It’s that time of year when schools are actively recruiting for teaching and support staff for the new school year, so here are our top 10 tips to remember when you are searching for your next role.
Ensure that you meet the job criteria
It’s all very well seeing your dream job advertised, but if you don’t have the qualifications or levels of experience, then it is an application wasted. Some roles will look for very specific experience, such as roles within the SEND sector. Don’t discard them; there is always time for additional training that will help with your career progression in the future.
Are you mainstream or specialist?
It is worth understanding your own preferences as to the teaching setting. Some prefer being part of a mainstream school, even if the role is within the SEN field. Others prefer to be part of a specialist SEN setting or PRU. Ultimately the choice is absolutely down to you, but do ensure that you investigate all the options and choose the one where you are happiest.
Do your homework
Homework isn’t just for pupils. Ensure that you read up about the school whose job you are applying for. Check out the school website and Ofsted report. This way, you can drop information in to tailor your application letter, and you can also speak about the school during your interview. It always pays to do your homework!
Visit the teaching setting
This is a two-way process, and visiting the school can cover off both ends. Whilst the visit won’t be an interview, the school can put a face to a name and find out a little bit more about you outside of an interview setting. Equally, you can find out more about how the school operates – is it ultimately the place for you?
A good aspect of visiting a school will be that you understand more about the location. Is it a 45-minute commute because of heavy traffic, can you walk or is it on public transport networks and if you do drive, will there be a parking space for you? Do consider if the long commutes are for you – what may be ok for the first few months will feel very different when you are making your way to school in the dark and the depths of winter.
Find out what happened to the last teacher
It’s always worth understanding whether the school has a high or low turnover of teachers. If it is high, then you might find that you are asking if they were leaving for a specific reason, which can include leadership styles or a stressful workload.
Do you and the school share the same values and beliefs?
This isn’t necessarily about religious beliefs but also teaching styles and priorities. If you and the school aren’t on the same page here, it can lead to unhappiness and demotivation. It is something to explore during the interview process.
Tailor your CV every time and make it shine
It’s fine to have a standard generic CV but tailor it to suit the job that you are applying for – ensuring that you highlight relevant points that make you the right person for the job. Lots of agencies also offer support in ensuring that your CV is relevant and absolutely tip-top to help you get that perfect job.
What can career progression look like?
This is where the question “where do you see yourself in five years’ time” really comes into play. Not only does the school want to understand your career aspirations, but it is also good for you to understand if there is progression within the school or if you will need to go job hunting again to make the next step up the career ladder.
Always ask for feedback
We may not always get the dream job, and sometimes we must dust ourselves down and start again. It is always important to ask for feedback because it helps you to understand why you were unsuccessful this time and what you can do to be successful at the next interview.
If we can help you with any aspect of your job search, get in touch.