Preparing Your Job Application

Your application is the first opportunity to show a future employer why you’re suitable for the role.  Your personal statement and CV shouldn’t just document your experience, it should reflect the kind of teacher you are and your approach to teaching.

Teaching is all about communicating the right information at the right level, so make sure your statement is coherent.  It should give clear examples from your experience that show your strengths and skills are relevant to a career in teaching.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be exclusive to the classroom, relevant know-how can be gained from voluntary work, involvement with clubs or societies, work placements, raising a family or a recent job.  Use real-life examples so you’ll be able to talk confidently about the points you make at interview – you could even format your statement with appropriate headings to emphasise key messages.

Your CV and statement should cover a maximum of two sides of A4.  Remember to tailor your statement for each new application – do your research on the school and read the application form, job description and person specification carefully.  Include any knowledge you have of the Local Authority or the school, including any visits to the school and what you have learnt from them.

Whatever your level of teaching experience and however recently you have been teaching, your statement should provide details on the year groups taught, subjects covered and any special features (e.g. open-plan, multi-ethnic, team teaching).  You should also include examples of how you planned, delivered, monitored and evaluated learning outcomes, managed classrooms and behaviour and worked with assistants or parents in your class.

Make sure your application covers the following:

  • Your commitment to teaching and working with young people.  Give specific examples of your personal qualities that will enable you to work effectively with your pupils and your colleagues.  Illustrate your experience in working with colleagues, give details of any leadership experience you’ve had and show that you’re serious about your professional development.
  • Think about what you can offer apart from your own specialist subject.  This could include language skills, interests such as photography, music or sport, or management skills gained during a break away from teaching and in other employment.
  • Reflect on your subject knowledge, how you developed it and how it is relevant to the current curriculum.  Primary ITT candidates should demonstrate knowledge across several curriculum subjects, particularly maths, science and English.
  • All teachers should show an understanding of national strategies, both in terms of subject and general teaching recommendations, as well as ICT in teaching and learning.

© TDA 2009

Produced by: TDA Teach magazine Autumn term 2009, page 21