Teacher job search resources

CEHD Education Panel 2023
Teacher Experience

The annual Education Panel provides an overview of the teaching job search process, how to stand out at networking events and interviews, tips for first year of teaching, and more! Check out this video from the December 2023 panel.
*Tip: Listen to the audio during your down time or travel time.

CEHD Education Panel 2023
Organization Information Portion

This portion of the panel focuses on organization overview of Education Minnesota, the support of unions, and employer insight on the job search.

Find a teaching position

When should I begin looking for a teaching position?

According to AppliTrack, while there are teaching positions posted throughout the year, the bulk of teaching positions are posted in April and May and continue through the summer months. You may begin to apply for teaching positions once you feel confident about your resume and cover letter, have received strong letters of recommendation - from people who can speak to your teaching ability, and can talk about your classroom experience effectively. You can use the teacher job search calendar above as a reference to help you keep track of the job search process. It may also be helpful to apply for your teaching license so you have a file number from the MN Department of Education.

Sharing your story

Often called an elevator pitch, this is a short introduction you would share with an employer (typically at a career fair or networking event) about yourself and your professional passions. Some things to consider when preparing your introduction: Who am I? What am I excited about? (interests/ passions/ purpose) Where do I want to be in the future? How do my experiences contribute to this organization/ new connection? (accomplishments, skills).

Here's an example: "I'm Anna Zhang. I'm getting my masters of education degree at the University of Minnesota and will be licensed in Elementary Education. I want to inspire young minds and give back to the community by doing my part to close the achievement gap. After doing some research about your district's approach, I feel like I would be a good fit and could make a strong contribution."

Alternative Careers in Education


Your teaching resume is an important tool which allows you to market your skills and experience to prospective employers. As a teacher it is essential that your resume clearly communicates your qualifications and also reflects what makes you a unique candidate.

Cover letters

A strong cover letter can be the difference between standing out during the application process and missing a potential opportunity. Research the school district/organization and show why you would be a good fit.


During your job search you will be asked for 3 letters of recommendation or list of references.  Learn which references are appropriate and how to format a list of references.


Most teacher candidates apply for teaching positions through online applications. Here is some information to navigate this process.

The basics

  • You may begin applying for teaching positions before you have your teaching license, ut you must have your teaching license in hand before you begin teaching. It is helpful to apply for a teaching license before you begin filling out online applications. This allows you to include your MN file folder number through the Minnesota Department of Education on your online application.
  • You can apply for teaching positions by exploring school district websites (to find their online application), through another job search site or other connection sources you may have made.
  • Most online applications will ask you to upload a resume, cover letter, and (3) letters of recommendation electronically. It can quicken the process to have these materials ready.
  • Many school districts (in Minnesota and across the U.S.) use online application systems to automate portions of the hiring process. These application systems offer the opportunity for you to complete a behavioral based screening assessment as part of the application process. The screening assessments uses behavior based questions to provide a space for you to share more information about your teaching style.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to fill out online applications. Behavioral based screening assessments can take 20-40 minutes to complete. The online application can take an additional 40 minutes to complete.
  • There are approximately 3 different types of behavioral based screening assessments. You will only take each behavioral based screening assessment once (per year). When you have taken a screening assessment, the results are shared with other districts you apply to that also uses the same application system. This means you will not have to fill out a behavioral assessment for each online application.

Standing out in online applications

  • Take your time completing behavioral based screening assessments, they are another way for school districts to assess your skills and fit. You must take it right away. There is not an opportunity to come back later and finish the screening assessment. However, in most cases, you are able to come back and complete the rest of your online application.
  • Fill out each application completely. Providing more details will help the districts understand a whole picture of who you are as a teacher.
  • Use common/ well known terms within your profession throughout your online application and in your resume.
  • Include accurate dates of experiences in your application.
  • Be thoughtful, complete, and concise when answering essay questions. Specific examples can be used to show your skills and knowledge.
  • Spell check and if possible have a reviewer read your applications. There should not be any errors


A teaching portfolio is a collection of materials that can assist you during interviews. A portfolio contains teaching artifacts and reflective pieces designed to strengthen your responses by demonstrating applied skills or talents and articulating personal teaching philosophies.


  • Select work that is most reflective of your qualifications as a teacher.
  • Include a table of contents and maintain an organized structure.
  • Include specific samples of your teaching performance.
  • Reflective components can reveal who you are as an individual. Include details on what you have done, why you did it, and how well the lesson or activity met the outcome goals.
  • Be intentional about what you include and avoid the temptation to include every lesson plan or teaching activity you have ever created.

Teaching portfolio resources

Elements to include

Hard copy portfolios are often kept neatly in a three-ring binder and can be used during the interview process to support your responses.

  • Table of contents
  • Resume
  • State certification
  • Official transcript of grades
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of teaching philosophy
  • Student teacher evaluation report
  • Summary/samples of pupils' evaluations of [student] teaching
  • Original test and test item analysis
  • Samples of lessons plans
  • Learning activity packet
  • Pictures of bulletin boards
  • Case study of pupil


It's important to remember, the more practice you have, the more comfortable you will be during the interview. Here are some tools to help you prepare!