Prepare for the fair

General Fair Info:

  • Only candidates and alumni from the participating Minnesota colleges and universities are eligible to attend this event. Due to the number of teacher candidates attending this event, we will not make any exceptions.

  • Teaching candidates and education services candidates such as school counselors, speech therapists, school social workers, and school administrators, from the participating colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.

  • Attendees must have been enrolled in an education program that led to an education license.

  • Candidates must be licensed by December 2022 or who are seeking job offers to support a Tier 2 license

 

Research before the Fair:

  • Research your priority districts and organizations and take notes to help you be prepared for the day of the fair. Know their mission, students they serve, curriculum, and prepare educated questions for their attending representatives.

  • Candidates are encouraged to upload their resumes online. The attending districts/organizations have access to view resumes and are encouraged to reach out to candidates directly to pre-schedule interviews. 

  • Contact the district and organizations' representatives to schedule an interview during the fair. Some will schedule interviews in advance, while others prefer to schedule interviews at the job fair. 

 

Prepare for the Fair:

  • Create a strong resume with an emphasis on all teaching related experiences. Have it reviewed by your career center.

  • Review employer descriptions to see if the employers would like candidates to apply to positions prior to the job fair. If employers indicate a preference, complete and submit applications for districts of interest prior to the fair. Plan ahead, as each application can take several hours to complete and may require essays.

  • Prepare a professional introduction/elevator speech - a 30-second introduction in which you share your educational/professional background and what interests you in the district, which then leads to an inquiry about the school/open positions. Practice this with others.

  • Review commonly asked teacher interview questions and formulate responses. Prepare questions to ask your districts and schools of interest.

  • Dress professionally head to toe, so you can be interview-ready. Be sure you have appropriate attire such as a suit, dress pants/skirt and blazer, or button-down collared shirt. Make sure you look neat and put-together. You want to look great!

  • Plan for logistics - map out how to get to the Minneapolis Convention Center, when to arrive and where to check-in. If you are driving, be prepared to pay for parking.

  • Gather all necessary materials:

    • Application materials (resume, cover letter) and key resources (philosophy of education, anything else of note) that you can reference during your conversations.

    • Paper and a writing utensil to take notes.

    • List of your priority districts with research and notes gathered on each.

 

At the Fair:

  • Arrive early and plan to spend the entire day at the fair. Some employers will be interviewing until 5pm.

  • Check in at your college/university career service table. There, you will receive a name tag and district/organization listing/map.

  • Create a strategy to visit your targeted districts/organizations. Before meeting with your top choices, practice approaching others on your list.

  • Use the student lounge. Plan breaks into your schedule to allow you to rest, keep your materials organized, and check your appearance.

  • Expect long lines. Be strategic. If the line of one of your priority districts is long, move onto the next one and come back.

  • Need to eat during the fair? Visit the Dunn Brother's Coffee Shop on the ground/surface level by the Convention Center's main entrance. Otherwise, check out these cheap downtown eats locations.

Connect with Attending Representatives:

  • Review your district/organization notes before approaching their booth.

  • Respect others privacy as they complete their contact.

  • Use a firm handshake, good eye contact, and be friendly.

  • Greet employers with your 30-second elevator speech: share your educational/professional background and what interests you in the district/organization, then inquire about open positions.

  • Offer your resume.

  • Do not be offended if representatives do not take your resume and ask you to apply online. This may be their preferred method to receive applications.

  • Be flexible with those that do not have openings in your area of specialty at the time of the job fair. A position may open in a few weeks or over the summer.

  • Always thank the representative for their time and ask for a business card or contact information.

  • Jot down notes about the specifics of your conversation. This will help you write a thank you note later

 

Interview at the Fair:

  • Any interviews taking place at the fair will be short (about 15-30 minutes). Be sure to present your most relevant information, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments.

  • Respond truthfully, while remaining positive. For example, “I have not had the opportunity to... but in a similar situation I would...”.

  • Be prepared with questions to ask the representative(s). Remember, this is your chance to interview them as well as show that you have done your research on them. Asking about the hiring process and timeline is particularly useful.

  • Schedule your interviews to allow for time to reflect on the interview: What went well? What do you wish you had said? What questions do you still have? Jot down a few notes.

  • Don’t be discouraged if you are not offered a position – many representatives use the fair as an initial screening. You will likely attend a second interview before hearing of an offer.

  • If you are presented with an offer, don’t feel pressured to respond that day. Thank them for the offer and tell them you would like to have some time to consider.

  • Always ask for the interviewer’s business card and contact information.

 

After the Fair:

  • Organize your notes and materials you collected from the fair.

  • Follow-up with thank you emails within 24-48 hours.

  • Keep accurate records of all contacts to ease follow-up communications.