The AFL-CIO offers a job search action plan to help members who are out of work. NYSUT has added further information to that list for specific fields.
Step 1: Take Stock of Yourself
- List the job skills you have developed. Talk with former colleagues, sometimes they can help you realize skills and strengths you are not even aware you use. Being in charge of a classroom, for example, requires managerial skills.
- Consider skills you have developed off the job.
- Write out your employment history, listing all previous jobs.
- Determine the pay and benefits you require, while realizing you may have to take an initial cut in pay in changing jobs.
- Determine the working conditions you prefer. Consider how far you are willing to travel. What are the expenses of dressing for this job, getting tools, etc.?
- Write down the lowest pay and benefits level you will accept.
- Figure out the opportunities for future wage increases and promotions at any job you are considering.
- Make a list of temp agencies or schools you can submit your name to for substitute teaching while you are looking for work.
Step 2: Who is Hiring?
- Check newspaper advertisements, local job service offices, employment agencies and online services.
- Find out if there are any "head hunters" operating in your area.
- Check specialty areas in your field: for music teachers, librarians, BOCES instructors.
- Bookmark Web sites of employment agencies, services and school districts that you can easily check regularly.
- Tell everyone you know you are looking for work, and ask them to alert you to job openings.
Step 3: Prepare for the Interview
- Find out as much as you can about the employer and the job opening before you apply or are interviewed. Almost every school district has a Web site now. Learn about special features of the place you will be interviewing.
- Practice asking and answering questions with a friend or colleaguge, especially if it has been awhile since you have interviewed with a potential employer. Consider how you might answer typical interview questions: Why are you interested in working for us? What are your goals in the next five years? What makes you think you can fill the requirements of this job?
- Use MapQuest or another Web-based directional search to be sure you know how to get to the interview. Take a test-drive to see how long it takes you to get there.
- Check your appearance. Dress appropriately for the type of job you are applying for, and sit upright during the interview.
- Bring the following to the interview: a summary sheet /resume of your work experience, skills and education that you can use to fill out the application form; your Social Security card and driver's license; citizenship documents if necessary; and a list of references.
- Be honest, to the point and confident when answering questions.
- Send a thank-you letter to the interviewer after the interview.