So, you’ve made the decision to find a new role. It can be a daunting experience, but if you’ve covered all your bases before you click that search button, it’ll make life a lot easier. After a pretty difficult year, lecturers are back on the move – looking for the next step in their career now the path out of lockdown and restrictions is in sight.
We’ve got some advice for jobseekers out there, from preparing to apply, to what to do at interview. All it takes is a little time and effective planning – every other part of being a lecturer is planned beforehand, why not job hunting too?
Triple check your social media
Those in education have to be particularly careful around their social media profiles due to the prying eyes of students. Double – no, triple check your privacy settings on each of your pages before applying to any roles. Not only will the students social stalk you, but your future employer may have a look too and you don’t want some dodgy photos from your uni days darkening their perception of you before you’ve even got a foot in the door.
Additionally, if you have any personal website or blogs, remove them if they’re no longer appropriate or, if they show off your skills or passion for an extracurricular, screen them to make sure they’re work-friendly and feel free to share them on your CV.
Choose your email address wisely
If your email address resembles something you wish you’d left back in the days of MSN, now’s the time to pick a new one. It’s likely your application will get a few raised eyebrows if they’re emailing munchkin_tamz_101 for an interview. Use your name or initials, something professional to avoid any embarrassed blushes.
While you’re there, check your email signature is appropriate and if you have a photo attached to your account, choose a formal head shot or at least a selfie that shows your professional side.
Do your homework
There’s no point blanket-applying to multiple colleges. They’ll see right through it and it won’t set you apart from the rest. Research the places you’re applying to. Think about why you want to work for them and what you can bring to the role. This research will also provide good talking points at interview and shows you have a genuine interest in them.
Update your CV and be specific in your cover letter
This is where that homework comes in handy. Keep your CV up to date and tailor it to each role you’re applying for. Are you hitting all the right notes in the job description? Are you pointing out you have what they’re looking for and can prove it in your cover letter? If you’re singing from the same hymn sheet as the college in your application, you’re more likely to be shortlisted for interview. Seek a second opinion with your CV, ask another teaching friend or a CV expert to look over it before you send it out there. A fresh pair of eyes can never hurt.
If you’re on LinkedIn (which you probably should be), modify your profile to match the role you want. Be the ideal candidate they’re looking for before they even speak to you.
Prepare for all forms of interview
Your initial interview process may still include a video interview before being invited in. Prep the space around you before that camera goes live. Your background should be clear of dirty socks or poorly positioned baby photos.
Being prepared for any eventuality will put you in good stead. Read the invitation to interview very carefully and think of anything they could throw at you. Plan your example lesson, consider questions you could be asked and request an informal discussion with the principal or a tour of the college prior to interview. This will convey your sincere interest in the college and once again provide ample talking points when you come face to face with the hiring team.
Stay on top of your correspondence
Be prompt in your responses when speaking with the college and don’t forget to check your spam in case that Teams invite has ended up in there! Keep your references in the loop as well, your future employer will be sure to contact them prior to offering you a position.
Weren’t successful at interview? Follow up and request feedback. Every day’s a school day and there’s no harm in learning what you could improve on for the next one.
There are currently over 1,000 jobs available on FEjobs – start your search today.
After completing a BA in Creative Writing and a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Winchester, Tammy worked as a Learning Support Assistant, with a focus on helping students develop their literacy skills. She then taught as an English teacher at an all-boys comprehensive school in Berkshire. Now she has turned her sights to a career in writing, with education at the heart of it.
This content was originally published here.