If you want to land a teaching job in 2011, you have to brace yourself for the task ahead. Many people tend to look down upon teachers and the teaching proffession ,but the the enormity of teaching calls for extreme care and scrutiny in the process of hiring teachers. Serious education institutions are very circumspect when it comes to hiring.
In my experience, I have seen potential candidates for teaching positions miss appointments because of what I can call, “obnoxious reasons.” If you are a potential teacher for the year 2011 and onwards, take note of the ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ highlighted.
First and foremost, make sure that the contacts that you put on your CV and the cover letter are the most current. If, by any reason, you change your contacts, look for the telephone number or e-mail of the school that you have applied to and inform them of the changes. This sounds simple and obvious, but trust me, I have personally failed to contact excellent looking candidates because they gave outdated contacts on their CVs.
Second, let your CV stand out. Make it as attractive as possible while taking great care not to exaggerate it. Coming up with a good CV needs careful thought and planning. Don’t walk into a school with photocopies of your certificates and borrow a pen and a piece of paper from the receptionist and scribble something in the name of a CV. Ugly handwritten CVs do not attract any attention from prospective employers. Take time to write your CV and print it on clean A4 paper.
More importantly, tailor your CV to suit the teaching vacancy that you are applying for. If you are a teacher by profession, who has not been teaching for a number of years, and wants to go back to teaching, don’t use the CV that you used to apply for a marketing job to apply for the teaching job. If you do, the impression that the prospective employer gets is that you are not ready for the new appointment and you are not there to stay.
Tune your CV to suit the teaching position you are applying for by making sure that your career objectives, profile and work experience match the requirements and skills for the available vacancy.
Be specific in your application. If you are qualified in Math and Physics, for instance, apply for that.
When you discover that the school you are interested in has vacancies for for Geography and Chemistry, don’t presume that because you offered these subjects in high school, makes you qualify to teach them. No! Teaching is a profession—you cannot be a professional in something that you did in high school. You cannot even be short listed for that.
Many employers do not necessarily take the best. They take those that are most motivated and enthusiastic about the task they are to be hired for. Apart from having all the skills and competencies, demonstrate a lot of interest in the subjects that you are qualified to teach. Intelligent but dull and indifferent looking people do not get the job done.
Last, but not least, show commitment to stay in your prospective appointment for a reasonable period of time.
The process of recruitment is expensive and time consuming, so, employers don’t like recruiting all the time. When asked to tell the interview panel your five year goals, try as much as possible, to show that you will do everything to improve your skills and to remain in your new appointment.
The author is the Director of Studies at Nu Vision High School, Kabuga.