Okay so we’ve all been there – a job post comes up on your screen that you hadn’t seen before and the deadline is that day!
You quickly rush the application to get it in before 3pm and pray to Beyonce (she’s like God, right?) that it’s acceptable!
We’ve all been there – it happens.
In case it happens again, here is a list of the 8 biggest mistakes a teacher makes when applying for jobs. Save this for future reference – you’re welcome!
Let’s get stuck in…
Too many of us try to ‘fluff up’ our applications with flowery language and complicated sentence structures. Try to keep it simple and to the point with the key pieces of detail and facts.
2. CPD Overload
Feedback from principals has been that they are receiving application forms from new teachers to the profession who may have completed up to 50 CPD courses when applying for their first or second jobs.
Again, think quality over quantity.
Perhaps consider the needs of the school you are applying for and include CPD courses you have completed related to the school needs.
Whilst it may be an impressive list – it is unlikely that you will be able to discuss all of these courses if asked in interview, let alone remember them!
I know that teachers are feeling under huge pressure for standing out in job interviews but be mindful that the people reading them will question your ability to have effectively engaged in such high numbers of CPD courses in such a short amount of time.
3. Generic Special Interests
Many schools are looking beyond the traditional extra-curricular activities, skills and interests to offer a more rounded curriculum to students. Think outside the box and consider what other interests you have that might be applicable or adapted to suit a school environment. For example, photography, gardening, baking, foreign languages, human rights (age-appropriate of course!) and yoga or meditation.
Teachers can often underestimate themselves and their experiences and how they might be relevant to teaching. Many employment experiences can be related back to the classroom so do consider what roles you may have had, either voluntary or paid, and how you can turn them into an advantage.
5. Not showing evidence of their abilities
When sharing your abilities in your application, consider using the P.E.E. acronym to strengthen your answers.
P = Point.
Make your statement clear like “I am highly competent in using formative assessment methods in my classroom”.
E = Explanation.
Explain why this matters like “This means that students have increased ability to self-assess and peer-assess learning which raises student achievement”.
E = Evidence.
Share a piece of evidence or give an example to back up your point like “For example, all lessons begin with a learning objective and progress checks are used throughout to assess the student learning”.
Psst… to read another blog post on breaking down examples, check out this article.
6. Not researching the school
This is a big one – and this happens in other industries too!
There is nothing worse than receiving a generic letter or application that does not specify or make any part of it relevant to the school. Research the school – go on its website, learn about its ethos – and communicate this in some way into your application.
7. Mistakes a plenty!
When you rush an application (we’ve all done it!), there will often be spelling and grammar mistakes as a result. Try to get someone to proof read your applications before sending them out!
8. Only focusing on the teaching side of things
As well as being a place of learning, schools are a workplace. Principals want to know that you are a team player and that you can be co-operative and communicate well with other members of the school community, as well as students.
Psst… to read another blog post on applying for jobs from a principal’s perspective, check out what Principal Niamh Cullen had to say in this article.
So there you have it – the 8 biggest mistakes teachers make when applying for jobs!
I hope you found it useful – if you did, share it with your friends or anyone you think might benefit!
We have plenty other great blog posts full of tips and tricks so do check them out HERE too!
The teacher was returning to work following maternity leave, worried and looking for tips to juggle her work-life balance so she asked the teacher community.
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