This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a job fair at Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia. The districts represented were from the Northern Shenandoah Valley area. Clarke County, Frederick County, Harrisonburg City, Page County, Shenandoah County, Warren County, and Winchester City Public Schools were all represented. This particular job fair did not require any kind of preregistration form, and only asked that attendees bring their resume to hand out to representatives.
I had not been to a job fair since I was finishing up student teaching in the fall of 2008. I wanted to make a good impression, so I bought a new button up blouse in one of my favorite colors, and got a new pair of dress shoes. The night before the job fair, I sat down to revamp the resume I had put together for the instructional technology positions I was seeking, and edited it so that it showcased both my teaching and technology successes. I did the same thing to the cover letter I had written up. For good measure, I located the nice resume paper that I still had left from my student teaching and printed both on that. I tucked both sets of documents into a folder andfelt confident.
The day of the fair was rather yucky, weather-wise. The weather was a rain/snow mix, with the chance for up to 6 inches. Thankfully, it never really stuck to the ground, or caused any issues with travel. I arrived at Lord Fairfax shortly after 9 and headed in with my gear. After quickly filling out the registration form, I was allowed entry.
It was a decent turnout, though not as crowded as I thought it might have been. I would guess that the weather played a key role here. I decided on a counterclockwise rotation and began my journey around the room. Many times I had to wait until I could speak to district representations, so I had plenty of time to observe. There were student teachers, educators who wanted to transfer (like me), and career switchers. I found that in some cases, certain districts did not want to really converse with you if your job was notsomething they were looking for. On the other hand, if your job was in need in a district, you became a very interesting person on the spot.
I handed out my resume to each district except for 1 or 2. Iwas disappointed that I did not yet have the teacher business cards I had ordered because some district representations asked for my blog URL, and I gave them my Twitter handle as well. I do wish I had thought of the business card idea sooner because it would have looked more professional, but at least I will have them before I attend TIS Regionals next month.
I finished up just after 11 and had found that Clarke County was one I was interested in applying to for a teaching position. It’s a smaller district, with only two elementary schools. The good news is that both principals were there, so I made sure to speak to both of them. I did come home after the fair and put in a job application that evening. It was the first teaching application I had submitted on my hunt for a new job.
Overall, I think it went pretty well, and it gave me a chance to put faces to some of the districts I had looked at in the past. I loved being able to make connections, and hopefully some of my hard work will pay off in the future.