When applying for a teaching job, whether it be a permanent one or even a temporary teaching position, the application form is going to be the key to a good first impression with your potential employer and new school. As a result, the completion should not be taken lightly and instead needs to have a lot of thought and effort put into it. The quality of your application form is going to be the difference between getting an interview and being put to the side as another reject. So here are our top tips for completing a successful application form:
- Write as neatly as you can in black ink – Neat handwriting can help to illustrate that you are organised and put effort into everything you do. Use black ink and keep it as tidy as you can. If in any doubt that your hand-writing may be ineligible, then fill in the application online and print it out.
- Use block capitals – You need to make the form as easy to read as possible for the employer as if they are struggling to understand it, they will just set it to one side and give up. So, when filling in details, use block capitals as it’s the easiest form of handwriting to read.
- Always complete a letter of application if requested – If requested, a covering letter/ letter of application should be filled in and sent off along with the application form. It is important that you do so if asked or the employer will more than likely not even consider you, as you have failed to do something asked of you. Always ensure that you tailor the letter specifically to the role and school that you are applying for, as this will show you are really interested in teaching at their school.
- Avoid repeating words and phrases – Do not use phrases such as; “I feel”, “I believe” and/ or stating the obvious. Use phrases instead like “I have” and “I will”. These are much more convincing.
- Read it over a few times – This is important in order to check for spelling and grammatical errors. This is one of the most common reasons applications are rejected and is just a sloppy mistake that can easily be corrected by a simple proofread.
- Ask someone else to proofread your application form – Proofreading your form yourself is definitely crucial but letting someone else have a look at it can also be extremely helpful. It can help iron out any mistakes that you didn’t notice the first few times and can help you feel more confident in your application.
- Check you’ve filled in all the boxes that are relevant to you – If you leave an empty box the employer might think your form is incomplete. If a box isn’t relevant, put ‘N/A’ (not applicable) in the space provided.
- Photocopy or print out the finished form – This is so that you have a record of what you’ve written. It also becomes very helpful when you can refer back to it at the interview stage.
- Be organised – Allow yourself plenty of time to complete your application and make note of the deadline. You don’t want to have to complete the form in a panic as this could lead to mistakes.
- Research the school website – You will impress the employers no end by knowing a bit about the school and its history. It will show that you are interested in the place of work and that you really do want the job.
- Read through the school’s Ofsted report – You can refer back to what you’ve read during the interview process and will show the employers once again that you are thoroughly interested in the job.
- Arrange to visit the school beforehand – Visiting the school beforehand can really take the pressure off and can make the interview process seem much less daunting. It will also show the school that you are genuinely interested in the job and you can get a feel for the school before the interview.
The process of going through and filling in job applications can be a daunting process but by being confident in your ability, researching and ensuring you answer the question, should help to ease the nerves. Finally, make sure the form is neat, tidy and proof-read because first impressions really do count. Good luck!