Five Quick Tips for Today’s MERC Education Fair

Massachusetts Educational Recruiting Consortium (MERC) is today!

TIP 1 – Look your best – wear a suit. It may be okay to show up for your job in casual clothes, but you’ll be taken more seriously at the fair if you wear a suit. If you don’t have a suit, try to borrow one. Next choice is a pair of dress pants (or for women, a conservative skirt), a blazer or sport coat, a clean, pressed shirt and, for men, a tie.

TIP 2 – Don’t carry a backpack inside the fair. A backpack screams “I’m a student!” but you want to convey the message that you are ready to take on a professional role. If you can, leave your backpack at home. DO bring a leather portfolio or notepad holder, which should have room for a pad to take notes, extra copies of your resume, and a pen.

TIP 3 – Do some research, have a few questions. Prioritize your top schools or districts, do a little research, and see if you can come up with a couple of informed questions for your top choices. (For example, “I have experience teaching the math system you use – how is that working out for your elementary schools?”) For MERC, go to http://merc.experience.com. Under “Students” on the right, click on “Visit our website,” then click on “Registered Organizations.”

TIP 4 – Know your strengths. When someone asks you what you do well as an educator, you should be able to cite three or more strengths and provide one or more examples of each. Experienced job fair candidates know to work up a 30-second “personal commercial” (otherwise known as an “elevator speech”) that highlights these strengths. For more on this strategy, click on the video at http://www.bc.edu/edfair

TIP 5 – Send thank you letters. Be sure to get business cards at the fair, or if those are unavailable, get the correct spelling for each person, plus their title. More information on thank you notes is at http://www.bc.edu/offices/careers/skills/letters/thanks.html

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