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Unable to get an interview even with a PHYSICS degree!!!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by keithdalby, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. keithdalby

    keithdalby New commenter

    Hello TES people,

    I apologise for the provocative subject. I am a physics teacher working in a boys' grammar school in England. My wife is doing a PGCE this year in secondary science (specialising in, you guessed it, physics). She has been unable to get an interview yet and she has applied for many many jobs. I suspect her letter isn't up to scratch, but I just don't know how to help her (I was very lucky when I got my job so I don't really know what employers want to see).

    She has a physics degree, but it is with third class honours. She scored very highly in her final-year project but struggled with exams. Her subject knowledge IS outstanding, but her degree doesn't reflect it. That, coupled with her complete lack of extra-curricular activity experience, may be contributing to her inability to get an interview.

    My question is, what on Earth can I do to help? How can we put a positive spin on her poor degree result and lack of hobbies in the personal statement?

    We're getting anxious. She has just found out she hasn't got an interview in a department where she knows all of the staff by name (because we socialise together) and she personalised her letter for the ethos of the school. We're at a loss.

    Please help!

    Thanks

    -Keith
     
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Absolutely frustrating!
    First question - is she applying to independent schools too? they are the ones who are very keem to get actual Physics graduates. I sometimes think that maintained schools have just given up.
    Masses of help available on here - has she been checking all the clickables and other help threads? Here below is a summary of the steps to take in job hunting. Hope your wife finds this useful.
    My advice on writing applications is contained mainly in those shortlisting clickables inside the welcome thread here on this Forum. Also, your wife should read the FAQs.
    For an effective application, your wife 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 automatically. The shortlisting clickables explain about this.
    As a summary of the steps to take in getting a job:
    Point 1 Are you getting notification of all possible jobs? Do several JobAlerts here on the TES Forum, for all your subjects, and then repeat them all for the independent schools. * * * * How to set up a Job Alert * * * * is at the top of the page
    Point 2 Are you following the advice in the shortlisting clickables inside the Welcome thread?
    Lots 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
    Point 3 Have you tried doing an interview practice with someone who will give you blunt feedback? You'll need to get ready for when you do get an interview. 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.
    Point 4 And then, if all has failed because you are already doing all this, then you should be thinking of getting on a train or a coach to come to the application seminars: the next one of Winning That Teaching Job is quite soon: Saturday 24 March.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars
    Going to a seminar has worked for many posters
    Dear Theo.....I got the job!!!!!
    Here are the details for the next one:
    www.tesweekendworkshop95.eventbrite.com
    There is interview coaching too in the afternoon that day, in very small groups:
    www.tesweekendworkshop96.eventbrite.com
    Point 6 Finally, you might like to open your piggy bank and come for a One-to-One session with me or someone else from the team. Again, people have found this helpful:
    Sign upto one of Theo's 1-2-1s....... JUST DO IT
    Dear Everyone... I met TheoGriff!
    Theo and tremendous support
    Theo's 'One to One' careers service....
    Now the last two cost money, and although it is worth it , it always makes sense to try out the free advice first!
    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.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     
  3. keithdalby

    keithdalby New commenter

    Oh wow, lots of advice! Thank you very much TheoGriff. I'll pass this advice on to her.

    Thanks again

    -Keith
     
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Hope it works!
    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.
    I shall be doing the Moving into Headship or SLT seminar on Saturday 17th March
    www.tesweekendworkshop90.eventbrite.com
     

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