Let's look at a typical job posting and review how it should be handled. This is a real job posting. The name of the school has been changed to protect its identity.
|Upper School Mathematics Teacher beginning Fall 2013
St Swithins seeks an energetic and committed Mathematics teacher for grades 9 - 12 to teach a range of courses in a comprehensive curriculum offering Algebra I through Calculus. This is a full-time, benefited faculty position.
Qualities of a successful candidate will include:
* Ability to inspire students' love of learning
* Enthusiasm for professional growth and academic excellence
* Passion for Mathematics
* Commitment to students with all learning styles
* A commitment to participate broadly in school life
* Experience applying technology in an educational setting
A Master's degree or Virginia teaching certification is preferred.
Do you have a master's degree? If you do, it should be in mathematics, not classics. But as long as your first degree is in honors mathematics, the master's degree proves that you
Dress to the Level of the Job Environment
Teachers are exemplars to the young people they teach. The way you dress sets an example just as your speech patterns do. That being said, it makes a great deal of sense to dress conservatively when you interview for a teaching position.
The standard classic prep look is always acceptable in private school circles. A blue or white oxford cloth button-down shirt paired with an old school tie or rep pattern is understated and elegant. Add khaki or grey slacks to that together with black socks and a slip-on loafer style shoe and you are all set. If you wear bowties, then do so. Not the big floppy kind, but instead a conservative one in a rep pattern will make the right statement. A blue blazer is appropriate in cooler parts of the country. As a rule you should wear your jacket and only remove it if invited to do so. Your hair should be neat and trimmed.
Now, if at this point you are complaining that you will look like the headmaster, that's the point. You want
Think about how an administrator determines who should get interviewed. She's advertised the position in all the usual places. Every business day she receives dozens of envelopes from applicants. Why should your application go on the stack of applications marked 'interview' instead of the one marked 'reject'? Because when she scans your application, she sees most of what she is looking for. Remember: she's a very busy person. A lot is riding on her choosing the best candidate for the position which she has to fill.
1. Poor Initial Impression
Never fold your cover letter or letter of interest and the required supporting documents. Always insert unfolded materials into a manilla envelope. Use a paper clip to keep documents together. No stapling please. On the bottom of your pile of documents put a piece of cardboard 8.5" x 11
Here are a couple of examples of the conservative, old-fashioned approach to applying for a job most private schools still use.
Director, Mathematics and Science for Minority Students or (MS)2
Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, transcript and two letters of reference.
Candidates for all faculty positions should send a letter of interest, resume, list of three references, and academic transcripts
- Use a plain white paper. This does not have to be a fancy vellum or parchment type of paper.
- Center your letter perfectly on the page.
- The letter is typed using Microsoft Word or similar program.
- Use a plain font such as Arial.
- The font size should be 12 points.
- Print the final copy using a laser printer as laser jet ink smudges.
- Use the address indicated on the school's employment page.
- Create a customized cover letter for each position applied for.
- Put the cover letter and your documentation in a large envelope so that you do not have to fold the materials.
1. Make sure that your credentials are impeccable. You will probably get looked at for that English position if your degree is in American Language and Literature from one of the better colleges such as Brown, Duke, Stanford or Cornell. If your degree is from Harvard, Yale or Princeton, go to the top of the list. A bachelor's degree is ok, but you better make the right noises during the interview about your plans to finish your master's. Private schools vastly prefer to say that 80% of their faculty have advanced degrees. If your degree is terminal, that's cool too, as long as you are not terminal too.