Making your teaching application or CV stand out

It’s the time of year at schools across England (and elsewhere) that teachers are thinking about their next move.

Maybe you’ve been teaching a while and fancy something new, or maybe you’re training this year and this is your first teaching application.

Either way: how do you give yourself the best chance possible by making the things you’ve achieved stand out on the page?


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Interested in education, writing and creativity? Join my mailing list here.

Remember this: you should be applying for that dream job, even if it seems out of your reach at the moment – a sent application is never a wasted one.

Although every CV will be different, here’s five simple things to help yours get attention:

Quantify and give specifics – if you’re saying you have a skill in your personal statement, cover letter or application, make it clear where that has been demonstrated. Give an example of something you’ve done which proves it.

Relevance – make sure everything you’re saying is specifically relevant to the role. This is slightly more difficult if you are new to teaching or applying for teacher training, but think of ways you can link what you’ve done to the role you’re applying for and make it clear – never waste any space on the application form, CV or cover letter.

Show the impact – our job is all about the impact it makes to our students so be clear and measurable about how something you’ve done impacted on the learning of your students.

Keep it simple – remember our job is about helping students to make progress, do not become distracted from that. Also, for a CV or cover letter keep the layout simple and easy to read; avoid colours or anything which may impair the readability if it’s printed in black and white.

Some topics that you could discuss in your covering letter:

    • How you overcame a problem in your teaching
    • A particular success you’ve had with an individual student
    • A positive set of results
    • How you impart high expectations in your classroom
    • How you added to a success shared across the school

Remember that applying for a job is a two way thing – not every school is going to be right for you however much you might want the job. As such, make sure you are reflected honestly, that’ll stop any surprises at interview and you’ll be more likely to find somewhere that’s suitable for you.

Think about it this way: what do you think makes a great teacher? Make sure the things that you think make a great teacher are shown in your application, then if the person reading the application shares your opinion… then that’s a good match.

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Click here to download my free creative writing scheme of work.

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