Are you a new teacher seeking a placement or perhaps you seek change in your current workplace?

We know that finding a job is not an easy and applying for a job is a unique process and can be tough at times.

With this in mind, we have compiled several tips from head teachers to help you prepare for your job hunt. As head teachers are the ultimate decision makers when it comes to hiring you or not, we figure that their inside information would surely help you. We have learned a lot from our research, and we share some of them here with you.

Take advantage of networking opportunities. Don’t hesitate to come forward and introduce yourself to head teachers when you have a chance. For example, you had your placement in a school and you were a good fit in the school – the head teacher would be delighted to hear from you again as you’re tried and tested. It is okay to say, “I loved working in your school. Do you have any vacancies coming up?” Just make sure to jog their memory by letting them know when you did your placement and who your teacher was.

Creative CVs are not the “end all, be all”. A perpetual question in job hunting forums is whether having a “creative CV” – the one loaded with graphics, photos and colours – would help their application or not. While most head teachers don’t mind having a colourful CV, most head teachers agree that you can never go wrong with the classic, simple approach. With that said, opinions of head teachers vary, and they always think that the CV represents who you are. Remember that your CV should be printable on A4, as multiple copies might be needed for the interview panel to make notes on.

Good test scores are not the most important thing. You know what is more important? A good fit for the school. Most new teachers worry that their scores are low and that it will affect their ability to compete in an aggressive job market. Head teachers have stated that experience is what counts: highlight what have you done in school and highlight a proud moment of your university career.

Choose your referees with care. A good referee can win you a role, or in turn, make you lose an opportunity. Your referees need to be the people who know about your teaching methods and styles. Ask yourself if they can talk in-depth about your teaching practice. If you had voluntary work for another school, you can use that network, too. Oh and take note to tell your reference that you have applied for a job.

Take a deep breath when doing the interview. Head teachers agree: take your time, don’t rush and take a deep breath when you are being interviewed. If you don’t understand a question, remember that it’s okay to ask for a clarification. Don’t waffle. Answer questions by linking it to your experiences. And remember: it is perfectly okay to acknowledge your limitations and admit that you don’t know the answer, when you don’t.

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