The closer you are to graduating as an NQT, the more important it is to have your CV prepared and polished.
Whether you’re applying for a permanent position or joining an agency like Connex Education, your CV should help you to stand out against the competition at this critical point in your early career.
Although there are no real rules to writing a CV, there are plenty of guidelines and tips that can help you to appear relevant, professional, and unique to potential employers when you apply for NQT jobs. Here are five of them…
1. Presentation is important
Balance expression and style with professionalism. Use a simple font (Calibri, Times New Roman, etc.) and consistent font size between 10pt and 12pt, except for your name/contact details which should stand out in a larger font size at the top of the page. Try to avoid borders, grid layouts, and pictures of yourself unless absolutely necessary. Stick between one and three pages, any more and you’ll be saying too much.
2. Tailor and personalise
Each teaching role you apply for will have a different Job Description and Person Specification; it’s your responsibility to make sure that your CV is targeted at the job in question. Working from a basic version, re-focus your CV by altering your personal statement, key skills, and employment details. Cater your application to the school, paying close attention to individual requirements in the job advert and demonstrating how you meet them.
3. Be specific
The bulk of your CV should contain details of your employment or placement history and how it has prepared you for the job you’re applying for. Be specific with the information you use in this section and aim to get across what made YOUR experience invaluable. Ask yourself: What skills did I strengthen? What weaknesses did I work on? What unique opportunities did I seize? Using industry-specific keywords and terms such as SEN, differentiation, and extra-curricular can further strengthen your writing.
4. Avoid repetition and redundancy
Repeating points across your employment details, whether phrased in a new way or copied exactly, is a waste of space. Work hard to make each point different to really highlight how you’ve developed throughout your previous roles. In the same vein, consider whether what you’re saying is obvious. It’s likely that employers will know that you handed out learning resources to pupils during your student placements; do you have to use precious space mentioning this?
5. Edit, edit, edit
When you’re applying for teaching jobs, there is a certain expectation of written communication skill. A great CV, content-wise can be dragged down easily by poor execution or laziness when it comes to grammar, sentence structure, and spelling. To avoid being disregarded for simple errors, be pro-active and meticulous in your editing process. Proof-read a print out of your CV, edit mistakes, and have a friend or family member look over your edited version. Then edit again. As good a writer as you might think you are; the editing process is guaranteed to lead to improvement.
These tips are useful for job application forms as well as CVs, so keep them in mind no matter how you’re applying for your first job as an NQT. Standing out is only five steps away!
Once you’ve perfected your CV, why not send it into us? We love to help NQTs get started in their career and can provide the flexibility you need, with day-to-day, short-term, and long-term roles available in primary and secondary schools in across East Midlands, London, Merseyside, Warrington and Cheshire and West Midlands.
Apply for teaching roles today on our website.