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Applications that annoy the appointments committee . . .

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

  1. NNS

    NNS New commenter

    I have started thinking f applying for jobs, however, unlike some of my
    colelagues, I have no experience of teaching in schools except for my
    placement.Do I then leave blank pretty much two pages when we are
    required to write details about our employment, or do I put my placement
    school as my 'present appointment'?

    Also, the school only asks for an application to be sent by e-mail. There is a separate space for a personal statement. Do I need to write the Head Teacher's name in the statement on the top of it ans make the PS look as it it was an actual letter (address the letter to the Head teacher, write Dear Mr...", or can I just write my statement without all those details?

  2. Belthazor

    Belthazor New commenter

  3. Dear Theo,
    This is a question about filling a particular section of teaching application form for a part-time position.
    I have been supplying for about a year. Before that I was in a permanent teaching position in which for a time I was a middle manager and my work was incidental in raising achievements. As well as supplying I have been practicing as an artist and as a result I have been involved in different arts activities.
    On the application, where it says 'present or most recent employment' with all the other bits i.e. 'grade/spine'... 'basic salary per annum' etc., should I fill that section in with details of my previous employement - the permanent teaching position, so that I can properly answer to all the bits? Or should I fill that in with details of my supplying and practising as an artist for the last year, in which case some of those questions would be irrelevant and will need to be left unanswered?
    Also is it true that most Headteacher don't view supplying teaching favourably?
    Finally, is it good to give as one of my referees the supply agent who has been giving me work?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  4. I have too been advised that comic sans is the preferred font for use in schools (secondary) and have used it for job applications. This is the first time I have been advised against it.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Good gracious!
    I don't know who told you that, but I have been in appointment committees where I have had to fight to keep in a candidate who used Comic Sans, while admitting that it was totally inappropriate, because everyone else wanted to chuck her out just because of that. I had to work hard to persuade them that they should look beyond the outward appearances.
    Just type into Google "comic sans job applications".
    Go on!
    Comic Sans is not professional. It is not appropriate. You show poor judgment. You might not have anyone like me on the appointment committee who tries to see the other merits in an application.
    As one of the links brought up by that Google search says: "Before you send your candidature, please destroy Comic Sans from your computer"
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice 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, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    New <u>Job Seminars</u> on Sunday 26 June.
    Probably more in the early autumn ready for the next lot of job ads to come out. Keep an eye out for the dates!

    A new <u>Moving into Headship and SLT</u> seminar is on 18 June.
    See the full programme www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars

    E-mail Julia on advice@tsleducation.com for how to book a meeting with me personally.Look forward to seeing you!
  6. I sincerely hope you are not in a position which gives you the power to discard applications.
    By your reasoning, why bother having a closing date at all, since clearly the best cohort of people for that job are the ones who apply early.
    Why not, instead of a closing date, just state that the first 'X amount' applications will be the only ones considered, as that will be the case anyway, and save people having to take time applying who don't have a chance.
    From what I am reading, I may use my unique personality to dismiss the schools that I clearly would not fit into.
    It's cheesy to use the old idiom "be yourself", but if you are changing yourself beyond what you would be comfortable with, would you want to work there anyway.
    I believe in compromise and some sacrifice, completely, but the dogma coming out in this thread, from people who hold these positions of decision maker, undermine equal opportunity laws.
    I am not naive to the nightmare it is to sift through 130, 200, 500 or whatever amount of applications for one single post there are, but you must make your requirements clear. If you know you would never pick someone writing in comic sans, state a font preference, and save plenty of people time. If then, they still write in it (I'm not much of a fan of it either), then it is on them for not being selected.
    We aren't so far off the scenario of asking people to handwrite an application, and discarding all those who write in blue. You just can't do that, unless you make it clear beforehand 'black ink'. Success criteria.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I agree that it is unnecessarily harsh, and actually unreasomable, to discard applications just because they are written in a hurry.
    But i think that the next bit that you say is unreasonable too:
    Comic Sans is quite simply unprofessional. It would not be reasonable to write in a list of criteria: Unprofessional applications will be discarded since that it pretty obvious. Nor would it be reasonable to write out a long list of what is and what isn't professional.
    You need to use your common sense and your professional judgement here.
    And your professional judgement (to say nothing of the quick google search that I advise above) should tell you that your bank and your solicitor and the National Lottery never write to you in Comic Sans.
    You can argue (or rant and rave) as much as you like. Nonetheless the facts remain:
    • Comic Sans is inappropriate for a serious professional communication.
    • Therefore some appointment panels will not be impressed by this
    • Therefore if you want to impress them
    • Do not use Comic Sans.
    • Nor WingDings [​IMG]
    I am not sure what all the fuss is about. I am giving you some advice - why not just take it? Presumably it is not part of some deep religious belief to use Comic Sans? Presumably you don't believe that it is a violent rejection of your Human Rights to suggest that it is better not to use Comic Sans?
    If you don't want effective advice from me on how to raise your chances of getting a job, then don't come here!
    Best wishes.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Comic Sans? For an application? For any professional document? It's called 'comic' for a reason.
    Those advising against it are entirely correct. Never use it.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
  10. [​IMG]

    It just looks really unprofessional in my opinion. I ALWAYS use TNR for anything official. Comic Sans is only used when I generally do power points for the pupils, as when I was training I was told this was easiest for those with SEN to read.
  11. plinth

    plinth New commenter

    Whilst some of this is useful, in my LEA application form is locked word document, I cannot format, change fonts, add a table (for executive summary), or indeed add a footnote to ensure my name is on every page.
  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Ebiere - I am not going to reply here as your question is nothing to do with the thread title!
    To help other posters who may be interested in your question, you need to start a new thread by clicking the <u>Start new topic</u> button near the top of the Forum page (click the All Topics button to get back there), give it a title such as: Dear Theo - current Head as referee? and then ask your question.
    Best Sunday wishes.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    I shall be doing the Win That Teaching Job seminar on Saturday February 25th, and also the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March.
  13. Oops accept my apologies :) Thanks will do that now!
  14. Not sure if it's already been mentioned but I thought I'd drop in my two pennies worth. Times New Roman is the standard font to be used during paper based communication. Calibri is the standard font to be used during electronic based communication. Without going into too much detail, it's due to the feet on some of the letters on the font that makes them easier to read on paper and computer monitor respectively. Also, the standard font size is usually 11 though some may argue 12. I must say, being in the position of applying for jobs at the moment ready for September, the worst font I have seen used for an application was Bradley Handscript...very awful.

  15. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    While serving as the School Head of a small special needs school in Asia, I received a CV from an SEN teacher that at first glance looked promising. In her cover letter, however, she went on at great length about how wonderful she and her husband were and how they were the only teachers that the students at their last school really liked and how they eventually left the school because everyone else (admin. and faculty) was lazy and jealous (I'm paraphrasing but the sentiment came through loud and clear).
    As if that wasn't odd and off putting enough, I then noticed that the school I was at, was listed as one of the former employers. When I asked the long term staff about the applicant, the collection of eye-rolling, looks of panic and expressions of disgust told me all I needed to know.
    I did send her a nice one sentence reply along the lines of don't call us, we'll call you.[​IMG]
    Strangely though, I don't recall the font she used.
  16. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Thank you.
    Yes, I've read the links and tips. It's just that the more you want the job, the harder it seems to be to write an application.
  17. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I've read your other thread and want to point out to you that many heads - especially of secondary schools - are not stupid enough to appoint the 'cheap' teacher. This is because failing to appoint the best teacher each time you advertise is a sure-fire way of ensuring poor results and losing you your headship.
    Your other thread suggests you are upset - obviously - about not getting a post you were interviewed for recently; however, to suggest it was because the principal was 'smitten' with a 'slimy' female applicant does you no credit at all.
    You need to think long and hard about yourself and why you are not getting appointed, not come up with daft 'reasons' why it was someone else.
  18. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, we all understand that you were upset, it can happen.
    What you can do is click the report this post button, and ask them to take out your first post, Middlemarsh';s reply, and even your apology (and this suggestion post too!), so then it is all gone away.
    And better luck with your next job application.
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
  19. I am amazed so many people want to ignore great advice from an experienced head who is giving this advice free of charge. I went on a TES course which Theo delivered on moving into SLT and Headship. I put all the advice given into the application, covering letter and, of course, the executive summary and the first job I applied for I got an interview and also the job! Theo knows her stuff, so ignore the advice at your own demise! After getting the post a colleague who had applied for 30 SLT jobs asked me for help. I gave her the same advice I had been given. Low and behold she got an interview and also the job.

    Now in a position in senior leadership I shortleet candidates for posts. I, and my Head Teacher, hate comic sans - it is just not professional!! Read the advice Theo has given, it will help you a long way in securing the interview.

    Good luck to all the job hunters out there.
  20. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Please listen to the advice given on here. Make sure that you do your research on the school, ensure that you send your letter to the head, you must not have gaps on your CV and follow our instructions to the letter. The market is very competitive (both domestically and internationally), so make things easy for yourself. Tailor your application to the school in question. How am I going to differentiate between 100 applications for a teaching post? At the moment is is still easy enough to cut the numbers down to 10 for short-listing by seeing who does not fir our criteria and who has not followed the above advice. You do all of the above and you are in with a chance. About to embark on another year of recruiting, and quite looking forward to it.

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