More Than Just a Slogan: Go Paperless this Recruiting Season

Dear International Teaching Community of Organizers, Administrators, Recruiters, Fair-Attendees,

..My name is Michael Brown, an overseas educator, soon to be attending his fourth Recruiting Fair. I am writing with a singular purpose in mind:  I am asking you to GO PAPERLESS THIS RECRUITING SEASON for the sake of Mother Earth.

Okay, maybe we cannot go completely paperless in one fell swoop, but we can commit to taking positive steps in that direction. With the future of our planet at stake, we all have the responsibility to help effect positive change.

As it stands, we create a huge carbon footprint when we fly off to a distant locale for a three-day Recruiting Fair. Compared to Skype, Face Time and other digital venues, it’s plain to see Fairs have a powerful negative effect on the environment. This assault on Mother Earth is only compounded by the tremendous quantity of paper consumed in preparation for these Fairs. Teachers and administrators alike promote Earth Day and a “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mindset in the classroom, yet continue to print out multiple resumes (or expect to receive them). Why not post resumes and all other print material online?

Still ‘hanging around’ and exacerbating the situation is another dinosaur of the past known as the hanging file. I beg recruiters and candidates to not use them as resume drop-offs. Instead, a small note could suffice to attract attention or communicate outside the multitude of virtual options such as email, Messenger, WhatsApp and/or the organizer’s Fair portal. We, collectively, should no longer need printed communication at this point in our digital evolution.

To be direct, paper-heavy Recruiting Fairs rely on an outdated system we should change immediately. We can all promote electronic communication as the sole avenue of organizing interviews and end the expectation to receive a printed, full-page resume and cover letter.  Small note cards, (or better yet, none at all) are all that’s needed. Smart phones all have a Notes App — let’s use them!

I’m not bringing paper copies of my resume this year, which I also did not do at my last Fair in 2012. If you haven’t printed off copies yet, please don’t.  Our resumes are on the recruiter’s site, readily accessible.

I ask organizers and administrators:  Whom would you rather have teaching at your school? An educator who ‘talks the talk’ or one that ‘walks the walk?’ The answer is clear! Going paperless says,  ‘I’m about more than just slogans.

Sincerely,
Michael Brown

ISR Note: The Sierra Club tells us one tree, depending on its size,  yields from 10,000 to 20,000 sheets of paper. We’ll use 15,000 as the medium figure for this example: Teachers generally print at least 15 resumes, plus cover letters, to total a minimum of 30-sheets of paper per fair attendee. Multiplied by 300 attendees, we’re looking at a minimum of 9000 sheets of paper per fair. Multiplied  by 20 or so fairs, we find that 180,000 sheets of paper ,or 12 trees or more per recruiting season, are sacrificed for resumes and cover letters alone. 

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7 Responses to More Than Just a Slogan: Go Paperless this Recruiting Season

  1. greg samson says:

    I’m sorry, but this is terrible advice. Even if every single person who reads this site doesn’t use a single piece of paper for the rest of their lives, it’s not going to make the slightest difference to the environment.

    Sure, everyone in the world should reduce their paper usage overall. But, an important job fair where you’re trying to open career doors and give recruiters all they need isn’t the time to scrimp on something so miniscule as a few sheets of paper.

    If you expect they might want a paper copy of your resume, your best bet is to have one on hand. They’re not going to be impressed with your do-gooder excuse that you’re saving the environment. Trust me, I know many recruiters and have been one myself for a long time.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    How about abolishing face-to-face fairs completely in favour of virtual fairs? You alluded to the fact that flying potentially thousands of kms leaves a big carbon footprint; isn’t this much worse than printing out a few thousand resumes which may end up being recycled by the hotel venue anyway? Not to mention all the extra electricity wasted by the hotel etc.

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  3. I wholeheartedly agree with Michael and have often wondered WHY one must print off paper resumes when all information is availabe through the various host companies. We must start taking immediate steps, no matter the size, to minimize our impact on the planet. Thank you Michael, for so eloquently stating what we all need to hear and be continually reminded of.

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  4. Elisa Freeman-Kremer says:

    So, not only do the recruiters have copies of my credentials, so does all the schools I am interested before the fair. I just just carry my USB drive for additional downloads and on my Iphone.

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  5. Lynne Nigalis says:

    While this is an noble idea, I really feel you will be at a disadvantage by doing this. Recruiters want the piece of paper to write notes and questions on for when they meet you. When recruiters interview you, while they may find it great that you are so principled, if you are making their job more difficult by insisting on not using a paper resume, trust me, that will not work in your favour.

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  6. Roy says:

    recruiting agencies should consider establishing their a paperless fair. yet, what if there was a blackout at the fair all of the sudden? imagine that

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