Advice from Graduates
Students from the Curry School of Education who participated in Education Recruiting were asked, during an evaluation of the program, to provide any advice they felt would be helpful to future classes. The following are some of the suggestions.
Numerous students commented on the need to get started early!
'Get applications in early!'
'Encourage students to begin the process between semesters. Over winter break they should have other people critique their resume, as well as write a draft of a cover letter and a thank you letter. They should also begin to call or write away for applications. It is tough to search for a job and complete academic work. I wish I had started earlier.'
'Send out as many applications as possible.'
'Start early! (December/January—fill out applications and mail in.)'
'Both school systems offering me early contracts at the interview had received my completed application and references before the interview.'
'Have applications filled out before the spring semester starts.'
'Ask recommenders early (in the fall, if possible) to write your recommendations. Some people take a very long time to turn them in and will need to be reminded.'
Several students suggested that you stay open to as many employment possibilities as possible:
'Keep an OPEN mind—don't limit yourself.'
'Do NOT limit yourself to one geographic area. Do NOT limit yourself in the number of interviews. I know some people who are really regretting their choice to only have 6-8 interviews already and it's not even May yet!!'
A number of students had recommendations regarding contacting employers:
'Definitely use the Alumni Network! This was probably one of the most valuable resources.'
'Keep track of all dates of contact. Employers do ask for these dates.'
'Keep in close contact with school systems to which you apply; continue to follow-up.'
'Be persistent! Call schools repeatedly until they give you an interview.'
'Don't let employers intimidate you.'
Several suggestions and recommendations were given regarding interviews:
'Prepare for interviews by researching the school district, attending an interview workshop and reviewing the sample questions in the Handbook (these questions were asked!!)'
'Be careful about scheduling interviews back- to-back. A suit is a good idea—recruiters seemed more impressed with those who looked more professional. One even commented.'
'Get as much research on 'them'—the interviewers and their county/city—as possible; get to know some names so you have a reference point with the interviewers.'
Other students had miscellaneous advice:
'Talk to people. Network early. Know something about school districts before you get into the thick of things.'
'Read the Education Handbook (now Web site) very carefully. It is very helpful and has virtually all the information you'll need.'
'It's very important that Teaching Associates remember they're being observed at all times.'
'Be aware of the expense—postage, placement files, transcript fee, photocopying—in the Fall, so that you can budget accordingly. Save money for dry cleaning expenses.'