12/30/2021 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

6 Job Search Tips for the New Year

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The new year is one of the most popular times for people to start thinking about looking for a new job. You're feeling energized after a (hopefully) restful winter break, optimistic about entering a new calendar year, and motivated to make a positive change.

And, let's face it, you're also ready to leave the past two years behind and claim what's yours — an awesome new job — in 2022.

But as exciting as the prospect of a new job can be, it can be hard to know where to start and what to focus on to be successful. Where are the best teaching or leadership jobs posted? How do you find time for a job search among everything else you're juggling? What will help you stand out to schools that are hiring?

If you’re considering an upcoming job search for a teaching, administrative, or school leadership role, these six tips (or think of them as resolutions) will help ensure a manageable, exciting (because job seeking should be fun!), and ultimately rewarding process.

1. I will use a recruiter to find the right job for me.

It's no secret that job searching is stressful, time consuming, and overwhelming. There are hundreds of jobs posted across countless channels, you're competing against dozens of other applicants, and it's hard to tell from just a simple job description if a school is the right community for you and your family.

That's where a recruiter or recruitment firm (like us here at Carney Sandoe) comes in. By getting to know you personally — beyond just your resume — and taking time to understand your strengths and goals, we send you curated job opportunities that fit what you're looking for, saving you the trouble of sorting through thousands of postings. (We also often have jobs that aren't posted anywhere else!)

Throughout the entire job search process, we serve as your coach and guide, offering insight into the schools and people you interview with, advice on your resume or challenging topics that might arise, and even talking through salary negotiations or deciding between multiple offers. Because we talk to our partner schools regularly, we advocate on your behalf to those schools you're most interested in, helping you remain at the top of their candidate list.

Ultimately, our mission is to find you a job you're excited about at a school where you'll thrive. And yes, our service is really entirely free. Why would you want to search for your next job any other way?

2. I will keep my resume, personal statement, and other assets up to date.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but the very first thing you should be focusing on when starting a job search is perfecting your resume. While this is usually a task that feels more like a chore than anything else, it’s imperative to your job search that you have a well-formatted, inclusive, and updated resume.

Make maintaining your resume more manageable by adding to it regularly. Did you start a new after-school club at school? Add that right away. Volunteering somewhere new? Include it now so you won’t have to later. Resume styles also change over time — as do your accomplishments and job responsibilities — so be sure yours won’t stick out for the wrong reasons.

For job seekers who use Carney Sandoe, this also includes updating your personal statement (more info on that here), letters of recommendation, and any other information found in your CandidateConnect profile, such as geographic preferences, school types you'll consider, etc.

3. I will monitor my online reputation.

More often than not, potential employers will search for you online and on social media channels. Do you know what they’ll find when they Google you? Stay ahead of the game, and do some defensive Googling of yourself. Search using the name you have been including on your resume and other job search documents, and take the steps necessary to remove any unwanted search results if you can.

A LinkedIn profile is a huge tool in reputation management. LinkedIn is a great tool to brand yourself and tell your story outside what your resume describes. Get social on LinkedIn by building your network, sharing and commenting on posts, and showcasing your skills. (Tip: Ask current and former colleagues, employers, or organizations you have worked or volunteered with to write Recommendations for you on LinkedIn. These add a lot of value to your profile and offer good context to your work history.)

4. I will be an effective communicator.

Ok readers, this is a biggie. One of the most helpful things you can do in your job search is to be an open and timely communicator. As a CS&A candidate, your Placement Associate will be referring you to jobs and schools may be contacting your for interviews. When you receive a message — whether via email, phone, or CandidateConnect — from a hiring contact, you need to respond to that message promptly.

This is particularly true, of course, if you are interested in the position, but you should always respond — even if you’re not interested in moving forward. Why? The independent school community is small; you never know if one day down the line, the hiring manager at a school you're really interested in happens to be the very person you blew off a few years back at a different school.

5. I will know and honor my value.

Knowing your value and worth as an educator, administrator, or leader —  and how you will add value to a school community — is important for two reasons. First, by being able to clearly and concisely explain the value you bring to a school, the more likely you are to be seen as a strong candidate. Schools can see from your resume your work experience, awards, and other accolades. What they can't see immediately is what implicit value you bring to the table. If you come to the interview process understanding what you can do specifically for a school if you're hired, you will be ahead of the game.

Second, only by knowing your value are you able to honor that value by not settling for a job that isn't the perfect fit. Whether you're looking for a school whose values align with your own, a more supportive and structured working environment, or a culture where all voices are seen and respected, you should feel empowered to make decisions that are the best for you and your family. Have conversations with your Placement Associate about what you need to thrive and be happy so they can tailor the opportunities they show you to fit what you need. Ask hiring committees questions and take time to seek out answers before you make decisions on job offers. Take care to honor what matters most to you in a new role.

6. I will believe that anything is possible.

The power of positive thinking is real. If you don’t believe something is possible, then it won't be. Regardless of what stage you’re at in your career, approach your job search with a can-do attitude. Get into a positive mindset and have confidence in your skills and talents. Being energetic, thoughtful, articulate, and passionate are crucial characteristics in school environments, and hiring contacts will be looking for those qualities.

7. BONUS: I will attend a CS&A hiring conference.

Whether you’re a returning candidate who has always been curious about our hiring conferences but never attended one, or a brand-new job seeker just learning about them, our conferences are one of the best ways to get in front of hiring contacts at the top independent and private schools across the country.

Each conference features a day (or multiple days) of consecutive 30-minute introductory interviews between you and hiring schools. Potentially, you'll be able to meet with a variety of hiring contacts and interview for a number of roles, which saves you a lot of time and gets your foot in the door with multiple schools. They’re free for active CS&A candidates, too! Check out the four conferences we're hosting in 2022 —  starting with our eighth-annual FORUM/Diversity event.

Not a current candidate with CS&A? Apply today! Our highly-personalized job search service is free for any job seeker.

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2 Comments

Wendy Anderson 1/4/2022 at 9:34am

Curious about costs relating to recruiting? My son has music education degree and is in his second year teaching but not ideal job.Had difficulty even getting interviewed.

Tell me more about what you do, success rate, and costs related.

    Julie Landis 1/4/2022 at 11:38am

    Hi Wendy! Thanks for your comment. Our job search service is free to the job seeker; schools are our clients and cover all fees.

    In terms of how we work, we partner with hundreds of K-12 private, independent, and charter schools across the country. Our team is divided by subject area, so if your son wants to pursue music education he would work one-on-one with our music Placement Associate. We work to understand each job seeker’s goals and requirements in a new job, then we send curated job opportunities that fit what each person is looking for. If a job seeker decides to pursue one of the opportunities we send, we serve as coach and advocate throughout the entire interview process.

    Success rates depend on a lot of factors such as competitiveness of subject area, geographic flexibility, etc. so that’s a bit difficult to calculate. If your son is interested using our service, he can complete a job seeker application found here: https://candidates.carneysandoe.com/Account/Register. He’s also free to use other tools and sources as well while using Carney Sandoe.

    Let us know if you have any other questions!