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Teacher Career Tip: Install Grammarly on your computer

Grammarly is a free tool to help you improve your writing. If you are a Non-Native English Speaker, this is SUPER important (but it is STILL important if English is your native language). A spelling or grammar mistake in your resume could land it straight in the bin. Download Grammarly here and say goodbye to spelling and grammar mistakes!

According to the career website The Ladders:

"Mistake #1: Obvious spelling or grammar errors

Spelling and grammar errors are the best way to encourage the hiring manager to ditch your resume outright.

Remember, your resume should put your best foot forward. Your absolute best work. If you overlook spelling and grammar errors on something as important as a resume, then what assurance do they have that you’ll add value as an employee?

Pro tip: This includes more than just spelling words correctly. It’s also about using the correct word (ie: there vs. their, etc) and using commas and periods properly. Yes, most recruiters and hiring managers...

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Free ATS resume template for teachers.

Since there was such an amazing response to my article on ATS teacher resumes and how it could affect your job search, I made a FREE template for you!

You can download your copy in our Store under FREE STUFF.

Make sure that your resume does not extend longer than 2 pages, use a standard font like Ariel and no more than TWO colours.

With regard to photos - the industry standard has updated recently since the #blacklivesmatter movement has come to the forefront around the world. Many recruiters have pledged to not include photos on resumes due to this being seen to support discriminatory hiring practices against #bipoc teachers within schools. At Staffroom we support equity in hiring practices, though be aware that many schools still expect to see a photo. We prefer to be the change we wish to see in the world and recommend that teachers be hired on their credentials, rather than their skin colour or ethnicity. 

I really hope this helps you improve your resume so that you...

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Make sure your resume is ATS compliant.

Many of the teachers that we speak to have absolutely never heard of something called ATS, (and that's ok because I am going to tell you all about it right now!).

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking Software/ System and it is used by some schools (not all) to manage their recruiting and HR processes.

If you think that you will just email off your resume in response to the job ad, and the HR person or hiring manager at the school will review it as soon as they see the email in the inbox you are mistaken.

A LOT of the larger schools and those with QA and HR processes in are using an ATS before the HR person or hiring manager even looks at your resume. It provides recruiting tools and other functions. These systems sort thousands of resumes.

If you think that schools don't get that many applications, you are mistaken. I know of a school in South East Asia that advertised a teaching role and received over 3000 applications. For a SINGLE job ad.

Schools use an ATS because it helps them...

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6 soft skills that teachers need to talk about in their interview.

LinkedIn (2020) have just released their latest report and it outlines loads of quality information, much of it relevant to teachers.

Teachers all over the world are finding it challenging at the moment to land their next contract. Offers are being rescinded, schools are juggling positions and reconsidering their hiring needs.

Teachers need to be fully aware of what skills schools are looking for so they have the best chance of being successful in their interview.

As we teach students, the best way to ACE your exam (or interview in this case), is to BE PREPARED.

Here are 6 soft skills that you need to have (and be able to talk about HOW you have demonstrated this at your school):

  1. Adaptability

  2. Culture Add

  3. Collaboration

  4. Leadership

  5. Growth Potential

  6. Prioritisation

If you have an interview looming then take a moment to sit down and think deeply about these soft skills.

Make a cup of tea, find a quiet place (away from kids, the dog, the craziness! lol) and grab a notebook...

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Teacher job interview soft skill: Adaptability.

Teachers all over the world have just proved their adaptability to absolutely EVERYONE as we have been thrown in the deep end with the COVID-19 pandemic and have been forced to adapt to online learning.

LinkedIn (2020) reported "Adaptability is essential for thriving in a rapidly changing work environment.

Given that 54% of employees may require significant re-skilling or up-skilling over the next few years to keep pace with new technology and evolving business needs, adaptability is essential.

Employees who are adaptable are more likely to achieve better outcomes as priorities shift or setbacks occur, since they're already comfortable making strategic adjustments."

Adaptability is a great soft skill that every single teacher can now CONFIDENTLY talk about in their next job interview.

You've proved that you are adaptable.

Flexible.

Ready to deal with unexpected challenges.

When you have a minute, grab a notepad and pen and find a quiet place (lock yourself in the bathroom if you...

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How teachers can improve their LinkedIn profile.

I've just come off another coaching call with a teacher who is ready to begin her search for a new role. To give herself a competitive edge, she wants to improve her LinkedIn profile.

We talked through some things specific to her skills and experience and also some general tips which I though you might find useful as well!

Below you can find some points which you can easily action:

  • use the space for a header pic

  • have a nice, natural profile pic (don't use a passport photo) and SMILE

  • use your headline to describe yourself and add a bit of personality

  • in your headline to be clear about what you are looking for. Why beat around the bush? You have nothing to lose if you are looking for a new role

  • expand your ABOUT info to talk more about what makes YOU amazing - every teacher talks about their passion for teaching and learning which is obvious

  • recruiters and schools already know the tasks you do in a particular role, instead of talking about the tasks, talk about KEY...

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Teacher job interview soft skill: Culture Add.

"Culture" sounds a bit naff when you talk about it - and I'm not talking about Boy George and Culture Club (yes, I am that old)!

But it is really important in schools these days.

I really believe that it is the responsibility of all staff in a school to build a GREAT school culture.

Leadership can be top down, or bottom up.

Culture is created top down AND bottom up.

BE THE CHANGE

As Gandhi said, as a teacher you need to "be the change you wish to see in the world".

Teachers who think that school culture can't or won't change, are not trying hard enough. They do not have the growth mindset that we teach our students to have.

Building great culture is about supporting each other.

The whole team.

When you are asked in your job interview with the school that you are hoping to work at "how will you add to the culture of our school?" you had better have an answer ready!

And this means that you have already needed to think deeply about what school culture means to you, and how you...

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Teacher job interview soft skill: Leadership.

I posted recently on a Facebook group and someone responded with a comment that leadership is impossible to demonstrate in a school where the management has an authoritarian style of management.

Personally, I don't believe this is the case.

As teachers, most of us display leadership skills every single day.

We lead our students.

We lead our team.

And we lead ourselves towards the goals we've set.

LinkedIn (2020) states "50% of employees have left a job to get away from a bad boss".

I would absolutely say this is true.

I would even go as far as to suggest that almost every one of us has left a job at some stage in our lives because we couldn't stand our boss.

It's nothing personal.

Except when it is.

When someone makes you feel small.

And stupid.

And berates you for minor mistakes.

That's not a leader.

Leaders lift up their team.

Leaders inspire.

Leaders help those that need help - and help them to be better.

Those bosses who throw you under the bus are not leaders.

They are small,...

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Teacher job interview soft skill: Collaboration.

Another question that teachers are often asked in interviews is "Tell me about a time that you collaborated with others?"

In their latest report, LinkedIn (2020) identifies "50% of great collaborators also tend to be top performers. When a role requires teamwork, strong collaboration skills make a big difference".

During this pandemic, teachers all over the world have proved themselves to be AMAZING collaborators.

We have come together to share resources, support each other, figure out how Zoom works (lol I am still trying!!) and give the best to our students.

Every. Single. Teacher. now has a story about collaboration they can share in their next job interview.

Five questions you might be asked include:

  1. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle interactions with that person?

  2. Tell me about a time when you were communicating with someone and they did not understand you. What did you do?

  3. Tell me about one of your...

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Help! Why won’t recruiters reply to me?

Problem: Help! I'm contacting recruiters but not getting any response! What should I do?

Solution: You are clearly missing something in the application process - let's try and figure out what it is!

 

Action #1

I'm contacting lots of recruiters via LinkedIn and Facebook but not getting any interest

THE PROBLEM

  • you are not personalising your contact to the recruiter eg. using their name

  • you are just spamming them with bullet points of your experience

  • you are just sending them your resume and asking them "can you get me a job?"

THE SOLUTION

Recruiters are real people too. They are trying to locate the BEST teachers to place in jobs. If they work for an agency (not a school) they most likely work on commission, so they have a VESTED INTEREST in placing candidates (because that's how they get paid; place more candidates = make more money). Recruiters also have a vested interest in placing the RIGHT CANDIDATE in the job (not just anyone who applies). If the candidate leaves...

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