Conducting a Job Search Via the Web

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Conducting a Job Search Via the Web
The Web offers job seekers all sorts of efficiencies. The same is true with respect to private school job searching.

Conducting a job search for a private school position via the Web is efficient and practical compared to the way we used to have to do it years ago. These days you can find job listings on the Web, gather information, apply for jobs, and even interview. Let's explore these options in more detail.

Find Job Listings

Without a doubt, the advantage job seekers in the 21st century have over previous generations is the Web. The Internet allows you to learn about any job opening the minute it is posted online. The same applies to niche employment such as teaching and administrative positions in private schools. At the very least, most schools will have an employment link on their sites. There may not be many listings depending on the time of the year. However, bookmark the employment links for schools in which you have an interest. Job boards and agencies provide online listings as well. Bear in mind that there are peak times in the private school job search process. Typically, November through February is the time when your colleagues are out in force there looking for jobs as well. Most private schools like to have contracts for the next academic year signed and sealed by the beginning of March. As a result, you will probably find the highest number of online listings beginning in the fall. 

Many schools find it convenient to arrange interviews before and after national and regional conferences. Keep those dates in mind. It makes sense to allocate the time and the money to attend a conference where several schools can interview you

Are there exceptions to this practice? Of course, but they are just that: exceptions. Schools will always have unexpected openings. Teachers and administrators occasionally find themselves in the midst of unexpected and unplanned for life events and changes. However, as a rule, try to plan your job search for private school employment well in advance. That gives you the advantage of being able to turn down a job offer which doesn't quite match your requirements, instead of having to take whatever you can get.

Most of the teacher employment agencies have dynamic websites. If you prefer to register with an agency, you have only to follow the instructions online to accomplish that.

Gather Information

Another way in which you can use the Web in your job search is to gather information. Yes, you want to know about the job opening. But you also want to know whether the job is precisely what you are looking for. Explore the school's website thoroughly. Read all the mission statements. Review what courses they offer. Do the academics jibe with what you want to teach? Where did the past several years' graduates matriculate? Or did they? What is the school's financial situation? Is the school drawing down principal from its endowment to meet operating expenses? Is it fiscally conservative and well-managed? Does the school show up in Google searches with bad press about lawsuits or stories about students being asked to leave for scandalous reasons? Finally, take the time to review the school's Form 990 if it is a not-for-profit organization. foundationcenter.org/findfunders/990finder/

Review the school's YouTube channel. I recommend watching all their videos to learn more about the school and how it operates. Be aware that the school will have produced some videos professionally as marketing pieces.  Most videos will be more informal recordings of events and occasions during the school year. Focus on those to understand what actually goes on. Do your due diligence carefully. The Web allows you to perform that task with relative ease.

When you find a job listing, ask your friends and colleagues about it. Ask them questions about the school, its curriculum, the teaching conditions and all the other things which matter to you.  Find out why the position is vacant. After all, you are probably planning to leave your present position because of something related to academics. So, focus on the important issues first. The Web can make that part of your due diligence and fact checking easy. The only caveat is that you need to keep your data and information organized. Use a spreadsheet to organize information.

Apply

Schools are increasingly accepting employment applications online. It just makes good sense from a backend point of view. All those applications can be stored and managed efficiently when they are in electronic format. They can be forwarded and copied with ease as well. Those of us who have had to handle job applications manually can only marvel at the efficiency and ease with which computers dispatch this formerly most tiresome chore.

Applying online, however, does not give you license to be sloppy or to make mistakes. If anything, you need to exercise even more care and caution with any materials which you submit electronically. That is because your application is virtually permanent - pun intended - and will remain on the school's servers for many years. Observe normal speech and grammar rules. Applying online does not give you permission 2 use txt lang. Leave that to your smartphone and your friends. Maintain formality in your job application even if it is online.

Interviews

You may well find yourself being interviewed via Skype if you live at a distance from the school. Video phone interviews can help determine if it is mutually worthwhile to arrange a face-to-face interview. If you find yourself in that situation, schedule the interview when you can be at home in front of your personal computer. Have the school's website open and available as this information will be very helpful to you. It will allow you to remember points you wish to discuss as well as allowing you to sound reasonably knowledgeable about the school. Don't arrange video interviews or indeed, anything to do with finding a new job including email while you are on your current employer's time.

Always make sure that everybody in your home understands that absolute peace and quiet are essential while you are doing interviews. There can be no background noise at all as even webcam microphones are sensitive. They always seem to pick up any sound including pets.

My final word of advice is to stay organized. Keep records of calls and interviews. Record the dates and times when you applied online for various positions. Finding a new job is stressful enough as it is. Don't make it more stressful by bot being able to find important information quickly.

Questions? Contact me via Twitter. @privateschl


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