06/10/2014 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Versatile Candidate? Build Your File Like This

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When you’re looking for a new teaching or administrative job, you always want to keep your options open.  For some candidates, that might mean considering schools in other parts of the country, or being willing to work in a boarding as well as a day school.  For others, that could mean applying to teach a number of different subjects.

Many of our candidates are academically versatile: world language teachers apply to teach Spanish or French, Physics teachers could also instruct Chemistry or Math, and some humanities educators can teach English or History.  If you’re a similarly versatile candidate, how do you arrange the documents in your CS&A file?  Should you write two different personal statements or request different letters of recommendation?

A general rule of thumb: highlight your versatility.  Include one set of documents—same resume and references for various positions—and use highly targeted cover letters to delve into each specific position for which you are applying.

Who knows: even if you’re applying for one position, a school might be intrigued to learn that you could cover a different area as well.  Don’t limit yourself—use your CS&A file to demonstrate all your skills.

In your resume, begin with a short paragraph that explains your multi-faceted approach to education.  Write a summary sentence or two that explains who you are as an educator: a versatile teacher of “___” and “___” with experience in “___.”  Your versatility has likely shaped your career: use your personal statement to weave in anecdotes and career highlights while demonstrating the variety of courses you can teach and positions you can hold.

If you’re worried about coming across as too general, set aside time to hone targeted cover letters for every position to which you apply.  In your cover letters, acknowledge your versatility, but make sure to provide answers to the specific questions a school has raised in its job description.  Focus on why you want to work at that particular school in that particular position—draw upon highlights from your career that are associated with the role for which you’re applying.  Make sure you demonstrate how your unique perspective will benefit your prospective employer.  Just as in your personal statement, your cover letter should be as much about the school as it is about you: you want to show hiring contacts why they need to interview you.

If you’re a dual-candidate with us, great!  We’re excited to help you find the perfect position.  When it comes to your file, treat it as one set of documents with specific cover letters.  Schools will be interested in your versatility.

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