At SupplyBag.co.uk, we know that not all supply teachers are doing supply teaching through choice. Around 40% are actively looking for more secure positions. We try, in this section, to give you support with your job applications.
Aims of a job application:
• to get selected for interview
• to influence the panel in your favour before they even set eyes on you
• not to get you sacked when you start the job…it must be honest!
Elements of a job application:
• Application Form
The Application Form:
• Photocopy it and practice
• Legible – type it if possible: ask for electronic version, or stick and paste
• Dark ink, preferably black
• Get the details correct
• Fill it all in
• Don’t say “see CV ”
• Don’t leave the salary blank
• Follow the instructions – especially for the chronological order of your Employment History
The Curriculum Vitæ:
• Normally recent first – don’t begin with your A-levels
• Proper emphasis – write more on relevant experience and most recent, less on e.g. being a school prefect (I have seen it)
• Don’t just give job title – explain what were your major responsibilities and successes
• “Bury” less favourable information by putting on left of page
• Explain any unusual things such as why you have a 2-year gap in your employment history
See Sample CV
The Letter or Supporting Statement:
• Carry out the instructions
• No more than 2 pages = 1½ – 2 pages, not just 1 paragraph
• Handwritten if they ask, typed if not
• Address any issues they ask you to, don’t just ignore them
• Wring value out of every sentence you put in
• Tell them why they need you, not why you need them
• Make it specific to their job description
• Make it as structured as a good student essay
• Make it easy to read
Sample opening paragraphs of a letter:
I wish to be considered for this position and enclose… I am attracted to this post as a development of my role as…… in which I have direct responsibility for … I have been concerned especially with…… I now feel ready to extend this experience of ….. and ….. into another School. School XXX is of particular interest to me because of its ……… (Don’t say because you live near it!)
3 or 4 main sections. I would actually put headings in the letter, to make the structure clear; typical ones could be:
• Current and recent experience
• Other achievements relevant to your post
• The priorities of your post
• The future of XXX School
Current and recent experience –
Say what you are doing, but in structured fashion: curriculum role, pastoral role, managerial role, extra-curricular, contact with parents/ other schools, experience of budgeting, etc.
Other achievements relevant to your post –
Responsibilities/ contributions in previous posts; any outside activities; any specific training done
The priorities of your post –
What you think the post is about, based on the clues that they give you. What do they need you to do? How would you fulfil this? This is your chance to show them that they need you
The future of XXX School –
This is relevant specifically for management level posts, showing that you have an understanding of the type of School that it is, the context that it is working in, and how you could contribute to its development
The Executive Summary. The What?
• Remember the 1st aim – to get shortlisted; make it easy for them to select you
• Will also concentrate your mind in writing a good application letter by reminding you of all your strengths
• Based on: Person Specification, Job Purpose
• Show both their requirements and how you match up to them
• Do it in table form, showing their points (Good Hons Degree) and how you comply: (BSc II(a) Bio London)
(Can't put a table here, you'll have to imagine that their requirements are on the left, your experience is on the right).
Your requirements / My experience
• High Academic Qualifications?
• BA (Hons) Class 1; MA; PhD
• Leadership of School and SMT?
• Direct line management 170 staff, 2,500 pupils
• Management Committees?
• SMT; Curriculum Management Team; IT Strategy Group; Joint Staff Group; Quality; H&S; Academic Board; Inclusive Learning; Equal Ops
• Experience of pastoral systems?
• Responsible for student support and academic guidance at LeafyLane Comp
• Understanding the School as a business?
• Successful experience of: budget management; financial planning; monthly management accounts; efficiency gains; income generation; personnel issues; use of MIS to support decision- making
• Knowledge of marketing?
• Manage marketing at LeafyLane Comprehensive: 140 admissions per year
Final Do’s and Don’t’s
• Don’t correct errors on their forms
• Don’t use staples on your application
• Have your name on each page
• Check you have got the name of the right School. And then check it again!