By Barbara Baditoi
Maybe some of you are still looking for a special education
position. Perhaps you have interviewed and are waiting for an offer. Maybe you
just finished your graduate or undergraduate courses and are waiting for the
transcripts. Or perhaps you are still sending out resumes and cover letters.
Keep your resume short, sweet, and current. The average time
an administrator devotes to that first glance is approximately 10 to 30
seconds. What will stand out in your resume to differentiate you from other
applicants? Do you have special education experience working with CEC, ARC, or the
Special Olympics? Perhaps you have camp or babysitting experience with special
needs students, or you worked as a paraprofessional while raising your own children.
All of these experiences contribute to making you an outstanding candidate.
You can also sprinkle your resume with current buzzwords
(accountability, achievement, diversity, inclusive practices). Don’t overuse
them, but if they are appropriate for your experience, it demonstrates that you
are a continuous learner and practitioner.
Make sure you have submitted all the applicant paperwork
that your school divisions require. It hurts a prospect when the online
application or the phone interview has not been completed, or transcripts and
letters of recommendations are not readily available.
If you plan to present a portfolio during the interview, limit it to the
highlights. At this time of year, administrators are trying to find the best
applicants in the least amount of time, and your ability to target your best
examples is a plus.
And don’t forget that one of the best ways to discover
positions is through networking — friends, family, neighbors, dropping off
resumes, and making phone calls. Who do you know and who can help you?
Mentoring is a large part of an administrator’s calling — use your teachers,
professors, or building-level personnel to help you achieve your career goal.