So, whether you’re applying for a teaching post directly with a school or through an agency, there will be an application form. And getting it right is as important as getting the cover letter, CV, interview and trial lesson right. Application forms will be scrutinised in order to ensure you have the relevant qualifications and experience and meet the criteria of the job specification.
Follow the instructions
If it says use BLOCK CAPS then use them, if it asks for a specific colour pen then don’t use a different colour!
Ensure this is full and correct and that you have given the correct contact details. Interview invites are often posted to home addresses so if you are at university but have put your holiday address on the application form, ensure someone is regularly checking your post – you don’t want to miss out on interviews!
Ensure this is full – list your placements and voluntary experience. Ensure dates are accurate and account for reasons for leaving and any gaps. Application forms are scrutinised for discrepancies, anomalies and gaps in employment as part of safer recruitment.
Experience / Achievement / Personal Statement
Sometimes you will be required to write a section which replaces or is in addition to a cover letter. It is important that you address each of the essential requirements in the Person Specification in completing this section. Use the list of essentials as headings to identify how you consider you meet each one. You will be considered for shortlisting if you give evidence that you meet essential requirements.
Ensure you have referees lined up
If you are currently qualifying your referees will usually be your university tutor and your placement schools. Ask them first if they are happy to act as a referee for you and pre-warn them they may be getting requests for references and a prompt response would be very much appreciated (schools will often want to have the references before the interview).
Be super nice to your referees as if you’re applying for lots of jobs they may be inundated with requests! Ensure the contact details you provide for your referees are correct – phone, address and email addresses are usually required.
Meet the deadline
Unless schools are struggling to recruit they will not usually consider applications received after the deadline.
Attention to detail
Ensure you check the form carefully and get other people to check it too. It’s important that the information is correct but also that spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. is accurate and that it looks good.
Need more expert advice? Contact your local education office!