You’ve successfully completed your college program, and now you’re ready to apply to your first job in early childhood education! As you’re looking to land that first position, keep in mind these tips from Ettel Feinberg, U-GRO Learning Centres’ Recruitment and Engagement Specialist. She shares her insights on everything from acing the online application to understanding expectations during the interview process.
With so many jobs posted online, and endless questionnaires, the application process can feel daunting – but don’t fear! Do your research and figure out which company you would truly be interested in working for! Once you’ve narrowed it down to a select few, you can focus on applying for the right job for you and not filling out endless applications.
Once you’ve decided where you’d like to work, give it your all! During the online application process, it’s important to provide not only the information requested, but to provide it in a clean and presentable way. It may seem more convenient to apply from your phone or mobile device, but it may not be easy to read for the recruiter. Instead, use a desktop or laptop where you will have access to spellcheck, your resume, and other important documents. Recruiters want to see your attention to detail, so they know you are serious about the opportunity. Always check spelling, and don’t forget to capitalize proper nouns – you’re going to be a teacher!
As a first-time teacher, you may not have a ton of hands-on experience to highlight in your application. If this is the case, be sure to convey that you are passionate about beginning a career in the field. Everyone starts somewhere, and U-GRO loves to not only help children grow, but teachers as well!
Most organizations begin the interview process with a phone call, often referred to as a “phone screen” or “phone interview.” Typically this call lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes and serves mainly as an introduction to learn a little bit more about what you are looking for and provide an overview of the position and opportunity. Remember, the recruiter wants to ensure that it is a good fit for both the organization, and for you!
Following your phone interview, you may be scheduled for an onsite interview. Each organization handles this step differently, but most organizations will let you know what to expect after the phone screen. If you are invited for an onsite interview – this is your chance to shine! You will want to wear something appropriate for the position. If you are teaching young children, a formal suit is not expected. Dress comfortably but professionally, and if you’re unsure about what is appropriate for an interview, don’t be afraid to ask. Recruiters love to help!
Arriving around 10 minutes before your in-person interview shows that you are reliable – any earlier than that can be tricky to navigate, especially in a secure setting like a childcare facility where you cannot linger unattended. Make sure to come prepared with your resume and any information that is relevant to the position. Most importantly, remember that the hiring manager is just as eager to meet you, her potential new employee, as you are to meet your potential new team, so just remember to be yourself!
One of the most important tips as you apply for your first job in early childhood education is to manage expectations.
For example, as an early childhood educator, you likely won’t be the only adult in the classroom. This is especially important for first time teachers to remember. It’s key to be a team player who is ready and willing to work with a co-teacher and assistants to create a positive atmosphere in the classroom. Hiring managers look for that trait because it is what gives your students the best opportunities to learn and grow. Read this blog post on Growing Children for a teacher’s firsthand experience with her assistant teacher, and how they learned to work together to manage the classroom.
To help set expectations before you get in the classroom, prepare questions for your potential employer ahead of time. Asking questions not only demonstrates that you did your research and have a genuine interest in the company and position, but it will also help you to have a better understanding of what the job entails. That way, when your first day rolls around, you will already know what it takes to succeed!
Interested in a rewarding career in early childhood education at U-GRO? View our current job openings and apply today!