How to make your teaching application stand out

21/11/2022 | All

Here at i-teachers we are passionate about making your teaching application as strong as possible. We recently read an interesting article from Tes Magazine based around a headteacher sifting through 146 applications for teaching roles. The article surprisingly noted how a substantial amount of applications ‘let them down’ – with some sporting numerous spelling errors and others failing to follow simple instructions.

With that in mind, we have put together some top tips for anyone applying for a teaching role on how to ensure that your application is worth taking seriously!

Read (and re-read!) the application details clearly

Although it sounds obvious, it is vital that you read all the application details thoroughly and clearly. Ensure that you properly understand what you are applying for, the skills and attributed required and the details of the school. It is surprising how many candidates don’t read this information properly.

Research the school setting

The main bulk of the information you use should come from the school’s website. Find out what is important to them (such as their culture, values and organisational structure) and use this in your application to demonstrate how you ‘fit’ the school. Another top tip for this is to use their social media channels – this can give you a great feel of the school and its’ culture.

Find out about your potential employers

It’s a great idea to research the individuals who will be appointing the role, such as the head of faculty or headteacher. Find out their background and specialisms and use this information to help you better target your answers and questions. A good way of getting background information on your employers is to connect with them on LinkedIn. This should give you a better idea of their experience, specialisms and even their interests.

Set aside plenty of time

It is extremely important to set aside plenty of time to complete your application. Pencil into your diary at least a couple of hours to dedicate purely to the application with no distractions. Rushing an application is almost always obvious to your employer – it increases the likelihood of grammatical errors, misreading the instructions and producing a bad quality application.

We would recommend setting out two blocks of time to complete your application. The first should be dedicated to planning your application and the second dedicated to completing/submitting the application.

In your first block of time, it could be useful to do the following:

  • Identify the reasons that you really want this role – why now? Why this specific role? Why this school?
  • Identify how you fit the job specification and job profile
  • Pinpoint your interest in the school – why would you make such a good fit?
  • Structure your answers to potential questions – like examples of where you have dealt with certain situations.

Do not underestimate the power of double-checking!

When you are completing your application, it is so important to double-check each part. Although it sounds obvious, double-checking as you go along is critical in ensuring that your application is done to the best standard possible.

Firstly, check each part of the application carefully for any typos or errors. It can be so easy to make tiny grammatical errors when you are focused on the content of your application. However, it can be the accumulation of these small errors over your application that can easily be a red flag to your employer.

Before submitting your application, share it with a trusted friend or colleague and ask them to check for errors and clarity. It is also useful to give them the job advert and specification so that they can cross reference. Having fresh eyes on your application at this stage can really make the difference between being selected for an interview or not!

Final, final checks

So it’s finally time to submit your application – congratulations! Before you do so, it is useful to do the following:

  • Have one final read-through the submission instructions to make sure that you haven’t missed anything
  • It may be useful to do a quick online imprint check of your social media accounts and online presence. It’s becoming increasingly common for schools to perform a check on your social media accounts during the application process.
  • Submit your application in full and by following the instructions precisely.

And just like that – you’re good to go! Just remember, education recruitment is extremely competitive. It only takes seconds for a recruiter to make assumptions based on your application quality, so there is nothing more important than ensuring it’s done to the best standard!