Looking for your next teaching position? Whether you’re seeking your first job after graduating, or keen to move to the next stage in your teaching career, here are a host of tips to help you secure the position you covet.
1. Start Your Search Early
The first piece of advice is to start your search early – at least a school term or more before you’d like to begin the new role. This is particularly the case if you’re a recent graduate as you will need to register first (the same goes if your registration has lapsed).
2. Be Flexible
One of the best things about being a teacher is the sheer variety of places you can work. It might be in the government or private sector, via distance education or in a hospital school. You can choose from an urban, regional, rural or international location. You can also opt for a full, part-time or short-term position at a single school, or the diverse experience of being a casual relief teacher.
Being open to any of these options exponentially increases the amount of teaching jobs available to you. But it also helps you develop as an educator and grow professionally, offering rich experiences in environments that may push you out of your comfort zone. Many teachers tell us they learned more from their short rural placement than they did in the years undertaking their degree!
There are also some financial incentives for teachers who relocate to a regional or rural school. Be sure to check with your individual state as these vary, for example here are the Victorian and Queensland options.
3. Research and Prepare
As a teacher, you know the value of good preparation. To increase your chances of securing a position, it’s important to thoroughly research the school/s you’re interested in applying to. Aim to not only understand their values and mission, but how they operate as an institution and their plans for the future – educationally, strategically and financially.
Much of this information can be found on their website and from annual school plans. You could also consider reaching out to your network, particularly teachers who you personally know working there or to a recruiter that specialises in the education sector.
4. Polish Your Education CV
Our next tip is to ensure you personalise your CV for each position you apply to. In doing so, your focus should be answering the employer’s main question, ‘How will our school benefit from employing this person?'
Here are a few general tips for your education CV, as well as a some specifics:
An opening statement
This serves to highlight your top qualities and explain why you’re the best fit for their position. It is the place to really personalise your application, using your research to address why you’re the best fit for the role.
For graduates, this section may be a little light but employers will be understanding. Note down roles you’ve held, beginning with the most recent including paid positions and work placements, as well as other roles you’ve held during your employment or studies. Try to write down your biggest achievements for each position, incorporating specific outcomes if you can.
Professional training and development
Include here any relevant courses or industry events you’ve attended.
List two professional referees – this could be a former or a lead teacher from previous positions. As a graduate, it might be a professor, mentor or colleague from your placements.
An important note on keywords and key selection criteria:
Many recruiters use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to automatically scan for keywords in job applications that determine how well you match the job description. To increase your chances of your application reaching human hands, use the right keywords to demonstrate your alignment with the position. This can be a bit of a tricky task, so feel free to reach out to us for support.
5. Build Your Industry Connections
Cultivating a strong network is a great way to land a job in the education sector, and can continue to help you throughout your career. Here are some tips to start building your education network:
Join relevant education industry groups and attend their events
Connect with (and following) important educators on LinkedIn
Keep in touch with your alumni association
Reach out to a professional Education recruitment agency so they know you’re available
6. Perfect Your Interview Technique
Once you land an interview, it’s time to showcase your suitability for the role. Consider these interview tips for teachers:
1. Research – review the information you’ve previously gathered about the school, job advertisement and description, and jot down some notes about how your skills align. If you’re working with a recruiter, ask for the names of those interviewing you. You can then look them up on LinkedIn so you know a little more about their experience
2. Work examples – collect some examples from your studies, placements or previous roles that best illustrate your competencies in the key core job requirements and responsibilities. For instance, you might like to use examples that illustrate your teamwork abilities, what you’ve done to help a struggling student or a wellbeing initiative you started.
3. Practise – while it’s difficult to account for all the possibilities, there are some common education interview questions you might be asked. These include:
Why do you think you’re a good fit for this role?
What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
What are your greatest teaching achievements?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
4. Formulate your own questions – it’s almost guaranteed the hiring manager will ask if you have any questions for them. What you choose to ask is a chance to illustrate how serious you are about the role and how keen you are to work with them. Here are a few questions to consider:
What is the student to teacher ratio?
How do you measure teacher success?
What opportunities does this school offer for professional development and growth?
What areas do you feel your school needs to improve upon?
Listen To Our Podcast On Applying For A Teaching Role
Get more top tips from our team on applying for your next teaching role, via our podcast here.
Extra Teaching Jobs Help?
We hope these six tips will assist you on your path to finding an education job, whether it’s in Melbourne, Brisbane or beyond.
If you need further support in polishing your CV, crafting your interview responses or locating some amazing teaching opportunities, please connect with us here at Tradewind Australia. We’d love to help!