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Dear Theo; Applying for a job at my current school.

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by catherine_ann, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. catherine_ann

    catherine_ann Occasional commenter

    Just wondering if anyone has any tips for applying for a position in a school that you are working at. I have been on a full-time temporary contract since October in a school were I was on placement as a PGCE student, and a permanent full-time position has arisen in my department. I have been to many interviews since qualifying as a teacher in July 2009, but have been unsuccessful.
    Since this is now the end of the job hunting season, I am particularly desparate to get this job and secure work for next year, and I would be greatful for advice from anyone who has been in this position.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Let's start with general advice about applications:
    1) Are you following the advice in the shortlisting clickables inside the Welcome thread?
    of posters have found it gets them interviews - and jobs. Headteachers
    say that they appreciate candidates who do what I advise.
    Please take Theo's advice!
    taking Theo's Advice
    The benefit of an executive summary
    read theo's advice and do the executive summary people, it really does work, seriously!!!!
    Dear Theo: Executive summary works- I have an interview
    2) Are you sending the right things?
    You should send:
    • an application form with every bit filled in, no "See letter"
    • an application letter OR personal statement. Not both but certainly one of them.
    • a cover letter ONLY if you do a personal statement. See FAQs inside the Welcome thread
    • an
      Executive summary. If there's a space on the form, put it in there; if
      not, put it at the end of your letter so that it gets printed out
    3) Have
    you tried doing an interview practice
    with someone who will give you
    blunt feedback? You might, for example, being doing something quite
    simple, like screwing up your face in a glare when you are conisdering
    an answer, which can be very off-putting. And which a school is
    unlikely to tell you about. But first read the interview clickables inside the Welcome thread.
    4) For an internal application: never undersell yourself. Pretend that you are applying to a different school, one who doesn't know you. Major failing of internals is that they think: Oh, they know what I do, I don't have to spell it out.
    Oh yes you do!
    Make it as full and persuasive as if not to this school.
    Best of luck - we look forward to that new thread called Dear Theo - I got the job!

    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.

    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
  3. I have been in your shoes very recently (was successful at interview for ft perm post in school i've been in 6months on Monday this week) advice I would give

    1. remember its an interview - keep it formal like you would do in any other school. eg. shake hands, don't 'relax' too much. The people interviewing you may well be v.well known to you don't let your head forget its an interview and get into the frame of mind that they know you and that you're just having a chat with them.

    2. Be yourself - hard I know under the nerves, but try to get your personality across as best you can. Yes some ppl on the panel will know you but there will probably be one or more that don't so show them why you should get the job over other ppl. Remember that it's 'your' job to lose, they already know a lot about your positives and negatives, with others they don't have that advantage and so may be ;taking a chance; with someone new

    3. use your inside knowledge to your advantage at interview - they will be expecting much more from you that external candidates in terms of your info about the school, and how you would be able to add to/and take things forward. Don't ask a silly Q at the end just for the sake of it, esp if you have been there and should already know the answer.

    hope this helps for now, don't want to go on too much,
    good luck :)
  4. HI,
    Firstly, don't assume that they know what you do in the classroom, they probably don't. Treat it as you would an external interview, have plenty of examples ready of your experiences and wow them with your professionalism. Yes, shake hands when you go in, as you would for an external job and again when you leave. Basically try and treat it as an external interview, remember all the other candidates will be doing that and you have to compete with them, you cannot afford to be too relaxed if you really want this job. The interviewer/s will be comparing your interview with the other interviews, not thinking about the fact that you teach there already. However you can tell them how much you enjoy teaching at the school and why, and about how the ethos of the school fits with your own, and why. Finally, be very enthusiastic at the interview and prepare, prepare, prepare beforehand. Incidentally have you phoned the schools you had previous interviews with and asked why you didn't get the job, they may well give you some useful feedback. Good luck!
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, they may.
    But they are more likely not going to do this.
    I am always very wary about feedback from a school to unsuccessful applicants - more often that not it is pretty useless (It was very close. You were just pipped at the post. We felt that you weren't enthusiastic enough. We were concerned that you have been doing so much supply. If we had had 2 jobs the second would have gone to you. In the end we went for someone more experienced. In the end we went for a NQT for fresh ideas). And as well as useless, it can make you go over and over again and again in your mind what it was that didn't go well. What was it that you said? How can you get more experience if you can't get a job? Surely supply is valuable experience? Didn't they know I wasn't experienced when they shortlisted me?
    So don't put too much store by what they tell you - it is unlikely to give you much guidance for the next interview unless you are very lucky.

    I wish you the very best of luck.


    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.

    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


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