You need to know how to find a teaching job … now.
It’s competitive out there in the teaching job market, so you’ve got to maximize your chances of getting a teaching position.
How do you do that?
You do that by following these insightful tips for finding a teaching job in an elementary, middle, or high school.
With time, patience, and an open mindset, you’ll eventually find a position that’s a perfect fit for you.
Whether you want to know how to get a teaching job with no experience or are a seasoned educator looking for a fresh teaching experience, implement these tried-and-true solutions so that you’re one step closer to finding the teaching job of your dreams.
How to Find a Teaching Job
If you put forth your best efforts in the teaching job hunt, you’ll have success. Here are recommended tips…
1. Update and Customize Your Resume.
Make sure your resume and cover letter are well-written with zero typos; valid information; and recent, relevant work history customized to the particular teaching position for which you’re applying.
In addition to the usual information about formal education, certifications, teaching experience, and relevant skills, highlight something on your resume or cover letter that makes you different.
How can you differentiate yourself from the competition?
If there are any gaps in your resume, be able to explain them eloquently and thoroughly.
Take Action: Have a trusted colleague review your resume and cover letter for errors and flow of information.
2. Start in a Private School.
Public schools have relatively high standards when it comes to licensing requirements for teachers.
Private schools, on the other hand, don’t have to follow such state laws regarding licensing and are usually more flexible in their requirements for teacher candidates.
They may use other methods to measure your “worth” as a teacher candidate. This is great news because you can sell yourself in creative ways.
Because of this, it could be easier to get your foot in the door at a private school.
The flip side to private schools is that they often pay much less compared to public schools, but this isn’t always the case.
Take Action: Do your research on all of the private schools in your area.
While the pay may be less, don’t rule them out. You may land a position in one, really love it, and end up staying for a long time.
3. Brush Up On Your Interviewing Skills.
Don’t wait until you’re invited to an interview to sharpen your interviewing skills.
Improve upon them now because you never know when you’ll be called to attend one.
- Do research on the schools which interest you. During an interview, it needs to come across to the interviewer that you’ve done your homework about the school.
- Practice answering the most common teacher interview questions.
- Dress to impress. Clothes should be neat, clean, and appropriate for the occasion.
- Make eye contact during the interview and greet everyone on the committee upon arrival.
Take Action: Do a practice mock interview with a friend or trusted colleague. Take her feedback, reflect on it, and then create an action plan to improve.
Also, review these 10 great teaching interview tips.
4. Obtain In-Demand Certifications.
Some teaching areas are saturated, making it hard to get a foot in the door.
Generally speaking, saturated teaching certifications include elementary education, social studies, p.e, history, and English.
There are exceptions to the rule, but in general, individuals looking for employment in these subjects may take longer to find a position compared to those seeking positions in more in-demand fields.
Take Action: Obtain one or two in-demand teaching credentials to make yourself more competitive.
Consider bilingual education, high school math/science, or special education.
Research which certifications are in-demand in your area, and take those licensing tests.
Knowing how to find a teaching job means understanding the power of networking.
Reach out to former colleagues or recruiters who may be able to help you find teaching positions.
Additionally, attend a few teacher job fairs. Hand out your resume, and speak with as many principals as possible.
A few days later, email those principals thanking them for their time.
Gently mention that you’re open to continuing the conversation regarding employment at their school and that you look forward to their response.
Take Action: Are you on LinkedIn? If not, set up a profile. If not, spruce up your profile, and become active on the site.
Look for contacts, network, and stay connected with people in teaching circles. You never know who’ll come across your profile.
6. Email Administrators Directly.
The best websites for finding teaching jobs are usually the school district or the school’s website.
That’s where many schools post their available positions.
After you submit your application, it’s a waiting game.
However, a tip is to email principals your resume and cover letter directly if you can get a hold of their email addresses.
Some principals don’t like when you email them directly, but others don’t mind.
Many times, filling out long, boredom-inducing online job applications just doesn’t cut it. The waiting game is enough to drive one crazy!
Take Action: Send your online application, and then email the principal directly in a week or two if you haven’t heard back.
You’ll be ignored by those who don’t like receiving emails, but depending on how well you craft your email, expect to receive maybe one response out of every 10 to 15 emails sent.
7. Be Willing to Relocate.
So many candidates what to know how to find a teaching job when there seem to be limited positions.
The U.S. is a huge country, and not all states have the same teaching position demands.
There could be a range of demands within a state too, so do some research.
Are Spanish/English bilingual teachers more needed in one area compared to another? Are special education or foreign language teachers more needed in rural areas?
These types of questions are answered with thorough research.
Moving is inconvenient, yes, but if you can land a great teaching job in another state or city, why not consider it?
Take Action: Conduct research. See what teaching positions are in demand locally and outside of your state.
If looking to relocate out of state, keep in mind the rules of teaching certification reciprocity.
8. Start as a Paraprofessional.
Consider working as a paraprofessional.
The pay is very low compared to teachers, but you’ll have an opportunity to network with teachers and principals once you’re in the position.
Take Action: If you’re okay with being a teacher’s assistant, apply.
Be enthusiastic about the possibility of working with the school in this position, but be upfront about the goal of having your own classroom one day.
This way, the hiring committee is aware that you are excited about the present position but interested in future teaching options.
9. Become a Substitute Teacher.
Substitute teaching is a great way to get your foot in the door.
It generally pays decently, and similar to the paraprofessional position, you have opportunities to network/connect with teachers and administrators once you’re in.
An additional positive of substitute teaching is that you get exposed to a variety of school experiences.
This will help you narrow down your teaching likes and dislikes as it relates to grade levels and teaching subjects.
Take Action: Apply to sub at a few different schools or districts. Put forth your best work effort once hired, and you’ll soon be noticed.
How to Find a Teaching Job: Q & A
How to find a teaching job as a new teacher?
As a new teacher, apply for teaching jobs via a school’s website. Also, attend job fairs specially targeted to teachers.
Which website is best for teaching jobs?
A school district and/or school’s website are the best websites for finding open teaching jobs.
How to find a teaching job when it seems like no school is hiring?
To find a teaching job, be willing to relocate and consider all types of schools.
Is there a demand for teachers?
Yes, there is always a demand for teachers, especially in special education, bilingual education, and high school math/science.
Final Thoughts On How to Find a Teaching Job
Knowing how to find a teaching job is all about skill and strategy. Apply these tips, and you’ll be closer to getting a teaching position that’s a good fit for you.
Wishing you all the best in your job search
For more information about how to find a teaching job, check out the Definite Guide to Getting a Teaching Job.