01/16/2023 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Job Searching in January

job search documents on table

The few weeks of the new year can be some of the toughest for job-seekers. It is still slightly early in the independent school hiring timeline, but job-seekers still begin to feel anxious. What can you do in the first few weeks of January to situate yourself well for the onslaught of job listings, cover letters, conferences, and interviews the winter months will hold?

1. (Re)Activate Your File

Now is the best time to become a candidate with CS&A, if you aren’t already active. Hiring within independent schools is busiest from February through April — though we're seeing many schools start the process even earlier; ensure you don’t miss any opportunities by activating and completing your job-seeker profile in advance. If you’ve never worked with us, the first step is to fill out our application. If you’ve worked with us in the past, log back into CandidateConnect to update any old information in your profile, change your status to “Actively Looking,” and we’ll get you up and running.

2. Upload Supporting Materials

If you activated your candidacy with us over the summer or fall, you may have waited to upload the newest, freshest version of your resume, or you may have neglected to upload a personal statement. Spend some time tightening the supporting materials in your file, whether that means updating your resume, crafting a killer personal statement, or adding a personal website or blog to enhance your file. Take care of this now so you won’t have to worry about out-of-date materials when you’re swimming in applications and cover letters in a few weeks.

3. Request Letters of Recommendation

Be sure to take the time to request letters of recommendation to complete your file. Try to ask letter-writers as soon as possible — give them time to write a stellar letter on your behalf, and be mindful of their time. It’s always helpful to give a loose deadline, so the writer can plan accordingly.

4. Discuss Your Search Plans

Now is the time to start thinking about discussing your search plans with your current administration — particularly if you’re planning to attend one of our hiring conferences this winter. Make sure you avoid awkwardness (and don’t burn any bridges) by being as up-front as possible with your current head of school or supervisor. Consider the seriousness of your search, as well as your contract deadline, before broaching the conversation.

5. Think About Conference Attendance

We host hiring events across the country each winter. These events are fantastic one-of-a-kind opportunities to connect and interview with hiring contacts from schools that match your preferences and requirements. Take a look at our events schedule and start thinking about which might be best-suited for you. As a general rule of thumb, FORUM/DEIB, FORUM/Boston, and FORUM@NAIS (when held) are national in scope, whereas other events (FORUM/New York City, FORUM/Los Angeles, etc.) are more regional.

You must be an active candidate to attend our conferences, so if you're not one yet — apply now!

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