Teaching is one of those professions of passion. The most successful, sought after teachers are the ones with true enthusiasm for who they’re working with and what they’re doing. Even then it can be difficult to find a job in the field, with many teaching graduates failing to find employment within an adequate timeframe. In 2016 alone, the ABC reported on staggering numbers failing to find relevant employment within three to five years, requiring them to start a new degree. Although this probably won’t happen to you, we want everyone who studies teaching to be equipped for the job market. So, in this article, we’ll show you how to apply that passion and skill to improving your job prospects. Each section will be a self-contained method for bolstering that resume, impressing in an interview or interacting with employers. Let’s get going!
The best time to start looking for work experience or placements is yesterday. The earlier you get moving, the more time you’ve got to be rejected and eventually accepted. Even if you don’t yet know anything, by the time you’re accepted for one of these positions you’ll know something! If you don’t yet know something by then, you’ll learn on the job. These placements are internships, after all. You aren’t expected to be a master off the bat. They’re designed for novices.
In case it’s too late however, there are some other steps you can take in the period between now and finding a placement or grad job.
All disciplines taught in primary and secondary education are represented in state bodies. These provide a community of like-minded professionals who at the very least can advise you on getting a career, or what skills to develop further in order to enhance employability. Membership costs an annual fee, but could be well worth it if you’re looking for direct insight into your subject of choice. Even if you don’t join, just getting in contact with members and offering to buy them coffee and have a chat is a great way to build some contacts!
This can be helping out in peer assisted learning sessions, coaching a sport team or teaching an instrument. Showing your mettle somehow speaks volumes about your commitment to the profession and will help you stand out in the crowd. It’ll also provide additional context for your studies, regardless of if you’ve graduated or not yet. You can even seek references from satisfied parents. Simply using your initiative to start tutoring is a way to solidify your knowledge and boost your resume.
If you’ve graduated, this is a great way to spend your time in the interim between now and a grad job.
It’s always worth attempting to get work placements or jobs through official channels, but if all else fails, you can always contact faculty directly. You’d be surprised at the opportunities you can call simply by shaking the tree and seeing what falls out. Granted, there will be plenty of times where you’ll be redirected to official applications forms, but just asking a teacher if it’d be OK to shadow them and take notes to assist to compliment your teaching degree doesn’t hurt. This likely wouldn’t count as ‘placement’ per se, but it’s a great way to get a bit of experience if all else fails.
These are still useful as a postgrad for just about any discipline you can think of. If you start perusing student association Facebook pages and LinkedIn feeds, you’ll likely come across all manner of panels and networking functions that’ll let you come into contact with movers and shakers. Even if all you meet are other students or graduates, you’ll gain the opportunity to make friends and learn how they overcame their own career hurdles. Overall, this is an invaluable, inexpensive way to get much-needed advice and perhaps even career opportunities. If you go out of your way to collect business cards and offer to send potential employers your resume, you’ll put yourself in good stead.
You should now have a somewhat better idea of how to boost your shot at a grad job in teaching outside the standard channels. Of course, sprucing up your resume, cover letters and other standards are all valuable too. Our sister site, GradNewZealand, hosts a guide on how to get a graduate job that can be applied to Australian postgraduates too.
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