Prepare for the fair

General Fair Info:

  • Contact your career office to learn how to register for this fair! Though registration will not open on Handshake until March 24 at 12pm CT, contacting your university’s career services office will ensure that you are well-informed about steps you can take to prepare for registration.

  • The virtual fair allows you to sign up for 1:1 virtual meetings with employers prior to the day of the fair. It is highly encouraged you register for these meetings ahead of time as they will book on a first come, first served basis. There is no guarantee employers will have availability to meet if you wait until the day of the fair.

  • Districts will continue to register up to a day before the job fair. Check Handshake often!

 

Research before the Fair:

  • Research your priority districts on the job fair website 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 district representatives.

  • Once you register, use Handshake to sign up for 1:1 meetings with your districts and schools of interest, plus attend info sessions facilitated by the schools. More info from Handshake here.
     

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 in Handshake 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 virtually. 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!

  • 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:

  • You do not need to be online for the full length of the fair! Just make sure to attend the 1:1 and group sessions you have signed up for. Learn how to navigate these sessions here

  • Join the 9am-9:45am Pre-fair virtual Workshop: How to Get a Teaching Job (session link will be sent to you upon registration for the fair.) 

  • If you have questions during the event, join the Zoom Help Rooms (links available upon registration) or contact your career services office main contact

Connect with District Representatives:

  • Review your district notes before joining your 1:1 meeting or info session.

  • Be warm and friendly. As culturally appropriate, maintain eye contact.

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

  • Offer to share/send your resume to the representative directly.

    • Do not be offended if district representatives cannot accept  your resume directly and instead ask you to apply online. This may be their preferred method to receive applications.

  • Be flexible with districts 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 district representative for their time and ask for their contact information.

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

 

1:1 Meetings with Employers at the Fair:

  • One on one meeting with employers  will be short - 10 minutes. Be sure to present your most relevant information, and focus on your strengths and accomplishments.

  • Some districts may use this meeting time to casually get to know you, while others may structure the time as a short interview. 

  • 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 district representative. Remember, this is your chance to interview them as well as show that you have done your research on the district. Asking about the hiring process and timeline is particularly useful.

  • After each meeting, take time to reflect: 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 district 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 contact information.

 

After the Fair:

  • Organize your notes from the fair.

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

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