Thursday, April 3, 2014

Prepare for Education Expo

Education Expo at Ohio Northern University is around the corner!

If you plan to attend and have not yet registered, please register today!

As you prepare, make sure to review the schedule of the day - available here - and budget your time wisely. The format of the day is similar to that of NOTED - open networking (a traditional career fair-style event) from only 8 am until 9:30 am. During that time, school district representatives will be scheduling candidates for interviews which will take place throughout the morning and afternoon. Expect to spend most of your day at Education Expo - you won't want to miss the chance to interview!

Tips from School Districts:

  • Think outside the box as you look for opportunities. As you prepare for Education Expo, feel free to review the list of attending organizations, but do not limit your search to only those schools that list your area - schools are still determining what their needs are for the fall, so what a recruiter listed as his or her school district's needs when that recruiter registered may be different from their needs today. For that reason, we encourage you to speak with any school district that interests you, regardless of the needs listed on the list. Many recruiters will also tell candidates that their needs will change between Education Expo and the start of the school year. If you make a good impression with a recruiter at Ed Expo, and next month, they have an opening in your field come up - they will be able to consider you for that position based on the interaction they had with you. Try to make a good impression with any school district that interests you.
  • 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 Ed Expo. The Job Search Manual for Educators (pg 62) suggests a number of deeper questions you could ask at an interview.

Preparation Recommendations and Checklists

This checklist (previously posted before the NOTED fair) lists some specific things you can do between now and the fair to prepare:
  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 Ed Expo 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

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 before Ed Expo. Good luck, and travel safely!

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