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How not to get an interview...

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by MisterMaker, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Having spent a couple of hours sifting through the latest batch of applications, I thought I'd remind some prospective teachers about a few things.
    1. Uncle Theo G has written several posts about applying for jobs, far better than anything I could do. Please read a few of them to remind yourselves of the do's and don'ts.
    If you can't be bothered with Uncle Theo Gs advice, here's the rest of my list...
    2. I am amazed at how many teachers don't know the etiquette of letter writing. When writing a letter of application include your address at the top, followed by the date. Amongst the many I spent seconds rather than minutes on today was one that contained no addresses or introductions and didn't even have a dear sir, just straight into why he's the perfect guy for the job. Not very impressive for an English teacher.
    3. Try to find out the name of the person your writing to. If you really have tried and don't know the name, at least do the Dear Sir / madam, as I find this preferable to To Whom It May Concern.
    4. Complete all the parts of the Application Form. Do not write, refer to my CV, (unless there is no more space left). If I wanted to look at your CV I'd have asked for it rather than an Application Form & letter.
    5. The part of the application that asks for reference contact details should not be left blank. I can understand those who would prefer for referees not to be contacted unless shortlisted, although I know many HTs who don't accept that, so at least say something along those lines rather than leave it blank and appear like Johnny No Mates who can't get any references.
    6. Many schools ask for photos, some because they will look for the 'right heritage', others, like me, have more relevant rational. Anyhow, when a recent photo is asked for, a standard passport type photo is better than you on the beach, in your garden or those awful looking webcam photos. It's a first chance to show how professional you can look, not how relaxed you are.
    When I'm not <strike>wasting</strike> spending my time on TES I'm a busy chap. I have hundreds of applications - forms and letters - to sift through. There's plenty of excellent teachers out there that you're competing against and if you want to get past the initial pre-short listing phase, please make the effort to get the basics correct.
    Thank you,
    rant over.
  2. missmunchie

    missmunchie New commenter

    Good advice, thanks for this!
    I'm reapplying for my job this week.
    My school have asked all candidates for for a completed application form, CV and letter plus a recent photo.
    Obviously they know what I look like. Should I include a photo or not?

  3. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Give them whatever they ask for.
  4. And check and check again for any grammatical errors...
    ...as this will count against you, too.
  5. Sandman

    Sandman New commenter

    Who believes MM that he doesn't like those beach photo's? Pre-requisite for Malaysia with all those beaches MM.
  6. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I wouldn't mind others comments on this one.

    I don't do this because my address is already on the CV or application form, and the date is obviously when I sent the email.
  7. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Same here and it's never been a problem. I guess MM would chuck me application straight in the bin and hope the cleaners haven't emptied it when some lass does a runna.
  8. MisterMaker

    MisterMaker Occasional commenter

    Didn't you attend the letter writing lesson when you were at school? The letter of application is your introduction, it is a letter, not a note. A well written letter follows certain standards and your address at the top is one of those standards. If uncle Theo reads this, I'd be interested in your thoughts.
    You're right, David, if you were one of the two hundred applicants I reviewed this week I may have passed on your application if you were applying for the English teacher job.[​IMG] (For some reason I'm a little more open for other subjects).
  9. a pedant

    a pedant New commenter

    Uncle Theo

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