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Applications that annoy the appointments committee . . .

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by TheoGriff, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. On the flip side, Can employers please use application forms that are edited properly?!? I am currently filling in one of the most unprofessional forms I have ever seen! You want a teacher that can use ICT in my subject, Can you get someone who can use ICT to design the form!!!!!
  2. wow comic sans blimey! I didnt get the job (for those of you remember I had asked about the best font to use!) interestingly, two advanced skills experienced teachers were passed over and the job went to a much younger teacher. . . oh those pesky ASTs :)
  3. I've just checked what font I used for my numerous applications over the last year (way over 50) and I used Arial. Some of those I was getting desperate and just sent a rarely altered letter (only got lucky once or twice this way) and found I was far more successful personalising at least a line or two about how I felt about the school (from my visit or what I'd read). sadly there isn't always time as a trainee with all the extra things we were expected to do as well as teach! I also found that using a nice quality paper maybe in a cream worked wonders! Over all it's the content that matters!! no point arguing over font! I got invited to about 15 interviews and I think I got to number 10 or 11 before I was successful - I was really good by then I was a close 2nd on many occasions - especially when there was an
    insider! I know the post I got had over 100 aps! so ignore the font issue and listen to everything else.
  4. Belthazor

    Belthazor New commenter

    Dear All,
    I'm asking for a bit of advice. I've been reading Theo's job application advice, and he suggests that your current head should be a referee. However, I would prefer (in fact, I think it is better that he isn't) that I don't use him as one as he doesn't really have a good idea of my teaching methods/strengths/weaknesses, and what I'm like as a professional. I would like to use the History teacher as they are effectively the Head of Humanities at my school.
    There are quite a few other reasons - but I don't think I should discuss them all here as it would be unprofessional. However two things I feel that I should mention are that:
    a.) a former colleague asked the Head for a reference last year. It took the Head 3 weeks to write and send the reference after being asked for it by the school my colleague "moved to".
    b.) the Head has gradually absolved themselves of all teaching/Head responsibilities, and likes to view themselves as an "executive director" (international school).
    Any advice please?
  5. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    In Scottish secondary schools (from my experience and what others have told me) your faculty head/head of department/principal teacher always writes your reference - or Headteacher Report as we call it - and the Headteacher merely checks and signs it. Perhaps you Could suggest to your Head that you will get someone who is familiar with your day to day work to write a reference which he could read, check with the referee and sign?
  6. Belthazor

    Belthazor New commenter

    Thanks @ halfajack
  7. Also, comic sans is supposed to be the best font when you are differentiating activities for students with dyslexia. I agree with you. It's the quality that counts.
  8. Hello,
    I have been in the same position as you regarding who you put down as referee. When I left my previous job the Head of Faculty did a nice speech in which she mentioned all my achievements at the school and presented me with a bunch of flowers. On the last day the Headteacher also presented me with another bunch of flowers and she said that she owed me for what I had given to the school during my two years there. I think that interviews do not depend solely on the reference given and, as such, if you have somebody above you who knows you well and you can bring in all those strenghts shown in your application letter, reference and interview you should not feel bad about not putting the Headteacher down.

  9. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    What's the relevance?
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    But the pont is . . . you are actually supposed to have the Head as your referee (or one of them), according to the Child Protection regs . . .
    And what usually happens is that the Head asks someone else to write it and just signs it, so it does get done by somebody who knows you better.
  11. Teaching is like any other profession - in order to get a foot through the door with any potential interviewers you have to give the best possible impression from the start. In fact, with the increasing number of people coming into teaching at the moment it's getting trickier and trickier to really stand out from the crowd.
    I see it like this: you might like Comic Sans, but you'll live without it in your application form. However, if your potential employer hates the font (who knew there was such strong emotion surrounding a font choice!?!) then you'll be fast tracked to the 'round filing cabinet' which would be a waste of the time you spent filling in the form.
    I worked in sales and marketing before becoming a teacher, and there are lots of similarities to doing a job application. I'm happy in my current job, but I would always personalise the covering letter right at the top with something very specific to the school (i.e. commenting that I agree with their named core values and why) that they have stated on the website. It instantly shows that I have bothered to do my research on their school and am not mail-merging my application; and it is also a quick and easy way to both enhance my suitability for the post and hopefully stand out from the other 100 generic applications.
    Better a few fantastic applications than lots of half-hearted ones!
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Excellent point, Emily!
    <font face="Calibri">* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * </font><font face="Calibri">TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.</font>
    I shall be contributing to the Get a Job Seminar on Saturday 8th January. Look forward to seeing you!

  13. But what if they'd only just seen the ad on Thursday but really wanted the job and stayed up all night making a really good effort with that application?
  14. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    A couple of us asked that question spicescience...and were deftly avoided [​IMG]
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Not aware that I avoided any question, but if I missed it . . . I don't always re-visit old threads.
    I guess that this is going back to an earlier post where someone said that in their school, last-minute applications were discounted.
    I don't agree with that at all, and have in fact never heard any other Head say such a thing.
    It would be pretty daft, in fact, since that application that comes through the letter-box at close of play might be the fabulous teacher that you were hoping against hope to get.
    Poor grammar, awful spelling, careless and couldn't-be-bothered applications might well show traits that you would not welcome in a teacher.
    But last-minute-itis?
    Not a problem!
    Happy New Year to all Job Seekers!
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars, one-to-one career advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.

    I shall be contributing to the Seminars on Saturday 8th January. TheoGriff Job Seminar
    Look forward to seeing you!
  16. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    Thank you TheoGriff [​IMG]
  17. This is an interesting thread and I'm shocked that so many teachers would see Comic Sans as a good font to use for writing applications.

    Many people have commented outright that it's ridiculous that the font would matter on an application but that misses the point. I have a font called 'Akbar' which is the Simpsons font. Do people really think it wouldn't matter if I wrote an application in this font?

    Of course it would and for many people Comic Sans isn't far off. Like has been pointed out there are even people petitioning for it to be banned because it looks so silly. I doubt anybody gets so heated about Calibiri. It is a childish font and it's no coincidence that no large companies, solicitors, councils, police stations etc use Comic Sans for their letters.

    Some heads might not be bothered but if I were a head I wouldn't consider a letter written in that font. To me it says a fair amount about that person that they would see Comic Sans as an appropriate font to use in an application. Whether true or not, I would take it that that person doesn't know much about ICT and/or is old-fashioned. I'd link it to simple spelling mistakes indicating either poor English skills or a lack of attention to detail when again it could mean neither.

    People are judgemental, that's a fact of life, so it's best playing it safe and using a font that nobody is likely to judge.
  18. rainbow_gold

    rainbow_gold New commenter

    oh dear, as a trainee who is just starting on job applications - the amount of subtle do's and don't's to do with application forms, letter of applications and personal statements really don't fill me with confidence about getting a job to start in September! [​IMG]
  19. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Best thing is to read the shortlisting clickables inside the Welcome thread. (Or come to one of our Job Application seminars!)
    Follow the advice I give. Lots of posters have found the Executive Summary gets results. It's free advice,
    and it works!

    Dear Theo: Executive summary works- I have an interview

    The benefit of an executive summary

    taking Theo's Advice

    Best of luck.


    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.

    The TES Careers Advice
    service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and
    applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application
    review service.

    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones,
    and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at
    application letters, executive summaries and interviews.

    The next Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.

    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.

    Look forward to seeing you!
  20. jazz2

    jazz2 New commenter

    I don't think there's been any advice posted on this thread that wouldn't apply to any other profession (or job, for those who want to debate what constitutes a profession).
    It's not that fonts matter, exactly, it's that <u>first impressions count</u>. In anything.
    First job, first date ...
    What impression do you want to give? The employer doesn't know you, so you have to put yourself across. You have to show how good a teacher you can be. You want the potential employer to focus on you - and <u>everything</u> in that first letter of application counts.
    The font says something about the applicant; it has been pointed out previously, that there are certain standards that would have been adhered to in the past, when everything was hand-written - e.g. purple ink wasn't likely to succeed.
    Me, I'd throw out any application that started with my name but finished with 'Yours faithfully' and accept the one that had the correct grammar, regardless of font. (Though if I had two to choose from, I'd go for the non-Comic Sans).
    [But I'm not a Headteacher, and some of them don't know the difference between "there" and "their" anyway, so you might as well ignore me].


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