Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Getting Your First Teaching Job: The Job Search

So, you’re about to graduate from college. Where do you start looking for a job? Newly-elected MENC Collegiate National Chair-Elect, Diana Hollinger, has some tips for you.

Tips When Job Searching

  • Start early, even before you finish school
  • Observe deadlines
  • Define what you want and what you offer
  • Be flexible, expect a less than perfect job, and set realistic salary expectations
  • Update resume/portfolio, manage your letters of recommendation and contact information, and maintain your files
  • Use letters of inquiry, and follow up on those inquiries
  • Network constantly, create a website, and think outside the box
  • Make a good impression early and with everyone
  • Be willing to take on extra duties
  • Focus your search—create a list of possibilities
  • Target your letter/resume to the job listing
  • Get experience, substitute teach in your desired districts, and look in urban and rural areas where there are shortages

Where to Start


  • College ensemble conductors
  • Music education professors
  • Music store staff
  • Other music teachers, former teachers, master teachers
  • Other students, recent graduates, friends
  • Administrators from student teaching
  • Relatives, friends, and colleagues in other cities
  • Studio teachers
  • Substitute teach
  • Conferences – MENC National and State, local workshops, etc.
  • LinkedIn/Social networks

Out of State Job Considerations

  • Must have state certification
  • Each state has different standards
  • Some states have “reciprocal licensure”
  • You may need to take exams or coursework to be re-certified in a different state

These ideas and tips were used in the “Job Search and Interview Strategies” session given by Diana Hollinger and Jill Sullivan during the 2010 Biennial Music Educators National Conference, March 26, 2010, in Anaheim, CA.

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