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Disastrous Job Applications

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by the hippo, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Arepa wrote, "...competition is rather intense", but really the only competition is for space in the waste paper basket. In other words, more and more applicants are making more and more applications, but many of them are not clearly focused on that one particular school. I call this the "shotgun" method, rather than the "sniper" technique.
  2. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    to paraphrase the "one shot one kill' sniper approach - far better to have one letter/CV specifically aimed and suited for a position rather than a weak cartridge full of relatively useless pellets...
  3. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    A good and useful OP. You were lucky it was only 50. In India or Africa you might have waded through 500 and that would have included about the same number of good ones. When we were recruiting security staff my Malawian PA was convulsed by a well-written application quoting as referee a certain Inspector Bongowongo, clearly an African's idea of what a European might expect an African policeman to be called.
    That takes me back to the time when I was about to move to my first headship. My boss and I were reading through the 230 applications, many of them mightily qualified, for the deputy headship (rural coed grammar school of 800 pupils) I was about to leave. He looked at me across the pile and muttered 'My God, M! Neither of us would get into this shortlist.'
    ParkerNorf80 and kpjf like this.
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    When I first decided to go international I sent out 10 cvs all personalised to each job. Weeks passed with no answers so I decided to email a few of them seeking comments on my c.v. and accompanying letter. One response was particularly patronising saying that "our school could never even consider a c.v. in this format". My only other response said my application was fine and they offered me a job. Seems to me that every school has its own criteria for assessing an application and obviously you dont know these criteria when you are applying. In my experience its all pot luck.
    Goodsis and grdwdgrrrl like this.
  5. be-what?
  6. I think you might be right qatarson. My experience is that
    1. I don't apply for anything that wants a hand written letter. This is Luddite hoop jumping and I won't work for you.
    2. Standard application forms and school formats have a diminishing value. Most people apply for more than one job and are soon sent round the bend by filling in the same stuff over and over again. It therefore puts off the candidate that hasn't yet got a post but might be right for you.
    3. I prefer CV and supporting statement which I expect to be tailored but I'm not so far up my own Rs to expect a brand new literary creation designed solely on the off-chance that I might like it and not chuck it in the bin.
    4. Jobs go to the person whose face fits. 'Can I work with this person?' is the key question.
    5. Very often - especially in UK schools - the person whose face fits has already been chosen and you are just there to fill up the numbers.
    Goodsis likes this.
  7. Sandman

    Sandman New commenter

    Anyone been head hunted.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I was once, but it was by Madam Chantal.
  9. Charles II.
  10. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    It was Charles I, FP. Coincidentally, my daughter-in-law's ancestor, Col. Daniel Axtell, was hanged, drawn and quartered for organising the execution. Charles II died in his bed which was something of a surprise as he spent most of his time in other people's beds.
  11. Yeah, I know.....typo...[​IMG]
  12. Wow... that is really amazing! I can't beleive you have to contend with this Arepa, a really good and informative post, many thanks. I would never dream taking what Hippo calls the 'shotgun' approach (I think machine gun is better!), it takes me painstaking hours to research the add for a job thoroughly - look at ad, look at school website, see if this is what I want and can deal with, look at Google maps and info sites on countries and cities to get a feel for it etc...
    Rather sadly despite this I haven't heard back from a couple applications and one who did say that the calibre of applicants was very high. I am hoping though that at least I get put into the 'maybe' pile, as I do tailor my applications very much to the post and school, and would never dream of asking dopey or picky questions.
  13. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter





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    Coincidently, I did receive an application from a Malawian
    with experience in Public Relations, just what my primary students need. His
    application was replete with various certificates and letters of recommendation
    (who knows, if I had read them thoroughly I might have come across the
    signature of Mr. Bongowongo), but without a CV. He, obviously, did not make it
    through the first review. While I agree with
    qatarsoon that every school has their own criteria, I believe that there
    are certain minimal criteria (listed above) that an applicant must meet if they
    are to get through the first review. Most schools want staff who can at least read carefully and
    follow instructions. Afterwards, the specific fit of the teacher to the school’s
    needs comes into play. Oldgit61 gives good
    advice, to specifically tailor the application to the school. I would recommend
    that applicants heed his advice.

    Behoove is what we do in my part of the world to ornery
    cattle and feckless job applicants, or is that ornery job applicants and
    feckless cattle. Maybe I should look it up.
  14. Ha Ha. Very good.

  15. I am sad to admit it...and also extremely embarrassed...., but I am wondering if I could be the person that sent their application to the wrong school?...I realised as soon as I had hit the send button what I had done....but alas, by then 'twas too late. I apologise. If nothing else, I know my CV and letter of application is pretty good....it just shows i'm human....[​IMG]
    Lucky....I sent the correct letters and cv's to many many many other schools and I have 5 interviews arranged in the next month....so it's not all bad news. I just will not regale the interviewer (who's name and school, i will double check before going to the interview) with my tale of woe. [​IMG]
  16. Not an English post you are after, is it?
    Dotting the 't's and crossing the 'i's won't hurt....
    If you a maths teacher, ignore all of the above.
    Illiterate *******.
  17. No primary teacher....ah well...I am happy to here I am not the only person that has made a faux pas recently.

  18. Not an English post you are after, is it?
    Dotting the 't's and crossing the 'i's won't hurt....
    If you a maths teacher, ignore all of the above.
    Illiterate *******.
    Are you trying to say Maths teachers can't spell??[​IMG]
  19. No, well i certainly wasn't, i can't talk about anyone's spelling and grammar...I just realised i wrote here...instead of hear....
    I am a shambolic example of a teacher this week....my head is up my ****!
  20. The O.P. wrote "I would not recommend that you send a letter asking details prior to submitting your application".
    I must confess to having done this out of frustration, knowing that it is a shot in the foot. I did it because on occasion in the past, I have spent hours on a serious application only later to discover that the salary is tuppence half-penny, and I have totally wasted my time (as they have wasted their time) applying for a post that I would never have given a second glance had the school been up-front with salary information.
    1stSgtWelsh likes this.

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