Its hard enough finding the jobs, then you have to apply and give yourself as much chance as possible of being successful. Its a lot to take in.
Start with you first
What is your vision for your career, where do you want to be in 10 years time and what do you want to achieve. Where are you willing to work, could you relocate? What type of school would you like to teach in? Have you decided on the type of pupils you want to teach? What are your feelings on working in a faith school? Once you have answered these questions it will give you an understanding of the type of work you are looking for. However, applying for jobs is like finding a new house to move in. You can't get everything, always weigh up the positives and negatives.
What are your strenghts and weaknesses as an NQT?
You really need to have a think about what you are good at and can capitalise on and what your weaknesses are that you could improve on. For example if your teaching practices gave you little opportunity to work with special educational needs pupils then seek some voluntary work in this area. If you excel in classroom management how can you testify this in your application, what evidence could you get? If you feel you are lacking subject knowledge in a particular area could you go on a training course. You can touch upon these examples in your interview as to ways that you have improved on your weaknesses.
"I'm holding out for the right school"
With the current economic climate you can not afford to be choosy. It is vital that you find a school that you feel you can thrive in and have plenty of support but don't be picky. Few NQTs will find their dream job straight away, if they have its because they have worked very hard to be the best and stand out from the crowd.
NQTs often utilise supply teaching as a way of testing out local schools and building up a good reputation in the local area. It is important you don't limit your options, if you are only going to settle for that dream school you will probably have to be more flexible on other areas like relocating.
Research, research and more research
Going on a website and reading an ofsted report is not going to give you the answeres you need. Identify what the school's ethos really is. Ask for a tour around the school and remember that in your interview its not just about selling yourself. You need to find out whether the role is right for you. Do you know anyone that has taught there who can give you feedback? Could you work in the school voluntarily before going to your invertview? Find out what their reputation is throughout the local community, perhaps also have a look to see if the local press have done any stories on the school. This will give you an idea of the type of initiatives the school takes and its relationship with the wider community. By doing as much preparation as possible you will not let yourself down at interview.
Don't be lazy, don't copy and paste
When applying for teaching jobs its quality not quantiy. Don't be tempted to write a scripted answer to questions which you then use for every application. If you do, your answeres to the questions wont be relative to that job or school, its better to take the time to write fresh answeres for every application.
An NQTs CV
- Whilst there isn’t a set format for the perfect CV there are some basic guidelines that should be followed
- It must not span over more than two sides of A4
- Use Arial, Verdana or Times New Roman fonts, with a size of around 11 for text and 14-16 for headings
- Use black for text and avoid headings that are too bright in colour.
- Use short bullet points instead of long paragraphs of text. It breaks the information down and makes easily digestible.
- Most schools will want to check off whether you meet the minimum criteria first so place your qualifications up the top
- Ensure that your work history has no unexplained gaps
Generally, the format needs to be contact details at the top, a short summary of your career aspirations and personal qualities, qualifications, career history (including voluntary work) with dates, name of organisation, job title and bullet points of duties and achievments at each place. Once you have written your CV get feedback on it from everyone you can. Ask your family if it reflects you enough or whether there is anything you have left out. Perhaps you know of a head teacher who can analyse whether your CV has any loop holes? Finally, ask someone who doesn't know you very well to summarise what impression they have of you from the CV. If it doesn't match your skill sets you have missed something out.
The interview process
Finally, after all that hard work you have been invited in to the interview and you really feel like panicing! DON'T. They have invited you in becuase you fill all of the criteria for the job role the school is recruiting for. Now is the time to preapre even more than before you applied. You need to know everything about the school as possible. The more knowledgeable you are, the more questions you can ask that are constructive and the more competent you will appear. There is a lot of help available for interview techniques. Have a look at the website below.