TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Educational Career Services – Introduction
- Individualized Assistance
- Resource Center
The Placement File
- Contents of the Placement File
Letters of Recommendation
- Criteria for Letters of Recommendation
- Mailing the Placement File to Employers
- On-campus Recruitment
- Contacting the School District
- Job Search Workshops
Job Search Strategies
- Applying to the School District
EDUCATIONAL CAREER SERVICES
Educational Career Services (ECS), a service of the College of Education at California State University, Long Beach, is committed to the career development and placement of its students and alumni.
The goals of ECS are: to help candidates locate employment; to facilitate the career development of students; to assist faculty and administrators with the career education of students; and to introduce employers to qualified candidates. To meet these career development and placement goals, ECS provides placement counseling and recruitment opportunities.
We encourage all aspiring educators to utilize ECS as a fundamental resource in their job search. Indeed, anyone seeking information about education-related employment is welcome to contact ECS for assistance.
ECS offers the following placement services: counseling; resume writing assistance; the annual Education Job Fair and the ECS Resource Center.
For individual assistance, you may arrange a personal appointment with the Director, who will help you to write a resume, polish your interview skills and update your job search techniques.
The ECS Resource Center in ED1-33 contains a variety of materials relating to employment in education. Educational candidates are usually interested in the job vacancy listings posted daily in the center. Check these notices frequently as the vacancies do not remain open for long.
Other resource materials useful to candidates includes:
- Directory of California Public School Districts
- Directory of Private Schools in California
- Directory of Public Schools in the United States
- Directories of Colleges and Universities in the United States
- Maps of California Counties and Local School Districts
- Information on Teaching Overseas
- Salary Information
- Maps of California Community College Districts
- Resume Writing Guidelines
- Links to Web Sites where Educators Can Find Employment Opportunities
MANAGING YOUR OWN PLACEMENT FILE
Purpose of the Self-Managed Placement File
School district hiring officials consider the Placement File a concise and convenient source of information about candidates. Since January 1, 2003, all candidates at California State University, Long Beach have managed their own placement files. It is important to keep your file up-to-date, accurate and complete.
Contents of the Self-Managed Placement File
- Student Teaching Evaluations
- Letters of recommendation from Master Teacher(s) and University Supervisor
- Letters of recommendation from supervisors, previous employers, or college professors (see guidelines below.)
- Optional Contents: Transcripts, CBEST, MSAT/CSET, RICA, and other applicable test scores, TB certifications, copies of credentials (The school district will request these documents but they are not necessarily kept in your placement file.)
Letter of Recommendation Guidelines
Letters of recommendation should be written by a direct supervisor and based on teaching experience or experience working with students in teaching-related activities such as coaching, camp counseling, or other comparable work or volunteer experience.
A letter of recommendation should be from a teaching or teaching-related position such as coaching, camp counseling, or other comparable work or volunteer experience.
Generally, one letter from each experience is sufficient. Remember to keep your letters of recommendation current. When you change schools or a new principal is assigned to your school, ask your current principal to write you a letter of recommendation. Don't wait until you're ready to switch schools to request recommendations from administrators.
Letters of recommendation should be on the employer's official letterhead stationery, and should be addressed "To Whom It May Concern." They must be dated and signed by the writer.
When requesting a letter of recommendation, please suggest the following format:
- Inclusive dates you worked in the position.
- Capacity in which the writer supervised you.
- A brief description of your abilities, skills and/or knowledge.
- A description of your job duties.
- A description of grade level/population with whom you work
- A recommendation for employment in the field of teaching, counseling, or administration, as the case may be.
Letters of recommendation should be written by a direct supervisor based on your experience (paid or volunteer) working with children or adults in teaching-related activities, or by a professor.
Community College Candidates
Candidates seeking teaching positions at the community college level should obtain letters of recommendation from professors who can verify subject matter competency and from supervisors of related volunteer or paid work experience. Letters from professors that indicate only the course you took and the grade you received contain little value. Request your letters only from people who know your capabilities.
Counselors and School Psychologists
Candidates for counseling or school psychology positions should request letters of recommendation from professors who can verify their competencies, and from supervisors of field work, internships, and related voluntary or paid work experience. Letters should highlight the following skills: counseling, child-study, consultation, and coordination.
Candidates seeking administrative positions should obtain letters based on administrative or teaching-related positions and professional growth activities. The letters should originate from practicing administrators and should highlight:
1. A brief description of your abilities, leadership skills and professional relationships.
2. A description of your various job assignments in addition to teaching.
3. An assessment of your ability to assume responsibility, and to communicate with lay and professional groups.
Mailing the Placement File to Employers
Submit a copy (not the original) of your self-managed placement file along with other application materials (district application, resume, transcripts). You may wish to design a cover sheet and attach it to the front of your placement file. Title it "Self-Managed Placement File of Your Name”, and indicate your credential and the university where you received it, and/or the position for which you’re applying (see sample below). Remember that your placement file is a professional marketing tool, and it must be neat and organized.
Self-Managed Placement File of :
__________Your Name ________________
_____California State University, Long Beach_____
Credential: ______ Multiple Subject ____________
Applying for the Position of: __ Elementary Teacher _______
ECS organizes the CSULB Education Job Fair during the spring semester where students and alumni may meet with representatives from educational employers. Furthermore, school districts frequently request teacher recommendations, which allows us the opportunity to refer our candidates. Finally, ECS provides placement-related workshops to help the candidate adequately prepare for recruitment opportunities.
Each Spring, recruiters from educational employers visit CSULB to meet with elementary and secondary level teacher candidates, as well as teachers in specialized areas. While these recruiters are usually from Los Angeles County or Orange County, we also host some employers from outside the local area, such as Riverside and San Diego counties. Most of the employers that recruit on campus are screening potential teachers, whereas some have actual positions or contracts to offer.
Contacting the School District
ECS advises each candidate to aggressively plan a job search which integrates job interviews both on and off campus. However, there are some school districts that may need teachers but are unable to participate in on-campus recruitment. In such cases, it is in your best interest to contact the district directly and arrange an interview with the Certificated Personnel office.
Job Search Workshops
ECS offers workshops on the following topics:
- Resume Writing
- Job Interview Skills
- Developing a Self-Managed Placement File and an Interview Portfolio
- Preparing for Job Fairs
Periodically, ECS sponsors workshops which feature guest speakers. For specific dates and times of the workshops, please contact ECS or check the event calendar of the ECS web site.
JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES
Candidates must not rely exclusively on ECS to find out about job openings. Rather, you are encouraged to personally contact school districts and to utilize as many sources as possible in your job search.
Applying to the School District
One of the first steps in the job search is to obtain an employment application form. To request an application, you should either visit the district office in person or phone the Certificated Personnel office. You will need to contact districts out of the area by mailing a cover letter or a letter of application and a resume.
Many school districts now require on-line applications and you may need to develop a resume and cover letter that can be uploaded along with the application.
When you receive an application, be sure to find out: 1) when the application must be submitted; 2) when the district will begin interviewing; and 3) what the procedure is for scheduling an appointment for an interview. Make certain that your application is as neat and complete as possible.
Most districts require that a resume be included with the application form and some will request copies of your transcripts. Official copies of your CSULB transcripts may be obtained from the Records Office (562) 985-5487. It's a good idea to retain an official copy of your transcripts to duplicate and attach to the application forms.
Most school districts begin hiring in the Spring and continue through early Fall. You should initiate contact with the districts in which you are interested by March in order to be considered for any openings that may develop. When districts know they are going to have definite openings, they attempt to fill them as soon as possible.
In difficult economic conditions, as we are currently experiencing, it is imperative that candidates remain flexible geographically in the grades and subjects they are willing to teach. Those who take the steps to becoming more marketable will be more successful in obtaining employment.
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