Marketing Myself and Being Prepared

On Tuesday, I posted a video blog about the process I took (and a process you can take too!) to construct a digital professional portfolio. This week I have been busy constructing my interview kit and I wanted to share that with you as well. Looking at it, I feel like it is a lot – but I think will be well prepared to answer the questions and show evidence with the arsenal I bring with me into the interview room.
I had another district call today, as I was putting these kits together, to interview me on the same day that my other interview was scheduled — never had that problem before, but it is a good problem to have. After rescheduling one interview to an earlier time (they are about 3 hours away from each other), I realized I needed to go to the store to get my “arts & crafts” material. I had ordered 5 flash drives on Amazon earlier this week to be sure I got them in time, but after the second interview got lined up – I did not have enough drives for all the members of both panels. I went with using CDs instead.
Below are the components within my interview kit.
1. The Final Handout: This is what I will hand to all members of the interview panel when I get introduced. They may already have copies of it, but it is better to come prepared than leave them without. A simple paper-clip keeps it together.
2. The Media: Since I could not get the needed amount of flash drives prior to the interview (and the cost factor), I decided to go the CD route for my digital portfolio and ended up buying some labels and disc jackets for one district (with more people). I spent ~$12 on both the CD labels and disk jackets, but it creates a professional looking product. Imagine if you just wrote your name on the CD with a Sharpie. I also used Avery’s website label developer to integrate the background from my portfolio onto the disc label. I printed address labels with the title of the disc and my contact info to put on the jacket. I am pretty happy with the turn out.

3. Letters of Recommendation: I included the standard three letters in all of the packets so they could reference them if needed or see further evidence that supports my candidacy.
4. My Notepad: I always bring my schnazzy note pad to take down notes about the questions they ask, important information, names/contacts of the interviewers for thank you notes/follow-up, and to have a “cheat sheet” about what I want to talk about in front of me.
5. Cover Letter: I typically print out the cover letter I submitted with my application and include it in the packet to each person. Some may not have had a chance to read it or perhaps only skimmed it prior to the interview.
6. Resume: Resume always goes on top for me – I want the key points of why they should hire me in front of their eyes. Again they may already have a copy, but if you applied several months prior to an interview – it lets you provide an updated (or edited) copy for them to see.
7. My Comprehensive Portfolio: This contains work samples, all the other documents that I included in the packets (printed on nice paper), my philosophy statement, and things that I have developed (like curricula). I usually reference this if answering specific questions or for evidence about my qualifications.
Other than that, I always bring myself, dressed in a nice suit, and a positive attitude. I know I won’t be right for every job and there will be times I don’t get the position even if my interview rocked their socks off — it is all about finding the right fit. Market yourself and create a “brand” that you are selling to schools — do it right and employers will chase you down.

The blog author, Jeffrey Ream M.S, PPS, writes for The Counseling Geek. Connect with Jeff via email, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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