9 Top Tips For A Successful Job Search

Job hunting. It is a process that can be challenging, frustrating and confusing. There is no doubt that searching for a job can be tiring and time consuming. Tailoring your CV and reason for application is a crucial part of being successful in your search, but it does take an investment of time and effort to tailor each individual application. Balancing your current role and your personal life alongside your job search can be difficult. Therefore, we have collated some top tips to help you become more efficient in your job search, saving you time, preserving your wellbeing and, hopefully, reducing stress! 

1) Organisation

This may seem obvious but organisation is crucial when you are searching for your new job, particularly in teaching! Allocate regular time slots dedicated to searching for jobs and crafting high quality and tailored applications. When applying for jobs through Kent-Teach, our popular platforms allows you to easily track your applications with folders such as draft, sent and incomplete. It saves your progress and automatically sorts your applications into the aforementioned folders to save you time and help you with organisation. Some of the vacancies we advertise require you to download applications and either print them out or edit on your computer. With applications of this format, our system is unable to save your applications and categorise them. Therefore, we recommend keeping a record yourself using a program such as Microsoft Excel; this will help you to keep track of your applications and monitor your progress. You should input key information such as the application closing date and any outstanding information you need to provide in your application form. It is crucial to save any applications you complete outside of our system using clear file names and creating dedicated application folders. This is particularly useful if you are invited to an interview, since you will need to refer back to your application form and the information you provided. This helps you to be prepared for interview questions and allows you to formulate detailed answers backed up with evidence and examples!

2) Set up job alerts

Being a highly popular teaching job site in Kent, our website is updated frequently each day with new job postings. Firstly, ensure you are following us on social media; Twitter and Facebook, in particular, are a must as we have an automatic system in place which advertises new jobs as soon as they are added to our website by schools! Moreover, to avoid missing out on latest job advertisements, you can activate job alerts within your Kent-Teach member account settings. This means that jobs are sent straight to your email inbox! You can tailor your job alerts to the types of role you are seeking. Just ensure your job preferences are updated regularly. Did you know you can also register your interest in jobs at specific schools within our platform? This is easy to set up on your job preferences within your Kent-Teach account. 

To successfully set up job alerts, simply log in, navigate to ‘My Account’ and select ‘Activations’. This will allow you to choose the frequency of job alerts and you will receive them straight to your email inbox. When you receive a job alert, you can easily save any jobs that catch your eye.

3) Ensure your personal information is up-to-date

When creating your Kent-Teach account, you will be asked to submit generic personal information such as name, address and contact details. It is important you regularly review the details you provide and update them accordingly if anything changes. This helps save time when completing applications and frees up time to dedicate to your reason for application. 

4) Crafting an informative and successful Reason for Application/Personal Statement

This is, indisputably, the most important part of your Kent-Teach job application. It is your opportunity to show off your experience, your qualifications and why you are the best candidate for the job. A successful reason for application is made up of several key elements, such as referring closely to the person specification, writing a new reason for application for each position you apply for, showcasing your skills and experience and reflecting your love and passion for education. As this is such a crucial part of the application process, we have dedicated an entire blog to it. You can find out more about writing a winning Reason for Application in our blog ’10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Reason for Application’

5) Visit the Schools You Are Interested In 

When conducting your job search, you will inevitably find certain vacancies jump out at you whether that be due to the location, the role itself or a compelling job description. With school jobs, it is recommended that you pay a visit to the schools you are interested in. Schools actively welcome and encourage visits from prospective candidates and it often works in your favour to have paid the school a visit prior to applying. The most important element of a school visit is it allows you to get a feel for the school and helps you to see if the school is right for you. You will typically have an informal discussion with the headteacher/SLT (or another member of staff!) who will then give you a tour of the school. This is an ideal opportunity to ask any questions you might have and have brief conversations with various members of staff as well as being able to observe the school routines and expectations of pupils. Your visit will also give your application an edge since you can refer to this in your reason for application should you decide to proceed.

6) Follow Up 

The Kent-Teach platform allows you to see when your sent applications have been viewed by the school and it also provides updates to the status of your application, such as whether you were successful or unsuccessful. Schools are very busy environments and those conducting the recruitment process are likely to be juggling this alongside their normal job roles. First of all, have patience and wait a few more days after the job application deadline to see if the status of your application is updated. If you have received no update and you are very interested in the vacancy, give the school a phone call to check up on your application status and reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm. Make sure you check the vacancy details for the contact name and number of the relevant person who is in charge of the recruitment process. Additionally, if you are seeking information before submitting an application, it is perfectly acceptable to contact the school for additional information; you should just ensure you are not asking for information which has already been covered in the advertisement. 

7) Don’t be afraid to talk to the school if you are lacking required skills and experience

If you do not meet all of the outlined requirements for the position but you are keen to apply, contact the school via telephone for an informal discussion expressing your interest and explaining what you could offer. Alternatively, you could submit an email but be patient when awaiting a reply. Moreover, it is important your email is professional and reflects on you positively. 

8) Be patient and stay positive

The job market is fiercely competitive now with a surge in job applications. Even under normal circumstances it is rare to get the first job you apply to. Go in with a positive mindset and with the knowledge that it might take a number of applications before you secure an interview or the job itself. It is important to not become disheartened as finding a new job can be a lengthy process. The old mantras ‘Patience is a virtue’ and ‘Good things come to those who wait’ are worth remembering when you are job seeking. Just keep going, seek feedback from unsuccessful applications and vow to improve and succeed.

9) Review your application strategy

If after several months you find you are still not receiving interview invitations, it might be worth analysing your past applications to see if there are any changes or improvements to be made. This is where seeking feedback from unsuccessful applications is particularly helpful as it allows you to see what you might need to tweak or do differently. Telephone or email the schools you were unsuccessful in applying to and seek feedback, focusing on why you were not selected for interview. There are different reasons as to why applicants are unsuccessful ranging from not having the necessary qualifications, lack of experience or not fulfilling the person specification. If you were unsuccessful due to lack of experience, why not volunteer at a school in a similar position? If you were unsuccessful due to not demonstrating the outlined person specification then it is worth revisiting our blog on writing a successful reason for application. If you are missing qualifications then do some research into how you can obtain them.

If you are being selected for interviews but are unsuccessful in obtaining the job then again feedback is crucial. Feedback will always be constructive and you should take it is a positive opportunity to learn and improve. You will have a clearer understanding of areas for improvement in this instance. However, in some scenarios, you might have been pipped to the post for no other reason than bad luck or a slight difference in an interview question answer. Moreover, sometimes the job just might not have been the right fit. In this situations, there is not much you can do but remain positive and keep going. 

Your perfect job is waiting for you!

If you are searching for a job and are uncertain about virtual interviews then our blog ’12 Things You Must Do Before A Virtual Interview’ is an ideal next read.

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