With April being the peak month for recruitment of teachers for the new academic year, it’s time to polish your CV if you are hoping to secure a position for September 2014.
Having a great CV and cover letter is a very important part to your application to a secondary school. In most cases the CV is the first document a recruiter will look at. It shows that you meet all of the requirements to do the advertised job, and it offers a run-down of your teaching career to date. It is used as a guide for all of the other information contained in your application.
With more than 10 years’ experience as a recruitment consultant specializing in hiring secondary school teachers, I have seen hundreds of CV’s and have noticed recurring themes of candidates hurting their chances of employment due to poorly written CVs.
Here are some suggestions for writing an effective CV:
- 1. Keep it simple.
It’s unlikely that your CV will be read in detail until you have been shortlisted. If there are many applicants, the recruiter is more likely to skim through it initially. Make sure the important points jump off the page.
- 2. Don’t split sections across pages.
If you’ve split a section across pages, the reader may jump to the next heading instead of finishing what they’re on. To avoid this, make sure to use plenty of subheadings.
- 3. Start with your most recent job and work backwards.
This makes it easy for the recruitment specialist to see where you’re most recent or current teaching job has been and work backwards in reverse chronological order. It basically makes the readers’ life easier when they are skimming through your CV. If you do it the other way around, and list dates in chronological order, it may well look like your most recent job was more than ten years ago and your CV may be put aside.
- 4. Tweak your CV for each application.
Keep the job advertisement and specifications handy and tailor your CV directly for the job you are applying for. If you’re applying for a teaching role, concentrate on including information which is relevant to the particular job role. If you have background in a different field prior to teaching, include this briefly but don’t spend too much time on it.
- 5. Include information on Key Stage levels taught
The reader will want to know what you have taught, at what level and to whom. Don’t overdo it though, bullet points are fine. You don’t want to slow down the skim-reading process.
- 6. Put page numbers and name on all pages
It looks professional but it also comes in useful if someone accidently drops your CV and pages scatter. Use your name as the title on the first page and as a header on every page thereafter. Number every page in the footer.
- 7. Be careful with use of bold and italics
If you use too much, nothing stands out: don’t use enough, same result. The best way to ensure you have the correct balance on the formatting of your CV is to print it out and seek a second opinion.
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing a CV is to show that you’ve done your research. This shows how seriously you want the job and makes a good first impression.
Should you need advice on this or wish to enquire about any of our secondary school teaching jobs within London, please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.