1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Dear Theo - How to get shortlisted!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by stephaniejoanne, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. 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.
     
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Hope you read How Not To Get Shortlisted too.
    Not at all, unless it is directly relevant to the school that you are applying to.
    Well, you did ask!
    A major failure of applicants is to write a letter all about themselves, instead of about the needs of the school.
    Why? In 11 years you've had, hang on, 5 schools. Others may only have had 2 in the same time. Suppose you'd been supply teaching at one term per school for 2 years . . . would you write about 6 schools? You only should mention things that are directly relevant to what the school wants.
    Ah.
    "My application letter".
    So you have basically just the one, to which you add the name of the school and 2 sentences in the first paragraph saying why you want a job there?
    I have a radical suggestion to make. Throw it away.
    Feeling better now, or feeling faint? [​IMG]
    Now wait, wait until there's a school with a job that you're really interested in. Then draw up the executive summary based on their job spec/person spec. Then write not "your" application letter, but this school's application letter, fleshing out what you have in the summary, so that you are responding directly to what they are looking for.
    Still feeling faint? [​IMG] It's not having the safety net of "your letter" that does it!
    You might want to look here and see the details of the seminar on Saturday 14th April.
    www.tesweekendworkshop97.eventbrite.co.uk
    That could help you to feel less faint!
    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.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     
  3. Thank you so much! [​IMG]
    That really helps me a lot, I need straight talking and a firm hand, so radical is fine by me! There wasn't a person specification in the form of a table, but a few bullet points on the advert. There was also 1A4 page a 'letter' from the head in the application pack. From his paragraphs I have listed the bullet points of what they want. Also from looking around the school he explained exactly what they are looking for. So I have my list, I'm going to start with the executive summary and take it from there. Thanks for the link I will look into it!
    Thanks again Theo!
    Steph [​IMG]


     
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    There's a good lass!
    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.
    For the full TES Weekend Workshop programme please visit www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars or contact advice@tes.co.uk for one-to-one sessions.
     

Share This Page