As a recent graduate, applying for your first teaching job marks a significant step in your career While this is an exciting time, some Early Career Teachers may feel overwhelmed.


Are you stuck on how to start the search for your next teaching position? Well, here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind to help you land your first job in education. 




Before delving into the application process, it is a good idea to take some time to reflect on your teaching philosophy, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and articulate your career goals. This self-awareness will not only strengthen your applications but will also serve as a guiding compass as you step into your teaching journey.

Where to look for teaching jobs



Job searching can be hard work, but there are lots of ways you can find your first teaching position. Many graduates prefer to work as supply teachers during the early stages of their career as it provides opportunities to develop their skills in different classroom environments and helps build up confidence before committing to a permanent position.


For Early Career Teachers looking to work on supply, recruitment agencies can be a simple and convenient way to find a job that suits you. We work with several Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) across the UK and can connect you with job opportunities near you that suit your skills and preferences. Click here to view our latest teaching roles.


Other places you may choose to search for jobs on websites like Indeed, Gov.uk, Reed Education, TES, and local authority websites. School websites and social media platforms are also a great place to look as schools will often share adverts for teaching vacancies. LinkedIn can be a useful tool for creating a personal profile to find teaching vacancies as it allows you to network with other educators.

Is the job right for you?



While it’s tempting to apply for every available teaching position near you, it is important to consider whether the position is right for you. You are most likely to be successful if the role you applied for is close to the age range or subject area you’ve been trained in so be sure to use your skills and experience to your advantage! Consider the grade levels, subjects, or educational settings that resonate with your teaching style.


It’s also important to apply for jobs where you will be happy and achieve job satisfaction. Focusing your applications on positions that genuinely interest you increases the likelihood of finding a role where you can thrive and make a meaningful impact.

Find a fitting school



When applying for your first teaching job, it is important to consider what type of school you’d like to work in. Do you want to work in a small or large school? Is it important that there are opportunities for career progression? Do you resonate with the school’s culture? Does the school have access to high quality resources, teaching materials and technology?


It can be helpful to make a list of criteria you are looking for and do some research around their mission and values before applying for roles. This knowledge will not only help you decide whether you’d like to work at the school, but it will also be useful during your interview preparation.


If you are unsure of whether a school is a right fit for you, it can be a good idea to get in touch with the school and ask questions around their principles, expectations and challenges. This should give you an indication whether the school is right for you, while at the same time making a lasting first impression and showing your interest. Be sure to prepare some questions to make the most out of your call.

Tailoring your application



Your CV is how schools decide on what candidates to shortlist. When applying for a teaching vacancy, you will be provided with resources including information about the school, a job description and a person specification.


To make your CV stand out, be sure to highlight relevant experiences, qualifications and educational achievements that have been outlined in the person specification. The person specification helps schools be fair and judge all applicants against the same criteria. Where possible, give examples from your training and from other scenarios to bring your application to life. Ensure that your resume reflects not only your qualifications but also your values and passion for teaching. Click here for more information on how to craft a compelling CV.


If requested to write a supporting statement, make sure to show how you meet all the essential criteria that are listed. Successful applications are ones where candidates show how they have met all the criteria listed through their knowledge, skills and experience. Keep it interesting, engaging and as concise as possible. A supporting statement should be no longer than two A4 pages. Consider what sets you apart from other candidates and how you are a good fit for the school and role you’re applying for.

References and DBS



You may be asked to provide references and complete a DBS check early in the application process so it’s important to be prepared! You will be asked to apply to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC). If you’re working through an agency, they will process the application form for you. The ECRC will be sent back to you so that you can confirm that the information is correct. If you have any queries or concerns about the accuracy of the checks, you can visit this GOV.UK page to make a dispute. Be sure to report the mistake 3 months within the date on the certificate.


You will also be asked to provide two references during the application process, one of which can make a comment on your teacher training experience. It is best to select a referee that can vouch for your teaching performance or academic ability such as a teacher or headteacher from your previous school placements. Remember to always ask for permission before naming any of your referees in your application.

You’re all set!



After going through all the previous steps, it’s time to send in your application. Make sure you are using a professional email address – you don’t want to share an email address that includes a funny or inappropriate name.


After the application has been sent, it’s time to sit back and relax! Try not to think too much about whether or not you will get an interview. If your application is not successful, you can use this opportunity to ask for feedback from the school in a polite manner so you can identify what aspects to improve on. On the other hand, if you have been successful, it’s time to prepare for your interview. Click here for tips on how to ace your first teaching interview.


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