9 April 2015
Do not make ANY mistakes in your application form. You run the risk of your application being discarded early on if there are glaring errors. If there are 35 applicants for the job why should yours be shortlisted if you couldn’t bother to take the time to check it through properly? It shows a careless attitude and a lack of attention to detail.
As soon as you have finished the application, print it off. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to check it through properly. If there is someone else who can have a look at it hand it to them.
Nowadays most schools have electronic copies of their forms, either online or via a Word document etc. These can lead you into temptation and carelessness. For example, through copy-pasting errors. We've seen them with references to how much the applicant wants to work at another school, or do or different job, or how well suited they are to something we're not looking for. If you're copy-pasting, check, check and check again.
Check for omissions as well as errors. A gap in your CV looks suspicious, for example. Have you listing everything useful, too? It's easy to forget a useful piece of information if it's not directly covered by the structure of the application form. If this is the case, and you're having to shoehorn it in somewhere, make sure it's supporting your application.
If there is a section for you to include your interests make sure that you write something in. Ideally these might be things that will support your application, such as being a county netballer or a grade 8 pianist; but whatever they are (within reason) they will make you seem a more rounded person. They are also likely to provoke some areas for discussion at interview. Don't try to be clever - this section probably isn't going to get you an interview, but it should give your interviewer something to use to chat about, with the intention of putting you at ease, so make sure you include stuff that you're happy to talk about at interview.
It is likely that the school will ask for two referees. Most NQTs put their course leader at university and the head/training manager of their current school. If it is an NQT job you are applying for make sure that any referees you give are from your trainee teaching experience. Do not give referees which are from previous (non-teaching) jobs. Make sure that at least one of your referees is from one of your training schools. Finally make sure that you ask them in advance if they are prepared to act as your referee
Check everything. Many times. Then have someone else check it. Then someone else. Then check it again. And again.
Having read hundreds and hundreds of applications, I'm still amazed at how stupidly people complete them, meaning that they go straight in the bin. Don't be complacent, or lazy, or do it in a rush. Teaching will pay you many thousands of pounds until the day you die: don't throw away your chances through lack of care.
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