Keep a copy of your resume by the phone. Supervisors, superintendents, and others may wish to do a bit of interviewing over the phone and having a copy of your resume near the phone can steady your nerves in the event that they call. Looking at the resume as you are being asked questions helps remind you of the details of your accomplishments, which makes it easier to articulate them or answer questions about them.
Keep notepaper and your datebook near the phone. Your ability to decisively schedule appointments communicates good time management skills. If someone calls to schedule an interview and you communicate ambivalence or confusion about a possible conflict with another obligation, you may be inadvertently communicating poor time management skills.
Make sure your outgoing voice-mail/answering machine message clearly and straightforwardly indicates your name, phone number, and a directive to leave a message. Common student outgoing messages, featuring ambient social background noise, multiple voices saying hello, etc., should be replaced by a more professional message during the time you are expecting career-related calls.
Communicate your needs clearly with any housemates. Let them know that you will be expecting calls and that you need them to record and report messages with accuracy and care.
Research the school districts or organizations to which you have sent applications. Read their entire web page; look for their mission statement, policies, initiatives, and programs. Having this information will allow you to answer the question, “Why do you wish to work for us?”
Polish your interviewing skills on the Interviewing page. Conduct mock interviews with friends and family.
If you are unexpectedly called away from the phone number you listed on the resume and cover letter, call the superintendent’s office to let them know that you are very interested in the position, but you can be reached at a different number for the next couple of days (as the case may be).
Sometimes the wheels of progress turn slowly. Patience is part of professionalism. When searches are conducted during the summer months, decisions may take longer as search committees must convene around each member’s vacation plans. If you don’t receive correspondence from an organization, business, or school acknowledging receipt of your application, it’s perfectly acceptable to call the superintendent’s office or the human resources office to confirm receipt of your application no earlier than a week after you mail your materials. And, during this call, you are encouraged to ask, “Do you have a sense of when you will be scheduling interviews?” The administrative assistant may give you that information, providing you with a general sense of when the scheduling call could be made.
Some organizations, businesses, and schools will communicate by letter to applicants they have declined to interview. If several weeks pass and you have received no word on the status of the search, it’s perfectly acceptable to call and inquire. No news isn’t necessarily bad news. Unforeseen circumstances that you know nothing about could have hindered the search committee’s ability to move forward or make a decision.
Stay positive. Any discouragement, despair, or anxiety you are feeling about a slow-moving job search will be detectable in your communications with those hiring, once you do make contact. Discouragement, despair, and anxiety are not desirable qualities in any employee. You need to put your best face forward in all communications and contact.