Applying and Interviewing

Learn more about applying and interviewing for jobs in a private school. Here we'll cover everything from cover letters to interview questions. Get tips on common application mistakes, how to ask good questions during your interview, and marketing yourself.
View the most popular articles in Applying and Interviewing:
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Is Your Skill-set Still on Release 1.0?
It is easy to fall into the trap of not keeping your skill-set current. There's no time and no need anyway. We look at why you need to keep things current and offer some suggestions as to how to proceed.

This is a tough question for many of us teachers to deal with. Why? Because many of us are convinced that we don't need to update our skill-set now that we have found our dream teaching position in a wonderful school. We are set, right? Not exactly. As we all know things can change in a flash. Against this backdrop let's you and I explore your skill-set and offer some suggestions as to how to do some necessary upgrades.

Why do you need to upgrade your skill-set?

As I pointed out in the opening paragraph, your circumstances can change in a flash. The most common reason for suddenly needing a new teaching position is a major change your family circumstances. A member of your family who lives in another state has an accident or becomes seriously ill requiring your presence in the area. While you could take Family Medical Leave, it has become obvious to you that the best solution is for you to move closer to your family member so that you can supervise his care and generally be there for him. That means you will need to look for a new teaching job.

The important thing to understand is that life can deal some unexpected cards. You thought you were set. Suddenly you are not. That is the reason why you must upgrade your skill-set.

Does your skill-set need updating?

Assess your skill-set critically. When did you earn your degree? When did you last attend a regional or national conference in your

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5 Things Never to Put in Your Job Application
Make sure that your job application and resume present you in the best possible light.
At some point in your job search process you created a resume. Your resume is a critical part of the documentation which you furnish an employer when you apply for a job. Any job. Your future employer wants to know that you possess the qualifications necessary to be able to do the job for which they are hiring you. Your future employer also needs to verify your qualifications and credentials. What we are going to do in this article is to examine your resume with a objective, clinical eye in order to present you and your qualifications in the best possible light. Many job applications are done online. That means that you will have to be very careful as you copy and paste information from your resume to the online job application fields. More about that later. This short video offers some helpful advice on how to fill out a job application.
 
 
In the meantime here are some items which have no place in your job resume. You either need to omit them entirely or include them in your curriculum vitae.
 
Meaningless awards and affiliations
 
Some awards, medals and affiliations might be relevant on some job applications. For example, if you are apply for a job with the Boy Scots of America, your Eagle Scout status is relevant. On other job applications the badges you earned while you were a Boy Scout which meant a great deal at the time are probably not relevant in an employment
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Employment: Creating Value in Your Resume
Creating value will get your resume noticed. Here's how to do it.
Ever since the great recession of 2008, finding a job - any job - has become progressively more difficult for everybody, private school teachers and administrators included. One way to get your resume noticed, perhaps even read in detail, is by creating value. Here's how.
 
Why You Need to Project Value
 
Private schools have historically valued staff who are well-credentialed, enthusiastic and flexible. The reason why stems from the reality that private schools have only as many staff as they need. No more. What that means is that when there are gaps in the team , for whatever reason, the school needs somebody to fill that gap competently and cheerfully. On the fly.
 
Indications of Value
 
Credentials 
 
Start with your credentials. Make certain that your academic qualifications align with the school's stated requirements as well as offering an additional specialty or two. For example, if you have a Masters in French language and literature and are applying for the school's French teacher position, it won't hurt to be proficient in Spanish or Portuguese or Italian as well. Chinese would be even better. The point is that offering just a little more will give you an edge when the school begins to review the applications in depth.
 
If it has been several years since you completed your formal graduate studies, be sure to offer some recent courses, workshops and seminars which you have attended. It is important to show your prospective employer that you have not stopped learning. Make sure that there is no expiration on
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Marketing Yourself in Tough Times
Marketing yourself in tough times requires attention to details. Here are some tips to help you achieve success.

It's kind of scary to realize that most openings for teaching positions regularly draw dozens of applications. Sometimes hundreds of applications.  It never used to be like that. But these are tough times. Thousands of public school teachers lost their jobs in the downturn which began back in 2008. Thousands more new teachers are looking for their first job. In the meantime school budgets have been reduced, some drastically, by changing community demographics and changes in the local and regional economies. These are major factors which have changed the dynamics for teachers all over the nation. The realignments which follow these major changes take time to fall into place. For example, when a major employer shuts down a call center, an office or a plant, it will be years in most cases before that void is filled. 

While many teachers might well prefer to remain in the public K-12 system or possibly teach at the tertiary level, the realities of the job market mean that those same teachers will also be competing for private school positions. In most cases the best a K-12 teacher can hope for as far as teaching college is concerned is some sort of adjunct instructor position. The reality is that those teachers will probably be applying for the same positions private school teachers are applying for as well.

Here are some tips to help you cope with the job search process in these tough times.

Be realistic.

Be realistic in your expectations both of the position

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What's the Difference Between a Letter of Interest and a Cover Letter?
Letters of interest and cover letters are frequently used interchangeably even though they have different purposes.
Depending on the instructions you read on a private school's employment page, you may be directed to send a letter of interest or a cover letter. Some people think that a letter of interest is the same as a cover letter. But they really are not the same. What then exactly is the difference between these two letters and how do you compose them?
 
What is a letter of interest?
 
Strictly speaking, you compose and send a letter of interest when a prospective employer requests that you do so. In the sense that a letter of interest is a letter written to accompany your resume and other required documentation it functions almost the same as a cover letter. But there is a major difference. The letter of interest is written to give a snapshot of you and what makes you worth interviewing.
 
Remember the mechanics involved here. A staff member is charged with reading all those applications which have been submitted for the advertised position. Depending on circumstances there could be dozens of applications to review. The school wants the best candidate for the vacant position after all. So, there sits the member of staff who has to open all the envelopes and review them. Is he going to have time to read each one in detail? Probably not. But he will scan that letter of interest which you have written looking for a couple of features which set you apart from the other applicants.
 
One of the goals of the letter of
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Jobs in Private Schools

APPLYING AND INTERVIEWING