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Cant get a job

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Chris19842, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I've now applied for 20 jobs and I havent even had an interview. Im doing my PGCE which ends next week, in secondary ICT.
    I've resorted to visiting schools in the hope that it will make me look keen but still not even an interview. Im really fed up. Not only am I worried about being able to get my NQT year over with but I'm worried about paying the bills.
    Also - 2 days ago, I had one of my assignments marked. It was a research assignment. I carried out my own research, did it properly and was really happy with it - and I failed! Yet I know other trainees didnt do the research, 'blagged it' and passed. I can resit it but... if I dont get the PGCE and only get QTS, will this look bad on a job application?

  2. Forgot to add that I've had my mentor and careers advisors read over my letter of application who both say its good, so dont know what else I can do.
  3. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Well it's not going to look great but ultimately employers are generally only bothered that you have the QTS.
  4. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Its the same for lots of us Chris. All you can do is your best. x
  5. mypseudonym

    mypseudonym New commenter

    I can't really offer any advice as I am just starting my PGCE in September this year.

    However, may I ask wher eyou studied and where you are applying for jobs?

    (I am curious as I will be doing the secondary ICT course.)

  6. bigpig

    bigpig New commenter

    There are around 50% of NQTs who qualified last year still without a job so you're not alone.
    Have you heard back from any of your applications? Recently (all be it primary) some job adverts have had 175+ applicants, so even with a really good letter there is a very slim chance of an interview.
    Keep trying though and there's always supply.
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Do you just have the one letter?

    If I was to send you the ten letters I wrote about 18 months-2 years ago when applying for a classteacher post, you would get ten very different letters. Yes a few of the paragraphs are copied and pasted, but not many. Each and every letter was carefully written and tailored to the person spec and the school.

    OK I did apply for about 8-10 jobs before getting one, but hey I am on UPS2, the sort of school I thought I wanted to work in just couldn't afford me!

    I honestly think you need to sort out your letters of application. Read all the bits on the welcome thread on here and follow closely.
  8. Letter of application? Singular? Is your cover letter, personal statement and other accompanying information the same every time? If so, no matter how good someone has deemed it to be I would say that this is a bad approach.
    You should adapt your application every time to suit what the school say they are looking for. I would even go so far as to change the order of things (without spoiling the readability) in your personal statement to match the order in which the requirements are laid out in the personal statment - not only does this help you to match their (likely) order of importance but it makes it very easy for a non-teaching member of staff (HR, or even the headteacher who possibly hasn't taught for several years) to simply tick things off and hopefully come to the conclusion that you meet their requirements.
    The other thing about not changing your personal statement is that sometimes it can be very obvious - the reader can tell that the applicant has applied for <u>a job</u> rather than <u>that job </u>in particular.
    Also - ask for feedback. You may not necessarily get any, but what's the worst that can happen?
    Another thing - are you applying by email (or even quoting your email address on your application form if applying by post)? Is it a sensible email address? yourname @ hotmail . com would be hugely preferable to ravin_every_weekend @ hotmail . com (you get the idea).
    Finally - as others have said - the market is really difficult in some areas and some subjects, so you may be doing everything brilliantly, but schools are just opting for someone with more experience.
    minnieminx and I were obviously thinking - and typing - similar things at the same time! Sorry to seem like I'm repeating your post mm!
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Don't be sorry, it is always nice to find I'm not talking utter nonsense.

    You'll have to be MM to my mm then!
  10. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    It has been very slow for NQT ICT posts probably the net effect of an over supply of teachers coupled with the impact of the E Bac.A lot does depend upon the area of the country you are in?
  11. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    The 3 ICT trainees at my institution have all secured jobs for September, two in Devon and one in Bournemouth but they went to loads of interviews before being successful. Definitely get some advice on your application, see the jobseeking forum. I am always been shortlisted for jobs and my best advice is to address all the points in the personal specification and provide clear examples of how you have met those during your PGCE.
    I have done my PGCE in Social Sciences and have applied for Psychology, Sociology and Health and Social Care NQT vacancies within a 40 mile radius of my home (I can't move). I have had 3 interviews so far out of 4 applications and all unsuccessful. There are no more jobs to even apply for now for me, the nearest that has been advertised in the last month is 200 miles away. The post half term job rush has not happened in my subjects at all.
    I expected to be able to apply for the candidates jobs who got the jobs at my unsuccessful interviews, but not a single one of the three who were leaving had their post advertised. Goes to show the effect of the EB as schools.
    I am sorry that probably doesn't help you much, but want you to know you're not alone!!
  12. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Health & Social Care opportunities have suffered due to the uncertainty over vocational courses but i would expect a resurgence as soon as they realise that returning students are not going to thrive on a diet of Maths and English- thank you big bad Wolfe.
    A lot will also depend upon how many secondaries in your area offer post 16 provision particularly A 's in Social Sciences.
  13. I've applied for a similar amount of jobs as the original poster... circa 20! I've written a new cover letter and statement of application for each one, with only one interview. My specialist subject is RE - which is in tepid water due to the Ebac, and therefore jobs are hard to come by and highly sort after.

    In my current PGCE consortium, there now are only 4 of us without jobs, which has meant we're now almost always applying for the same jobs. This isn't a great feeling, but it's the employment situation we live in.

    Employers can look at a letter, and if there is little or no personality in the application it can deter them. For a vast majority of the jobs I've applied for, personality and a sense of humour have been essential criteria - and therefore this has to be evident before you're considered for an interview.

    My advice: read the person specification and the job description for EVERY job you apply for and handcraft your application accordingly. If the job description states specifically that they're looking for "an imaginative and passionate teacher" highlight a scenario or situation where this has been evident. If they're looking for someone with personality, maybe adapt your language ever so slightly whilst still maintaining professionalism.

    Looking at my application v interview statistics, however, could mean my advice is worthless - but give it a shot!
  14. <a name="_GoBack">[/URL]<font face="Calibri">To the girl who asked where I did my PGCE: Liverpool John Moores University.</font> <font size="3">I&rsquo;m in the North West but I&rsquo;ve been applying all over the country recently.</font> <font size="3">I was very frustrated when I wrote my first post, I did it right after finding out I failed my research assignment. Only a handful of people of my PGCE course, out of 50 on the course, have jobs, so I understand I&rsquo;m not alone.</font> <font size="3">I know I said I had my letter of application &ndash; no S &ndash; read. I have been personalising my letter to the school and have been spending all of my evenings writing letters. Although a lot of it is the same. I.e. When a school is looking for someone who works well in a team, I have a paragraph about teamworking that I&rsquo;ve pasted in &ndash; and added a bit relevant to the school. It was one letter that I had read by people who all said its good, but I haven&rsquo;t sent the exact same letter to every school.</font> <font size="3">I consider myself to be a bad essay writer (although my mentor said I&rsquo;m better than the other trainee at the school &ndash; and he actually got an interview today!).</font> <font size="3">There is one girl on the PGCE who has a job. The other trainee in her school got a copy of her letter of application that got her the job, and he said it was a general one, no personalisation whatsoever, with headings like: qualifications, skills, experiences&hellip; And he wont let me see it, since I&rsquo;m the competition.</font> <font size="3">Have been ringing schools for feedback but it hasn&rsquo;t been very helpful. Only got feedback off one school, who said a lot of the applicants all met their criteria so they shortlisted of additional skills they could bring. I have additional skills that would be useful for extra-curricular activities (hockey and guitar), and program in a few programming languages.</font>
  15. Oops, that was copied and pasted from word, here it is again, easier to read here:
    To the girl who asked where I'm doing my PGCE: Liverpool John Moores University.
    I was very frustrated when I wrote my first post. I had just found out I failed my assignment. I know I'm not alone because only a handful of people out of about 50 on the PGCE have jobs.
    I'm in the North West but I've been applying all over the country recently. Visited some schools and even I'm applying for one that I didnt like. I dont want to re-locate - but would if I had a job to go to.
    I know I said I had my letter of application - no S - read. I have been personalising my letter to the school and have spent almost every evening doing so. Although a lot of it is the same. E.g. When a school puts in the person spec that they want someone who works well in a team, I copy and paste a teamworking paragraph in, then add a bit to personalise it to the school (E.g. "Your person spec says you want someone who works well in a team, I think it is especially important in your school because you have a large department of X staff. I work well in a team because.................). I only add this when it says in the person spec that they want someone who works in a team. Otherwise, I leave it out.
    I consider myself to be bad at English and a bad essay writer. Although, my mentor said I'm better than the other trainee who is at the school with me.
    There is one girl on the PGCE who got a job back in February. The other trainee has a copy of the letter of application she used (he wont let me see since I'm the competition) but said hers was a general one that could be sent to any school. And it just listed subtitles like qualifications, skills, experiences... Sounds to me like a CV!
    I have rang a lot of schools for feedback. I got feedback off one school, who said lots of applicants met their criteria so they shortlisted on additional skills. I have additional skills (extra-curricular things) that I put in the letter!

  16. Sounds like you are just being beaten by stronger (or more experienced) candidates unfortunately then.
    However, a couple of things to pick up on:
    The paradox of writing a personal statement to match the person spec is that you want the reader to think "wow, this person is exactly what we're looking for" without thinking "this person has clearly read the spec and is now repeating back what I want to hear".
    It's a really difficult balance to get, but I'd avoid using phrases like "your person specification says you want ...". This is a little, for want of a better word, crude or clunky.
    Also, when (for example) saying you work well in a team try to give the experiential/anecdotal evidence first and then "label it". For example: "In a recent project with a small group of Year 11 pupils, I played a lead role in developing resources for a number of after-school sessions and then worked together with colleagues to deliver these classes. Not only did this enable me to further develop my strong team working skills, but it also gave me the opportunity to see other teachers' styles and adapt their approaches to use in some of my own lessons". The difference is subtle, but a key one (in my opinion, anyway).
    Hope that helps.
  17. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Great advice from Master Math and to also add that the phrase good at teamwork can be very overused. What is more effective is specific exemplar of team work showing different roles you have taken. Most read team work as just leading a team.
    Do not be tempted to copy other peoples applications, on top of the competition element it is easy to adopt odd phrasings or even bad grammar.
    Do beware of cut and paste as sometimes it means that the flow of words and ideas are affected. Sometimes you need to start from scratch if you are not getting any bites.
    You also need to look realistically at the geographic area where you are applying -how may jobs in your subject are coming up there?
  18. Hey Chris
    It took me 60ish applications and three interviews to get my first job. I'm starting in September in an outstanding school in an ideal location. Don't give up! Just because your applications are being rejected it does not mean you are a bad teacher. It simply means you are not the right teacher for that school at that time. If you keep applying you will succeed!
    Most of the applications I sent out were to schools in the OFSTED 2/3 category. I never imagined that I would get a job in an outstanding school. However, looking back at my first two interviews in satisfactory schools, I think that satisfactory schools need outstanding teachers so they can improve but outstanding schools need good teachers who they can turn into outstanding ones.
    I eventually got my job through an agency, Hays. I didn't even have to apply; my agent marketed my CV to the school and they asked me to come for at interview. I recommend that you get in touch with agencies; call them and speak to them ask if they know of any appropriate vacancies and if not would they keep your CV of file and contact you if anything comes up. They will also be able to set you up with supply teaching, which could also act as a foot in the door to future full time employment.
  19. I got my job through going into schools over January time.
    I helped out and researched my assignments in school. This really helped as a Higher level teaching assistant was taking a class and i took the load off by taking groups out.
    The school were really thrilled and when i applied for the job they remembered me.

    If you don't get a job before September I would deffo try this approach.

    Another interview I got was offered after I visited the school during the day. Luckily it was only me and the head walking round and i did literally fall in love with the school. The head introduced me to lots of staff and I complimented how well the children were working and active during lessons. I was very :( when i had to turn this school down. However, I am happy at the school I am employed at.

    If you can do that little bit of research on the schools Ofsted or website this looks good to.
    Your application needs to be really enthsiastic and positive and you need to sell your subject and tell them why it is important to teaching and learning.

    I also got lots of offers from other schools i didn't bother to visit but i guess thats because they liked what i had put about myself. I didn't lie on my applications because i wanted the school to employ me for what i enjoyed and what i thought.

    Hope this makes sense.xx

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