Application Tips

Five Steps to Getting A Job in Federal Way Public Schools

  • When applying to Federal Way Public Schools, you can help yourself stand out by following the tips below.

Tip 1: Targeting Just the Jobs That You Are Really Qualified For

  • Make sure you have the correct endorsements and are highly qualified for the position. Read beyond the job title. By carefully studying the job qualifications listed in the posting, you may find that you are better suited to a position than it appeared at first glance. On the other hand, if you do not think your education or skills are a close fit, you will probably be better off focusing on other positions.

Tip 2: Doing Your Research

  • FWPS is looking for people who are passionate about our district’s mission, which is to educate all young people. By learning about our district, its schools and departments, and demonstrating that knowledge, you’ll show us you are truly interested. A great place to do that research is our website, https://www.fwps.org, where you can look up individual schools and departments and read about our work. You can also search for Federal Way Public Schools on Google, Bing or Yahoo to find media stories about the district.

Tip 3: Demonstrating Your Qualifications and Knowledge

  • Demonstrate your qualifications and knowledge. This starts when you create your resume — think about why we should hire you rather than other qualified applicants. It also helps to send a cover letter for each application. An effective cover letter is usually a short one-page document that highlights two or three points from your resume that are relevant to the open position you wish to apply for. It indicates what makes you uniquely qualified for the position.

How to Apply

  • If you plan to apply for open positions, it will be necessary for you to complete the online process even if you have an application on file with Human Resources.

    All applicants, substitutes, and employees will need to submit an online application in order to be considered for future positions.

    All posted positions with a closing date will be removed at midnight of the closing date.

    If you need assistance or have questions regarding applying for a position, you are welcome to call: (253) 945-2073 or 945-2072 for assistance.

Tip 4: Continue the Process by Interviewing Effectively

  • Continue the process by interviewing effectively: Dress for the job. Suits are not necessary in day-to-day work for most of our employees, but can make you stand out as a serious candidate for a teaching or administrative position. For other positions, "business casual" is generally sufficient. If you have questions about appropriate clothing for the job interview, a quick call to the Human Resources Department is fine. In general, don’t wear blue jeans, sneakers or t-shirts to job interviews. Any piercings or tattoos should be discrete or covered.

    Prepare for the interview. Most of our interviews are conducted in a round-robin format with the principal and 3 to 6 people on an interview team. You may also be asked to demonstrate a skill such as presenting a lesson or responding in writing to a real-life situation or scenario. Be sure to ask the person who invites you to the interview to describe the process so you can be well prepared.

    Think ahead. Share your work experience that relates to the job opening. Presenting yourself well in an interview is similar to writing an appropriate cover letter: Find ways to relate your experience directly to the requirements in the job description and prepare, prepare, prepare.

    The acronym STAR can help you organize your responses to questions regarding how you would handle a given situation:

      • (S)ituation or
      • (T)ask that you were presented with that could occur in the described job.
      • (A)ction – What action did you take to resolve the situation or handle the task?
      • (R)esult – What were the results of your action?

    For example, a job description may include phrases like: "Manages school budget and reporting"; "Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work effectively as a team member"; and "Ability to handle multiple projects in a fast-paced environment."

    You could expect a question such as: "Tell me when you’ve had to manage financial data and the tools you used." "What have you done in the past to contribute to a team environment?" Or "How do you decide what gets top priority when scheduling your time?" Prepare ahead by thinking of specific examples that demonstrate your skills in key areas.

    What about portfolios? Portfolios are not required in our district. If you have one that is well organized, you may bring it to an interview to reference a specific example of a skill or project. However, keep in mind that the interview team will be conducting several interviews on the same day and time is of the essence. Unless there is a specific request for one, it may be best not to bring your portfolio to the interview.

Tip 5: After the Interview, Follow Through

  • After the interview, follow through. A thank you letter or note is more than a courtesy. It lets the interviewer know that you are enthusiastic about a position, reiterates your strengths, shows that you respect the time the interviewer took to talk to you and can even show that you are aware of the mission of the district. A thank you note does not always need to be handwritten and mailed. It can be acceptable depending on whether you have already communicated via e-mail with the interviewer and if you know that the hiring process is on the fast track.

    Keep trying. If at first you don’t get hired – check back frequently. Although spring and summer are our busiest hiring seasons, positions can become open for a variety of reasons throughout the year. When you create an application on our system, it is archived after 12 months. You may reactivate it simply by logging in to your application again.

    We encourage you to check our job postings frequently and apply for jobs of interest that match your qualifications. Remember that signing up to be a guest teacher is a great way for you to introduce yourself to staff and learn about our schools.