The search for the perfect teaching job can be quite overwhelming, believe me I know! I have a few tips for your job search if you are new to teaching or looking for a new school.
Step 1. Have a great resume. I'm not even going to pretend that I am good at resume writing, because I definitely am not. However there are a few resume writing services that I would really recommend. I think they can be pretty pricey, but if resume writing is a huge stresser for you than it's totally worth it.
Step 2. Make your resume stand out. When the job market is tight, principals might receive hundreds, literally hundreds of resumes for one position. I would imagine looking at plain white page after plain white page could get really tedious. So I would recommend making a colorful cover page including your picture. You know you probably have a ton of those little wallet size prints hanging around or you could make a little collage of pictures of yourself working with kids in a classroom environment. This has worked for me. I usually get a call for at least a phone interview when I put my picture on the cover page.
Step 3. Don't be lazy, show some initiative. You have to actually go to the schools to drop off your resume, don't just fax or mail it, you never know you just might get an interview on the spot! p.s. dress appropriately for the handing out of the resumes. You don't have to wear a suit, but clean and neat will do. When you get to the school, ask if the principal is available. Usually the receptionist will say no, but keep in mind that the receptionist is the most important person at a school, she is the gatekeeper to the principal and once you get the job she'll be the one to get you out of many a jam...so make sure to get on her good side from the very start. Just say that you are interested in a teaching position or be specific if there is one available at that school.
Step 4. Be flexible. If you are looking for your first teaching job, you might not be able to get too picky, sorry, this is where reality will set in. I had to drive an hour each way my first year. However being flexible is a great trait to have as a teacher, especially when your principal tells you two days before school starts that in fact you'll be teaching 3rd grade instead of Kindergarten like you were hired for...it has happened, so remember to keep a smile on your face and be flexible :)
Step 5. Be prepared. You might actually get that call for an interview so be ready when it happens. Make a list of the schools you've visited and make a note of whether or not you spoke to the principal and the positions available at that school. There's nothing worse than having a principal call to ask you how you'd feel about teaching second grade and you have no idea what school she's calling from or what she's talking about. Don't be caught off guard. Carry the list with you or don't answer the phone, check your voice mail and call back promptly.
Step 6. Ask for the job. When you get the interview...of course you'll do your homework about the school and the position, but it's very important to ask for the job at the end of the interview. Just say that you think you'll be a great fit and that you'd really love to have the job...this let's them know that you are interested and want the job. I have received an offer for every job where I followed these steps, except for one. I'll get to why I think I didn't get an offer later...when I create a post on mistakes to avoid...
Good luck and let me know if you have any tips that have worked for you!