle school experience was not as enjoyable as my other experiences; then again, that could be school-specific and not level-specific.

I’m at a crossroads, hunting for my first real position as an assistant principal. With many districts facing hiring freezes, this is a particularly hard time to find work in education. What’s helped you most in your job search? How do you ensure that your talents and credentials are well-represented? What would you suggest to a novice administrator looking for his first assistant principal position?

5 COMMENTS

  1. Chris – It is obvious that you need to make yourself stand out from the crows a bit when it comes to grabbing a position in a crowded market. What do you offer that others do not?
    With this in mind, I think networking is as important as ever in getting your foot in the door. If I were hiring a new AP, I would place a significant amount of the decision on the person’s vision for their school and their communication skills.
    Personally, I like the fact that when I do a Google search of Chris Canter there is a clear representation of the types of activities you have been involved in lately and a pretty good representation of what you stand for as an educator. I would hope that schools calling you in for interviews would be excited about your ability to use social media as a tool. In my mind, this shows that you can use modern tools to communicate with the school community and that you can also model the constructive use of these tools, something that is lacking in many schools.
    I guess my biggest advice is to find a school that will allow you to grow as an educator and try not to jump at a job in a school that is behind the times in its perception of the role of AP. If you are looking to become a Principal someday, you will not be adequately prepared by accepting a job somewhere where they think you are primarily a disciplinarian.
    I would also suggest that you do a thorough background check on schools to go into interviews armed with information on the school that you can toss out to show you have done some homework. I am always impressed with prospective staff members who can tell me more than just basic information about our school. Also, throw in a line or two in your cover letter to the school to show some deeper level of interest in a school beyond the fact that they need an AP.
    I wish you the best in your search!

  2. Great Points! Thanks for your uplifting words.
    I love your comments about find a school that will allow me to grow. I am trying to regulate myself to know not to just accept the first position offered, unless it is the RIGHT fit and has capacity to build me as an educator as a leader. I’m hanging tough 🙂
    Thanks for your comments.

  3. Hi, very useful post! I’ve just bumped into it and found it concrete and useful, very straight to the point. With your tips and some tricks I’ve heard during the webinars organized by http://www.blog.ivyexec.com I’m sure I’ll easily go through job search. Thanks once again!

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