The job application and interview process can be exhausting, especially as a new grad teacher. There is constantly talk about how positions are limited and how hard it is to get work.
Well, that negative mindset isn’t going to get us anywhere! So let’s turn this narrative around and put our energy into what will really make a difference – preparing job applications as best as we can, so our best foot is forward!
Here are our top tips for creating stand out job applications (read on to the end to grab your FREE bingo board to help you get motivated).
1. Create a Vision Board
This might seem a little ‘woo-woo’, but research has proved that there is power in visualisation. It could be a collage on your phone, a poster by your desk or a list next to your bed. Whichever way suits you, sit down and record what you want in a job. I have recently added a widget to my iPhone with my goals so I can see them every time I look at it, and I love it!
2. Brainstorm your Superpowers
Sit down for 15-20mins minimum and brainstorm all your amazing qualities, achievements and experiences. Anything that pops into your head jot it down. This reflection task will be the basis of writing a killer cover letter and CV.
3. Review Prac Reports
Now you have brainstormed what you are good at and experiences that set you apart, go back over any of your practicum reports. Make notes of any adjectives your mentor teacher used to describe you, jot down any great lessons they mention and keep a list of key teaching terminology you might want to use in your cover letter and CV.
4. Create a Cover Letter
Spend time writing the perfect cover letter. Once you have one, you can recycle it and just chop and change certain details depending on the job. Remember, the aim is for your cover letter and CV to lead to a face to face interview where you can leave the most significant impression. So, it is worth investing the time. Try to embed the school vision or mission in your cover letter and include your best assets.
5. Write a Professional CV
Keep your CV short, concise and looking professional. Aim for no more than two pages. Make sure you include your most recent experience first and work backwards. The key is to keep in mind you are applying for a teaching job, so experience with children or teaching should be highlighted over other part-time jobs you may have had. If you feel your CV needs a revamp, it may be beneficial to seek someone to update your resume professionally.
6. Proofread, proofread, proofread!
We can’t stress this point enough. Spelling errors or incorrect school or principal names will put you straight into the ‘No thanks’ pile. Have someone with fresh eyes also check for any corrections and always double-check the name of the school and principal. The aim is for all your documents to look and sound professional.
Top tip: We have had so many principals contact us, saying that the word ‘Principal’ is often misspelled on new grad applications. Check and check again! The principal is your pal.
7. Aim to stand out
The only chance to stand out at first is on paper. Think about how you are going to do that. Use the list you created whilst brainstorming to help you. If you need to submit a Key Selection Criteria document or reflection of the Teacher Standards with your application, back up everything you say with clear examples of how you have implemented these things in the classroom (prac experiences are counted!)
8. Have an Open Mind
Finally, we are here to tell you that teaching comes in many forms, shapes and sizes. Don’t limit yourself - apply for a range of jobs and remember, there are different schooling systems to explore as well. A full time, permanent position straight out of university is not the only pathway. Be open to temporary roles, job share and casual teaching. These other avenues can provide you with so much wonderful experience and learning opportunities.
Are you in the process of applying for jobs? We have put together a fun bingo board for you to work through. Join our New Teacher Facebook group to grab your copy. Download it from the files section, complete it and once you get a bingo, share it in the group so we can do a happy dance with you and cheer you on!
Like many things in teaching, it pays off when you are prepared and ready for anything that might be thrown your way. That is why we created The Dream Job Guide. It includes loads of information, professional tips, and templates to help you write applications and attend interviews with confidence and ease. Let us help you stand out from the crowd when applying for your dream teaching job! Find it here.
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