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Job Fair Like a Boss - Part 1 - Featuring Erin Lewis

Updated: Mar 5


I met Erin Lewis at the EDLC conference in June. We connected right away over our love for encouraging preservice teachers to get connected through social media. Erin holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and a Master of Science in Education, both from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Over the years she has taught elementary music, middle school band, and spent a few years during graduate school as a preschool teacher.  

Erin Lewis podcast episode
Erin Lewis podcast episode

Erin currently has a full studio of private voice students and can often be found performing for a variety of events throughout the Western Pennsylvania Area. Erin currently works at Clarion University in the Center for Career and Professional Development and serves as a career liaison to Arts, Communication, Languages, Public & Human Services students, as well as, Environmental & Natural Resources and Math students. Erin has completed the National Association of Colleges and Employers Career Coaching Intensive training.  Erin advises Phi Eta Sigma, the freshmen honor society and serves as a programming mentor to Sigma Phi Epsilon. Currently she pursuing a doctoral degree in Communications Media & Instructional Technology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Erin enjoys studying charisma and confidence, particularly as it relates to young adults and social media usage.

What are Job Fairs?

A job fair, also referred commonly as a career fair or career expo, is an event in which employers, recruiters, and schools give information to job seekers. These can be large-scale with hundreds of employers and thousands of job seekers, or smaller events. Job Fairs can even be virtual, which is especially great if you already know you plan to relocate to another state, country or geographic region!

What can candidates expect at a job fair?

  • Large crowds, long lines & lots of noise

  • expect a registration line or check-in -- I would always encourage you to PRE REGISTER in advance!

  • Expect to meet with SEVERAL recruiters/schools/hiring professionals and talk about yourself

  • Expect screening interviews, not final interviews

  • Strengths, weaknesses, questions about the school or program

  • Expect to hear “apply online”

Alright Edumagician’s - here are my Top 5 (6-10 will be posted next week) Job Fair Success Tips

1) Quality Resume

  • Before you do anything related to your job search -- make sure your resume is polished & professional

  • Use your career center’s resume review service

  • They know what employers expect and can help with keywords

  • Prepare SEVERAL copies of your resume to take with you to the job fair

  • You will want one resume for each school district + several EXTRA copies

  • It is also a good idea to bring along business cards and your teaching portfolio

  • Some schools or recruiters cannot accept resumes because of their application process -- if you have business cards, this is a great way to connect!

  • *VistaPrint = 100 business cards for $16

2) Elevator Pitch

  • This is your 30-second commercial to make a sincere and memorable impression

  • This gets the employer’s attention and introduces who you are in a short time

  • Name, School, & Certification Area

  • Experiences with children and teaching

  • What type of opportunity are you seeking

  • What is a strength or qualification you have that relates to this position


  • (extend your hand to shake the recruiter’s hand!) Hi, My name is Jane, and I’m a secondary education mathematics major at ABC College. I’ve been working with children since I was in tenth grade. I was a camp counselor at a STEM camp for girls each summer from 10th grade on and had the opportunity to student teach many different levels of mathematics. Your school has an opening for a math teacher and I”m interested in relocating to South Carolina. Can you tell me more about your school district?

  • TIP: use your phone to record yourself and playback to edit and refine. It is a great to practice!

  • ** you want your elevator pitch to be smooth and natural, not robotic and rehearsed!

  • ** Job Fairs draw big crowds! You’ll need to find a way to stand out & shine like the Edumagician you are! ** It CAN be intimidating and overwhelming! Remind yourself that the employers have paid a lot of money to attend the fair to meet YOU, and then take a deep breath, put on your beautiful smile, and walk right up to the recruiter.

3) Research

  • Use the job fair directory (app, website, or list you were emailed!) to see who is coming to the fair.

  • View websites to help you align schools’ goals with your skills

  • LinkedIn is another excellent resource to use for research

  • What alumni work at the schools in which you’re interested?

  • Connect with alumni and ask them questions about the school, community, relocating, etc…

  • It's a GREAT conversation topic when you talk to recruiters!

4) Be Strategic & Create a Game Plan

  • Once you do some research on the schools attending, identify the schools you want to meet with and divide them into three tiers:

Tier 1: TOP 5 schools These are your FIRST CHOICE schools

  • You won’t want to start your job fair off with these schools. You’ll want to start with your warm-up schools.

“Tier 2” schools

  • these 4-5 schools are interesting, but maybe you’re unsure about culture, opportunities, location, etc…

  • Visit these schools after you’ve already visited your Tier 3 schools AND your Tier 1 schools

  • These are your “if you have extra time” schools!

Tier 3 schools

  • These 2-3 schools will become your “warm-up” schools

  • You’re interested in these schools, but if things don’t go well with your elevator pitch or how you ask questions and present your knowledge, you’re out nothing. You will want to START with your Tier 3 schools.

Next steps

  • Create a LIST of the schools you plan to visit.

  • Jot a few notes for each school, including the school’s mission statement. Plan to ask questions about the school.

  • As an edumagician you’ll want to go the extra mile --- make a “cheat sheet” for each school and highlight a few things YOU want to point out about why they are interesting to you. You will SHINE brightly!

  • Using the job fair directory, map out your schools and familiarize yourself with the floor plan.

  • Remember, there are often LONG LINES at fairs- don’t spend all your time standing in line at a job fair. Make a plan, but be flexible! (kind of like when you’re teaching kindergarten!)

5) Ask Quality Questions

  • Consider what environment you want to work in and ask questions to help you find this fit.

  • While it may seem like a job fair is all about landing your first teaching job, it is ALSO about finding the right job for YOU.

  • Here are a few questions to consider asking:

  • Why is this position open?

  • What kind of support system will I have as a new teacher?

  • How are teachers evaluated?

  • What are some ways your school involves parents in the education process?

  • ** No need to “grill” the recruiters! Only ask 2-3 of these questions; there will be time for more questions later in the interview if things work out!

EduMagians, you have access to our checklist that goes over each of these tips in detail and gives you ideas to ponder and fill out! Check it out here:! Learn more about the AAEE Job Fair here - registration is free for teacher candidates, and learn more about how to register for the AAEE job fair here.

So, Now What?

These actionable tips and strategies will prepare you to rock the job fair like a boss. Please share your great ideas in the comments below or send them out on social with #EduMagic!

Remember, friends, you have the EduMagic in YOU!

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