I have enjoyed every minute with my high school students so far. Though math may not be my students’ favorite subject, I’m at least showing them how important it is. The days are long, but learning how to make tests, improve my classroom, and learning about students is worth every minute.
Of course, I’m also quickly approaching graduation. Though I am sad to leave Marquette, I am happy that all my hard work will finally culminate in a career. Lately, job fairs and employment applications have taken up a significant portion of my time– all pursued with the hope of landing my first job.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned in the process…
TOP 8 DO’S and DON’TS AT A JOB FAIR
- DO dress to impress. Now don’t over do it, but wear dress pants, dress shoes, and a nice top. For girls, I wouldn’t say the suit jacket is mandatory; but guys, definitely wear that suit! You will look completely out of place if you only have a dress shirt and tie.
- DON’T mistake a job fair for a fashion show or think that people won’t notice your yoga pants or UGG boots. A lady I saw thought it was all right to wear UGG boots with a skirt and suit jacket. Um, no. Appearance is the first thing these interviewers see. If your hair has enough grease in it to fry bacon later or your comb can’t go through it, maybe you should re-evaluate before you leave your house. Don’t think a page out of Vogue or GQ is necessarily a good thing. You can still be stylish and dress conservatively at the same time. Stilettos, mini-skirts, and a lace cami may be appropriate for a fashion interview — but probably NOT an education interview.
- DO showcase your personality. You have five minutes to awe these interviewers. There are hundreds of people with similar credentials as you. It is okay to laugh and show a side of enthusiasm and fun. A smile or two could make a difference between a call and no call. No one wants to hire a grumpy teacher.
- DON’T be over-confident. Most of these interviewers have been doing this a while. They can smell your fake attitude. You’re trying to convince them to hire you; they aren’t trying to convince you to work for them. You are the one that needs the job.
- DO your research. If you know who is going to be at the job fairs, do some research about the schools. Look up their mission statements, recent accomplishments, and demographics. One of the most popular questions is, “Why do you want to work here?” Don’t be left in the dark without an answer.
- DO arrive early. Some fairs give you tickets in the order you came. The earlier you are, the greater chance you have to meet with more schools. This past weekend, a job fair handed out tickets in the order you arrived. People with the cards with a #1 were able to enter about 10 to 15 minutes before the group with a #2, so they were able to get to the districts that were going to have a 90-minute wait.
- Yes, DO be patient. Some school districts that have more schools, or are more popular (aka higher paying) will have long lines. In February, I waited 2 hours for a 5-minute interview. Was it worth it? Definitely, because now my name is more than ink on a page. And lastly…
- DO remember your roots at Marquette. The values taught here will never steer you in the wrong direction. Believing in community and men and women for others will only show that you are committed to your school and honestly believe in what you were taught. Even though you may be applying at a public school, remember those Jesuit ideals and how Marquette has encouraged you to change the world. I stick a post-it with a St. Ignatius’ quote to my steering wheel while I’m driving to these fairs. It reminds me that I will make a difference and “go forth and set the world on fire.”