Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NOTED Job Fair Checklist

The NOTED Career Fair is tomorrow, so we wanted to share a final checklist of tips for students who plan to attend. We hope you've already checked out our Tips on How to Prepare for the NOTED Job Fair from last week. Today, we'll share with you a few checklists of things that you can do to make the most of your time tomorrow.

  1. Draft and prepare a 30-second introduction for the open fair in the morning. If you haven't already prepared one, this earlier blog post can help!
  2. Have your resume proofread for errors and print out copies on high-quality resume paper. We have walk-in hours available at the CSC today, and we also sell resume paper.
  3. Review the list of school districts attending NOTED and do some research on the school districts with whom you are most interested in working.
  4. Pick out what you plan to wear. We would recommend wearing professional and conservative business-wear, including a suit with a blouse or shirt and tie. Either pants or a skirt would be acceptable for women, but if you plan to wear a skirt, we strongly encourage wearing hose. See this earlier post for more recommendations on dressing and behaving professionally at a career fair.
  5. Think about what you plan to take to the fair. Here are some things to consider:

Packing List

  • Perfect (Typo-free) Resumes on resume paper - bring more copies than you think you will need.
  • Portfolios are optional, but can be a nice touch. You could substitute a neat folder. You could purchase either at the AU Bookstore.
  • Directions - don't count entirely on the GPS.
  • Multiple pens to write notes.
  • A writing pad or notebook - this should be in your portfolio if you take one.
  • A schedule or planner in case you are invited to a follow-up or on-site interview.
  • Water and snacks - although there is food sold at the John S. Knight Center, it is important to keep your energy up through the day.
  • Mints

Tips from School Districts

School districts from past career fairs have two particular suggestions for students attending these career fairs:

  • School Fit. When asked about what school environment (size, type, student population, and/or subject area) a candidate is interested in, most students usually respond that they are "Open to anything." You might be tempted to portray yourself as flexible, but sometimes the school district really needs to know your preferences. For instance, some school districts are very large and full of very different schools. A school district may include urban, suburban, and rural schools all within one district, for instance, so in many ways knowing a candidate's preferences can assist in putting them in a position that would be the best match, benefiting the candidate, the district, and the students.
  • Questions for School Districts. In most interviews on-site, candidates have just a few minutes to ask questions to the school districts. School districts want to be able to answer the questions you the candidate may be concerned about, so take the opportunity to ask questions that are best answered in person and from the interviewer's perspective, not questions about the process of applying or logistical questions like the timeline for hiring. Those questions could easily be asked via email after NOTED. The Job Search Manual for Educators (pg 62) suggests a number of deeper questions you could ask at an interview.

Additional Assistance

Please see the myAU Portal for the slides from our recent Job Fair Preparation Workshop, which includes much more information and many suggestions on how to prepare for a job fair. Also, please contact the Career Services Center with any questions. Good luck tomorrow!

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