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Advice for application form- please

Discussion in 'Teaching assistants' started by picsgirl, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    My current (and first) TA position is temporary. I obtained it from a year of volunteering and an informal chat. I only filled out an application form after accepting the post.

    The last time I filled out an appliaction for a job was 9 years ago - things have changed.

    I've googled to get advice and the majority mention typed forms.

    Are typed forms the norm now? Are hand written rejected?
    Would I need to type or write the covering letter?

    For qualifications, do I need to include all certificated/qualifications I've gained since taking my O levels 28 years ago or just the ones relivant to that particular post?
    I've got a number of level 3 photography qualifications from the past 8 years - they are not relevant to the post but show that I have studied to level 3 and that I've kept an interest in active learning. Do I include these?

    Do I include all employment from the past 28 years?

    I don't belong to a professional body - so would I just complete that section as 'none'?
    Also I was going to do a portfolio.
    Do I send this in with the application or take it to the interview (if I get one)?

    I was going to include photographs from my current post, recent certificates (or should it be all?), and photocopies of the feedback I've recieved from the STLS L2 course I've almost finished.

    Should there be anything else??
    All advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
  2. suzette

    suzette Occasional commenter

    With regard to temp posts you have worked in, all you need to do on the section of the app form that says 'Reason for leaving', you just put 'Temp post: End of contract'.
    You are right though, most app forms can be filled in online, but there are some schools (as I've noticed when I've been applying of late) that still prefer you to fill them in by hand. Just make sure you use black ink and use blocked capitals or very clear handwriting. If you make a mistake, Tippex out or draw a clear straight line through it. Or the long statement that you have to write to say why you are suitable for the post can be typed and attached to the app form.
    Even if they have asked for a handwritten app form to be filled in, it always looks more professional if you type the covering letter. It should briefly highlight a few bits that you have touched on in the app form; ie: "As mentioned in my application form, I have had a vast amount of experience working with children in the capacity of a TA in the area of SEN...I would welcome the opportunity to interview for you at anytime to suit your convenience". Whether you do the app form electronically or hand written, always check for spelling mistakes, especially if hand written because of the lack of spell check facility.
    Always try and get the name of the headteacher (usually if you Google it, you'll find it) to address the letter to as well as whoever is handling the app forms. And yep! You do need to list ALL of your qualifications/jobs, no matter how long ago or when you took your exams! These days you have to account for everything, even if you are a female and took time off to have a child, or any volunteer work etc, all has to be listed. Sometimes there is even a section to fill in where you have to list "Gaps in employment".
    Unfortunately it seems with the amount of cuts, unemployment and people applying for jobs, employers are looking for the slightest thing to "knock points off" and not offer you an interview. Doing EXACTLY what they have asked for without the "frilly extras" will more than likely get you through the application process and into an interview. Also if you do/or don't belong to a professional body, simply write yes (And state which one) or no and leave it at that. Generally, you need to aim to answer ALL the questions on an app form and if it is not relevant to you simply put N/A in the section. That way it shows that you have answered the question, rather than just skipped it.
    As for attaching photos/portfoilos/certificates etc to app forms; a BIG NO! NO! Sometimes app forms are detached and sent to various members of staff for their purusal. It isn't practical to attach anything unless specifically asked to do so as it may get lost. If you are fortunate enough to get an interview then, you may want to bring anything like that along to support your statement/or ap form. However if they ask for a particular document, make sure it has your name, the post applying for and contact number/or address on it so that if if does get separated, it will be easy to re-attach to your app form.
    Hope this all makes sense! Someone else may come along soon and offer some more tips, but I've found that these tips have held me in good stead and although I'm having to (yet again!) get another job because of being on a temp post and they can't keep me on because of lack of funding, these are the things l do to that more often than not at least gets my foot in the door with an interview.
    Good luck with it all! [​IMG]

  3. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

  4. I agree with the advice given above. However, if you make a mistake on the application form or letter it would be better to start afresh rather than cross it out or tippex it. I know I may be pedantic but as someone who is involved in shortlisting candidates, I feel crossing out errors does not make a good impression (sorry it may be me being old-fashioned!)
    Good luck in your application.
  5. picsgirl

    picsgirl New commenter

    Thanks you so much all for taking the time to reply.
    As I'be been given an application form I'll hand write most of it and type the 2 page 'sell yourself' question.
    I realy want this job and don't want to fall down at the first stage- especially as I've been involved with the school for the past 9 years (via the PTA) as well as volunteering whenever I could fit it in with my other (2nd) job - so I know many of the staff, but so do the other applicants.
    Thanks again.
  6. "as well as volunteering whenever I could fit it in with my other (2nd) job - so I know many of the staff,"

    Hi picsgirl
    From what I've managed to gather from reading posts on the TA forum, WHEN you make it through to the interview stage, answer all questions on the assumption that you are a stranger to the interviewing board (no matter who is on it). All the best

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