NQT'S - How do you get your first job in teaching?

Finding your first teaching post is a process that doesn't have to be stressful or difficult if you are well-prepared and plan ahead. We know it's hard to think about when you've just got a shed load of coursework out-of-the-way, but now is the time to put the work in. With interviews surfacing for the new school year, we've put together our top tips on how to bag your first teaching role...

First and foremost, it's important to identify the type of teaching vacancies you want to apply for, think about your preferences:

  • location – are you willing to commute or is it too much for your first year as an NQT?

  • type and size of school

  • year group/key stage

  • subject

  • full-time or temporary - would you take a short-term post?

So where do go to find your new role?

1. Teaching fairs and university portals are a great place to start. Here you'll find temp/full-time/part-time vacancies that can suit all needs.

2. Recruitment agencies.

3. Social media; Linkedin offers a range of jobs and you can search #hiring #teachers on Twitter to narrow your hunt.

4. Indeed, TES and plenty of other boards are guaranteed to feature most of the vacancies that are out there. It's a good idea to sign up and upload your CV so that potential employers can contact you too!

Then, CV & applications

If you've found a particular job that you want, tailor your application to that specific school. Too many applicants end up being disregarded due to silly mistakes, so find out the name of who you're addressing it to and make sure to pick up on why you want to work for them. Make it hard for the interviewer not to consider you and include a strong cover letter that shows your passion and drive.

After applying, it's a good idea to Google yourself and evaluate your digital footprint. Are all of your accounts private and is there any sort of content that may be deemed offensive? Yes we all enjoy a drink or two on a Saturday, by your new employer doesn't need to see it.

It's also important to remember not to sit by the phone...

Network aggressively with friends and acquaintances—a kind word from a colleague to a school administrator may open doors. Spread the word about your job search to your Facebook and Ning friends, and look for job feeds on Twitter.

Struggling? Why not consider the supply route?

Without blowing our own trumpet, Supply is a great way of securing an income and getting your foot in the door whilst waiting for that dream teaching role. The more schools you visit, the more people you meet, and we're all very familiar with the saying 'it's who you know', when it comes to the big job hunt.

You get the call, are you prepared?

Turn up with evidence to support your application. Class work, great references and portfolios are a strong way of communicating 'Hey, look! I'm a great, organised and passionate candidate!". You may be asked to teach a lesson or give a presentation, so make sure you understand what is expected and required. You should enquire about class size, location and available resources as well as considering how you are going to differentiate yourself from the rest.

The school will also be keen to know how well you could work with other teachers, other adults in the classroom and how you will relate to parents. Supporting your answers with examples will strengthen their impact and show that you have the experience needed for the desired job. Remember to relax, relate AND ASK QUESTIONS! You can find some of our top tips for that on another recent blog here.

To speak to a Staffroom consultant for help on finding you your first teaching role call02920 496646.