A friend (different friend to yesterday’s post) is applying for her first job as a teacher in the UK and asked for advice and links to information.
This is all the links I have previously bookmarked in regards to job applications.
How to get shortlisted for a teaching job
The letter or statement
- Carry out the instructions
- No more than two pages means one and a half to two pages, not just one paragraph
- Handwritten if they ask, but typed unless they specifically ask for hand-written
- Address any issues they ask you to, don’t just ignore them
- Make it specific to this post in this school
- Wring value out of every sentence you put in, cut the waffle
- Tell them why they need you, not why you need them
- Make it specific to their job description, addressing their needs
- Make it as structured as a good student essay
- Make it easy to read
- Get it professionally typed unless you are an ace at laying out documents. A professional lay-out always looks better
A CV masterclass
- Never write ‘CV’ at the top - everyone knows it’s a CV - simply put your name in a slightly larger font than the rest of the document. This also applies if you’re sending your CV digitally, and you should also remember to name the file with your own name, such as “Jo Bloggs CV.doc”, and never just “CV.doc”.
- Font sizes should be the same whether your CV is printed or emailed, with 12pt a good compromise, 10pt a little too small, and 13/14pt looking like you’re filling space. Although many teachers use Comic Sans MS on everything, the CV is not the place for it. Stick to Times New Roman for printed CVs as it is easier to read, and a sans serif font like Arial for emailed CVs as this font reads better on screen.
- Bold and italics should be used sparingly on a CV; bold for section headings and italics for job titles is a good way of breaking up the text and making it easier to read. Don’t use bold to highlight key words. If you’re using italics for publication names, such as if you were on the student paper, make sure you use them consistently.
- Always check your CV for spelling, punctuation and other errors. Your work as a teacher on that front will be under a lot of scrutiny and if you can’t get your CV right a recruiter will worry about what care you will take with other written material.
Top job application tips for NQTs
Build a proposition
- As well as meeting the person specification and job description, a strong candidate creates a proposition, which can be used in the application and at interview.The trick is to carefully analyse the school and vacancy and to work out their recruitment priorities: the job advert and the Ofsted report will provide the best clues. Then identify your key strengths that match the need. NQTs often worry that that they haven’t so much to offer as experienced teachers.But if you’ve gained experience of working with parents, or insights into differentiation techniques, during a placement, these could work. Contributing to extra-curricular activities will always go down well. The proposition should change according to the school - there’s no room for a template approach for the personal statement in the current jobs market.
What Makes a Good CV and Supporting Statement?
Describe your ability to prepare and implement appropriate learning programmes, which cater for the needs of all students:
How you treat each student as an individual
The effective strategies you use to cater for all abilities and learning style.
How you cater for different experiences
The setting of realistic goals for all students
How you use evaluation and assessment in your teaching
NQTs – getting your first job
- When you receive the application information, read it carefully and ensure you respond by addressing directly the information you are given (age ranges/ courses/ experience/ school ethos). Do not write about your experience of teaching vectors or poetry if the job will not require that. Use relevant examples only.Be succinct. Usually 1 page of A4 is sufficient. Don’t give a blow by blow account of lessons you have taught – you can deliver this information at interview. Mention instead that you have experience of teaching and assessing X at KS3 and Y at KS4/5. When complete, show it to your mentor or tutor for a second opinion. Have a standard letter, but always personalise it for each job you apply for
The worst thing I ever did when applying for a job via e-mail was accidentally attaching TWO cover letters to the e-mail. One for the job in question and one for a job I had applied for previously. Needless to say I didn’t get invited for interview.