Searching for a job

Searching for a job doesn't mean sticking a pin on the map of Scotland and talking to an interview panel about your education to date. You'll need to be focussed and measured. These tips should help you planning your strategy.

Make a checklist and answer it honestly

Ask yourself: what am I looking for in my new job? Start off with what you want from the post and then compromise when you have to. Some items for your checklist:

  • Do you have a list of preferences?
  • What kind of school do you want to work in?
  • How far from your home would you move?
  • Are there any opportunities in the school you are in?

Check with local authorities

Many jobs are advertised on the websites of local authorities, or in local authority school newsletters. Know their contact details, making sure you are familiar with how your preferred authority publicises its positions.

Research other job vacancies

Many jobs are advertised in the Times Educational Supplement, national newspapers and online. Do some research into what type of position is advertised where, and check back every day/week/month as appropriate.

Plan ahead

The job you want might not be advertised yet, but that doesn't mean you can't start preparing for it. Get familiar with job adverts and application forms, understanding well in advance what the job market is looks like and what you will need to have prepared. Don't leave this until the last minute...

Speak to other colleagues

Are there any teachers in your school who are in their post probationary year? Talk to them and ask what they did, how they sourced their job and what their experience was like. This can be valuable, helpful and, best of all, current.

Ask for help

Many schools offer help for interviews through their mentoring schemes, so don't be afraid to ask and use the support available.

Use any previous experience

Although you are a new teacher, you may be a career changer or a mature student. If so, there's a good chance you're coming at this with prior experience of interviews and job hunting. Teaching is not that different to other professions in its processes for selection or application, so it is to your advantage that you have experienced these already. This will not make them any more comfortable but they should be less stressful.