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Get Your Leadership Job

How do I distinguish myself in order to get that leadership job? Share what works and what doesn't work.

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Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 9, 2012 at 11:37am

What Are Your Aces?

 

Let's start with the following premises: (1) the purposes of your resume and cover letter are to distinguish yourself, and get you an interview; (2) your aces must be readily apparent and not buried or hidden from the screener; (3) your aces must be a good match for the position and the school-community; therefore, you must customize your paper each time you apply.

 

If you are a graduate of a presigious university or hold a doctorate degree, then list your education first. Narrow your bullet statements to no more than 5 or 6 for your most recent positions, and fewer for less recent experiences. For entry-level positions (ass't principal; dean), remember that you will be a support person to the principal and that the principal needs you to do much of the grunt work-- bus, corridor, and cafeteria duties, student discipline, test administration, scheduling substitutes. These may not be glamorous jobs, but they are important and must be done effectively. You may be proud about doing curriculum and staff development work, but that is usually secondary to what a principal needs. The principal has enormous challenges and is highly accountable, and needs help. Make sure you list these school management experiences at the top of your list of bullets. If you don't have those experience and skills, then volunteer in your school and get the experience. If you have any experience doing classroom observations and or walk throughs, then those go to the top of the list.

 

If the school-community is diverse, then emphasize experiences you have had in working with minorities. If the school-community is affluent and/or has students performing at high academic levels, then these experiences and qulifications become your aces.

 

What would you like to add? Any thoughts or questions?

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 4, 2012 at 9:14am

"Always play your aces first!" I learned this strategy as a child when my father taught me how to play pinochle. In creating a resume and cover letter, always place your greatest strengths for the particular position first. Many job listings will draw 100 or more responses. The person who is doing the paper screening might only look at each resume and letter for less than two minutes. You don't want your greatest qualifications to be missed-- so, play your aces first.

 

In my next comment, I will explore how to identify your "aces".

 

Please share your comments and questions.

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 3, 2012 at 8:37am

I agree with Mike. When you join a professional group, volunteer for a committee and/or a leadership role. Get out of the chorus line and be a presence. There's a quantum difference between being visible (a member) and being a presence (an actice participant).

Comment by Michael Keany on April 2, 2012 at 5:55pm

I would suggest that it is very important to involve yourself in a local professional organization.  In that way, you can network, learn about what's current and also make a professional contribution that will be valued and respected.  A good place to start is LIASCD.  Go to www.liascd.org to join.

Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on April 1, 2012 at 11:21am

Welcome James,

 

There are many ways of gathering information. Networking would be near the top of the list. Speak with friends and colleagues, and friends of friends-- folks who work and live there work there. Remember, you're getting opinions, and beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Also read their local newspaper stories. Most towns have weekly newspapers on-line; read the comments,editorials and letters to the editor. Also, do a drive through the district. Check out the condition and location of the school(s); stop into a local super market, pizza place, public library (they have a collection of local newspapers). There are lot's of ways.

Comment by James Foy on April 1, 2012 at 10:39am
I feel that this is a road that many will travel. Personally, it has been a three year journey. When I first started applying and going on interviews my excitement trumped my inexperience at interviewing. It is truly a process of knowing yourself and allowing others to identify with you, through the answers to your questions. I have so far made it to the "top-5," "top-3," and most recently "top-2.". I feel that the journey has taught me a lot however, I was curious if anyone had any good ideas on gathering information on a school distinct other than infinite google searches?
Comment by Dr. Larry Aronstein on March 28, 2012 at 1:11pm

Read my 50 secrets of getting your new leadership job over the next several months, and let's discuss these and your ideas.

 

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