11 Top Tips For Nailing That Job Application

Lynn HowLynn has been teaching for 19 years during which time she has been an Assistant Head and a Lead Mentor at a Teacher Training institution. Currently, she is working part time as a SENCO. She loves to write, including research, children’s poetry and she has… Read more about Lynn HowWhat can you do to secure your next job?Looking for a new job? Yes, it’s that time of year again! Maybe you are seeking promotion, perhaps you can’t stand the frequency of your colleague’s laugh or you just have itchy feet. Whatever the reason, a solid application to get you to interview is essential.How To Get That JobHere are my top tips for helping you getting that job!1. CriteriaCheck that you meet all the areas on the essentials list before you apply.When you’ve spotted that dream job in the staffroom over Phil’s shoulder, make sure that you check the person specifications to ensure that you would be the correct fit for the role.There is usually an ‘essentials’ and a ‘desirables’ section. You should have all or the majority of attributes on the essential list and for any missing, ensure you have something plausible to take its place.2. VisitLook round the school and remember that although it is technically not part of the interview process (although for more senior jobs it might be), first impressions are paramount.If the school can put a face to the name when the application arrives, they will subconsciously be already making judgments.Visit during the school day in order to see the staff and children in their natural habitats. Some individuals may struggle to be released during school time to view other schools. This would of course, make the whole process more challenging. If this is you, it would be worth explaining the issue when you visit. Think of several pertinent questions to ask on your tour related to the job role.3. Do your homeworkGet as much information as you can about the school from various sources such as the school website, Ofsted and your visit.Remember to drop poignant snippets of what you find into your statement. This will help you make the application personalised to the school. Also, you can add to your application, skills that you would bring to the role if appointed.4. Link to person specificationSet out your application to match the person specification as this is easier for a potential employer to see exactly where you meet the areas on the list.Embolden key phrases from the ‘person spec’ so anyone looking through your application for something specific such as safeguarding, can easily be signposted to it.If it is a faith school you are applying for, ensure you explicitly mention how you would uphold their religious ethos.5. Value addedInclude educational vision, classroom pedagogy and teaching experience enthusiastically. If you are an NQT, tap into what you have learnt in your placement schools and explain how this will feed in to your first year of teaching. Your first class is a very exciting prospect, let this boundless enthusiasm shine through.6. VocabularyVary your sentence starts and use the thesaurus function. Avoid repetitive use of ‘I’ or ‘I believe that’. Google some complex conjunctions.7. Be an amplified version of yourselfAccentuate your positives. State the impact of any initiative you have introduced to show that you are highly effective by either, giving statistics on how results or teaching and learning has improved or qualitative data on the impact you have had. For example, parental/staff views.8. Keep it succinctAs a guide, about 2 sides of A4 for teaching jobs and up to 3 for leadership jobs – and no, you can’t make it size 6 font so stick to at least 11.9. Gaps in employmentExplain any gaps or mid-year plan changes in a positive way so the potential employer doesn’t panic.Keep it professional – as much as you want to justify any negative previous school issues which caused an employment break, do not bad mouth a previous (or current) school. At least wait until the Christmas party once you’ve got the job.  Alternatively, it’s a fresh start so perhaps no one needs to know anyway.10. Get it proofreadWhen you are immersed in your own work, you don’t see your own mistakes. Ask someone, ideally who is already doing that role or a higher one, to read your application to check for links to the spec, and mistakes.DON’T leave another school or head’s name in the application. Use ‘find and replace’.11. FeedbackAlways ask for feedback on unsuccessful applications.And finally…For those of you who get sweaty palms at the mere thought of the job application process, what’s the worst that could happen?If you don’t get it, then look for an alternative and be persistent in your goals. In the words of 90s band Chumbawumba, ‘I get knocked down but I get up again, ain’t never gonna keep me down’. I realise of course that this song’s main theme is alcohol related but the sentiment is transferable.Good luck!LinksYou might also find the 5 minute Interview plan useful for your job interview preparation.Got a job to post?Why not consider job advertising with Teacher Toolkit? We connect with over 200,000 teachers (on various social media platforms) across the world and are one of the most popular website destinations for teachers. We are the alternative approach to the traditional methods used for job hunting in education. Follow the hashtag, #TTkitJobs.Related

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