Dear Theo, I've been reading your 'how to get shortlisted' article; it's very helpful, thankyou! After starting as an NQT I stayed in my first school for 5 years. I then had a 2 year spell in an independent school and quickly got back into state schools and worked in another school for 2 years. Since leaving that last permanent post (9 years experience) I've just had 1 year temporary contracts. I'm still on Mps 6 as I haven't had the 2 years + in a school to be suupported onto UPS by the head you see. When applying for jobs i sometimes see that as a bonus as very often I lose out to NQTs so at least im not yet on the upper pay scale! Anyway, last year I secured another temp contract for a year, so i have been getting jobs, but it was my 7th interview when i finally got the job! I'm now in my 11th year of teaching and am looking again this summer... Last year my application letter got me the interviews but on reading it back i'm not happy with it this year. I feel that there's a long section on past experience, current school etc... which seems to read like a history / account of the schools i've worked in and my role in each. This year i really want to make my letter show them that i'm what they need (by reading person spec and having met the head I know what they want). I'm wondering to what extent I should describe my past experience. I don't want it to sound like a list of every school in chronologiocal order, but at the same time I don't want it to look like i'm hiding my experience or my past, as i had good experience and developed some valuable skills in those schools. Obviously an NQT can organise their letter in such a way that it states philosophy, achievements, accompliahments, abilities, what they believe - and then how they have shown that in the classroom with examples, but they don't have a history of roles to 'acknowledge' as I do. I can discuss examples of my practice in my current school and my previous school but then would it be odd not to 'acknowldege ' my earlier schools? Should I perhaps write the background paragraph from the 'skills I have developed' perspective, giving relevant examples, rather than a chronological order of where i've worked and what i did, as i just feel that it isn't a particularly compelling paragraph!! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks very much.