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Obtaining your first teaching job

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Obtaining your first teaching job

6 top tips

Published: 28/09/2017

It’s an exciting time, but finding (and successfully applying for) the right opportunity to get a foot on the ladder can be a real challenge. Your first teaching job is the single most important – helping you to gain the right experience, skills and knowledge needed to build a successful career as a teacher. 

Ensure that you make the right decisions, find the right job, impress the interview panel and start your career the right way, with our 6 top tips.

  1. Do your research

You’re almost certainly itching to get your first job, but don’t rush in. Before you apply to any schools, think about what you actually want to do, and your preferences in terms of:

  • Location/area
  • Type of school
  • Size of school
  • Year group
  • School performance

There are likely to be lots of opportunities available, so draw up a shortlist. This process will help to focus your mind on what you actually want to do – so you don’t waste any time applying for jobs you don’t actually want, in areas you don’t want to be.

  1. Make every application relevant

Once you have a shortlist of schools, it’s time to get applying.

Schools may have lots of applicants, so it’s essential that you get this right if you want an interview. Tailor each application to the school – this means looking through the job spec, and matching each requirement with a relevant example of why you’d be perfect for the role. Tick off everything on the list, and you’re much more likely to make the cut.

Before the interview, read up about the school, its history, achievements and news - this will help you to demonstrate a real understanding and passion at interview.

  1. Check your online reputation

Schools have to be very careful about the people they employ – so expect them to Google your name before interview.

If the first searches that appear next to your name are inappropriate content, controversial social media posts or drunken images – then you may be filtered out of the process early on. Take steps to manage your online profiles, set content to private and do your best to curate a positive, wholesome online brand that a school could be proud of.

Check out our recent post on personal branding for educators (LINK WHEN UP) for more on this!

  1. Show more than just your teaching skills

In your application and at interview, it’s important to demonstrate just how valuable an asset you will be to the school.

Teaching skills and the right personality are essential, but so is showing an interest in extra-curricular activities. Demonstrating excitement and a commitment to school life outside the classroom can help to tip the balance in your favour.

  1. Keep it simple

You may be asked to take a lesson as part of your interview process. If this happens, don’t try to wow the panel – just keep it simple, stick to the basics and try to focus on a few things you do well.

Schools don’t expect NQTs to be the finished article, and you’re not trying to revolutionise classroom learning – just demonstrate competence and what you’ve learned in your training, and you’ll be fine!

  1. Get the support you need!

You don’t have to apply to every job manually – get the support you need from a specialist education recruitment agency, like Future Education.

A good agency will have excellent relationships with a range of different schools. They will also help you to tailor your applications to each school, and help you brush up on your interview skills, increasing your chances of finding your dream role.

Future Education is owned, managed and run by a team of former teachers – we’ve all been NQTs, and we know how stressful and challenging it can be trying to find your first job.

In addition to helping find you the right job placements to start your career, you’ll get real support and back-up from a friendly, experienced team. We can even provide you with additional training and advice, so you’re in the best possible position to take advantage of opportunities and build a successful career.

Teach in London with Future Education

Start a successful career in teaching with support from Future Education – browse through our latest teaching jobs in London today. Alternatively, call our team on 020 8256 0910 or email for additional information. 

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