Applitrack sucks!

     So, in another weak attempt to find a new job, I’ve spent the past 4 hours applying for teaching jobs online.  YAY!!!  I finished a whole 2 applications.  Every year, around Christmas time, I start the same boring process.  I pull up a map of Chicago & its suburbs on googlemaps.  Then I start in the upper left-hand corner of the map, apply to every district in that town (both middle and high schools), cross it out, and move on to the next one.  Every application takes about 2 hours if you have to start from scratch.  If you can import the application from another similar district, it takes only about a half an hour per application.  The thing that gets me the most isn’t the pointless and endless clicking/entering information/boring entering & re-entering of your references names.  It’s not even the ENDLESSLY boring essay questions (that I doubt that anyone reads), but its the fact that when you finish & hit submit – you have NO IDEA what is happening to your information.  You get this generic ‘Thanks for applying to our district’ form email.  But that’s it.  There’s no confirmation, no list of dates that decisions will have been made by, NOTHING.  So you have no idea what black hole your meticulously filled-out work has fallen into. 

     The professional world has gotten so UNPROFESSIONAL that I can’t believe it.  I mean as a teacher candidate (or any corporate job-applicant for that matter), you are expected to call off of work to come interview, you are expected to figure out the awkward situation of asking your boss for references, you are expected to SEND A THANK YOU NOTE to people who have the courtesy to interview you on THEIR OWN TIME, yet what professional courtesies do you get as an applicant?  Do you even get a 2-sentence email that says, “We’re sorry but the position has been filled”, or “We have gone with someone with more/less experience”.  I mean it’s better to RESPOND somehow than to ignore someone’s very existence.  As a matter of fact, all of the big ‘how to get a job’ companies talk about how important it is for applicants to send thank you notes, well I’ve spent at least $250 in postage on such notes over the past 10 years, so I think a little reciprocation would be the professional thing to do?  I mean check out this site that tells you how important it is: 

http://www.chiff.com/a/interview-thanks.htm

     People seem to think it’s easy to get jobs as a teacher.  Not to brag, but I’m really a top candidate.  I have experience at various grade levels, a great performance history, awesome references, and am a super hard worker/award nominated teacher.  Just to show how far that gets you – in the 10 years of my career – I have had exactly 5 interviewsEvery year, I put in about 95 applications to different middle and high school districts.  So out of those 5 interviews, thankfully I have gotten 2 jobs.  But if you don’t even get the interview, how can you get more experienced with the interview process?  Every teacher that I’ve talked to in Illinois has a similar story.  If you can’t get the interview, how can you get the job?  Who is getting the interviews?  I believe that the answer is simply who you know.  If you network and know people in the district/went to school in the district it gives you a distinct advantage.  I know this because at my own school, I have put in good words for people & have watched their applications go to the top of the list of 900+ applications.  So since I have a small family/set of peope that I know – does it matter how awesome of a teacher that I am?  I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter at all.  I’ve seen who gets hired and who teaches in some of the most amazing districts in Illinois.  And a lot of people that I know/have worked with/myself are way better teachers – but we get stuck where we are unable to advance our careers or move out of the expensive city-limits because of who we DON’T know.  It’s frustrating.  And with the current attacks on teachers in the media/government, jobs are being cut everywhere.  In Detroit, they’re firing all of the best/most experienced teachers, hiring a bunch of doe-eyed first years, and putting them in classrooms with 60 kids.  Watch the story here:  http://youtu.be/EARW3xblguY

     While I do appreciate my job, I do know that my school has issues that I don’t know if I feel like dealing with for much longer.  I’d like to be doing my job to the best of my ability and be able to focus on only that while I’m at work – not the things that are going on behind the scenes that make me sad.  But if I can’t get an interview, then I can’t get a job.  However, every year it seems like I get a little more interest in my resume.  Of the 5 interviews I’ve had in the past 10 years, 3 of them have been within the past 4 years.  Maybe things are finally picking up.  I’d better get out my thankyou letters.

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5 thoughts on “Applitrack sucks!

  1. ellpeee says:

    Simply out of curiosity: Could you afford to move to another part of the state? Not really sure how the situation there is. Here in WV, a lot of teachers are retiring but a lot of counties are cutting back due to decreases in population and whatnot. However, let it be known that they can create random jobs that have absolutely nothing to do with the core curriculum.

    • I suppose that I COULD. But I don’t really want to uproot my entire life either. I’m in the better-paying part of the state now. If I moved to a more rural area I’d take a major pay cut AND be super far away from my family. Illinois is BROKE. I live close enough to the state lines of both Wisconsin and Indiana to go to a school there without too much upheaval – but they don’t seem to have too many positions at the moment either – PLUS both of those states are SLAMMING their teachers with cutting their pensions and breaking up their unions. It’s just a REALLY bad time to be a teacher.

  2. fedupteacher says:

    I just like you have spent hours upon hours sending out electronic applications. My mom had to take my baby for a month so I could focus on applications Applitrak is horrid! Writing the same essay over and over and checking the application is downright awful. I am only applying to poorer districts. My belief is that no one has time to go through the application so they disappear. When I have sent a resume via fax or email then I have gotten an interview. After sending out 25 applications I have gotten no response. When I call HR offices they get huffy with me and argumentative. I am a bilingual Special Education teacher who has gotten 1 interview at a technical school run by a private company. With 13 years of experience and an MEd I should be making $75k. I will be lucky if they offer me $50k. It is a downright awful time to be a teacher. I would relocate but you can’t get a mortgage if you have been on maternity leave so I stay where I am and make nothing and will have a 45 minute commute.

    • I feel you. I save the essays in a word document on my computer to cut and paste later. I actually had a guest speaker to one of my admin. Classes who helped invent applitrak. The infuriating thing is that now that I was shown the other side of the program (what the district sees), there are so many capabilities the schools have that they don’t use. For example – without even picking up the phone you can send an automatic email to all the candidates you want to schedule an interview with with electronic time slots they can sign up for. Or you can send a form letter ‘sorry we have filled this position’ email to everyone else. Takes seconds and is professional and doesn’t leave people hanging!

  3. melissa foglia says:

    I have been in the teaching field for over thirty years. When I was initially hired by my school district I spoke to secretary of who was hiring me, That was a plus that one could speak to a human being. Things have changed as we have become more technologically savvy, Its great that some middles school are introducing laptops to students, but its also setting the example that we are disposable,
    After many years of dealing with all that encompasses teaching, I have decided to take early retirement and supplement my income. At this point it does not matter what I do, does a job really define a person? I think its made me think in another direction, I can tutor I can use my degree, but keeping an open mind to all jobs, not just education, is what im finding more useful. Good luck to all who are planning on becoming any type of teacher. You need a lot of patience and balance to keep things on the right track!

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