Statement/letter of application
Who are you?
After I have checked your toolbox by reading your CV, I then want to know who you are;
- Are you the right sort of person for our team?
- Are you excited by what you do?
- What will you bring to the role?
- How will you engage with our students?
I want to see what makes you tick;
- What your passions are?
- How you strive to be better?
- What has the latest research inspired you as a learner?
And I want to see that you know my school and can tell me why you would be a good fit.
In order to do that well, you need to be sure about what it is I am looking for – have you thoroughly read the person spec? Think about how you can show me you have the qualities I am looking for? Don’t repeat what is on your CV though – I will have already read that! If I am looking for someone to lead the development of teaching through enquiry, then tell me how you have already worked in this area, how you have already made a difference by teaching through enquiry or how you have read research that supports why it is great for student learning. And tell me about the impact your actions have had on the children’s learning.
Get it reviewed
Once you have written your statement of application, get someone who knows you well to read it through and share with you the message they think you are trying to get across. If you are really brave, ask someone who does not know you so well to read it and tell you what they take from it. Is the message you are trying to get across, actually getting across to the readers? Does it show me why you are a teacher, how much you love teaching, and how much you enjoy working with amazing young people every day? If not, then I am not likely to long-list you.
Do your research
I can spot a generic application a mile off. Please don’t think that I can’t – it is easy. It is easiest when you have inserted the wrong school name into your letter (believe me this happens more than you can imagine!) or you leave the XXX in the space before you have inserted my school’s name. And actually, it is much easier to see than that. If you are not continually referencing my school, and showing me the similarities in your beliefs and ours, your approach to student development and ours and how you have had a positive impact in areas I want to develop, then I kind of already know this application is more about you and what you want, rather than how you are the best person to help us achieve what we want. Remember, I am looking for someone who shares our belief that by working together we can further improve the learning opportunities and outcomes for my students. I need to see clearly what passions and enthusiasms you have, and how you want to help us grow and be better because you have joined us.
If your current employer is not one of your referees mention why up front! Don’t think we won’t notice! There are many valid reasons why this may be the case, but you need to be clear about what they are. If you are looking to leave your school during your first academic year, then you are going to have to have a really good reason for that.
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