The do’s and don’ts of an NQT CV

It’s been a long few years of University. But you’re finally ready to start your teaching career and secure an all-important Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) role. As this will be your first step on the education career ladder, sorting out your NQT CV can feel incredibly daunting.

But don’t let CV stress overshadow the amazing learning experiences ahead of you. Read these essential do’s and don’ts of an NQT CV, implement the tips and ensure your application heads straight for the shortlist.

Do research the school

The most common NQT CV mistake? Lack of research. Without knowledge and insight into the school or college you’re applying to, it’s almost impossible to target your CV and cover letter. Plus, how are you meant to show your enthusiasm for the specific school if you don’t actually know anything about it?

Take a look at recent Ofsted reports and achievement tables. Also, check out the school’s website and, if you can, pop in and have a look around. As well as helping you tailor your application appropriately, having this knowledge to hand will show bags of initiative at interview stage.

Don’t underestimate your placement

Your placement may well be your only teaching experience to date; so make it count in your NQT CV. Recruiters will be keen to hear about the type of school (size, setting etc), the subject, ages and curriculum taught, as well as any responsibilities outside of the classroom.

You should also include this information in your personal profile to make sure recruiters pick up on vital information during their initial scan.

Do focus on relevant transferable skills

As an NQT, you may lack in tangible teaching experience. But the key is to show the school your potential by picking out your most valuable transferable skills.

In your previous work experience (this may be a full-time role in another industry or a part-time job alongside your studies), what transferable skills did you develop which could relate to teaching?

For example, as a teacher, you’ll need to work closely with other members of staff to maximise your student’s learning.Therefore, sharing previous teamwork experiences could really boost your chances.

Other examples of relevant transferable skills are communication, time management, creativity and IT; just make sure to include tangible examples when you list them.

Don’t send a generic CV

When you’re eager to secure your first ever teaching role, it can be tempting to send the same CV off for multiple applications. But this technique won’t do you any favours.

You need to analyse the job description and use your research to match your CV to the specific role you’re applying for. Ideally, you’ll provide specific evidence and examples which prove you’re capable of meeting all the desired requirements.

For example, if the school is looking for GCSE experience and you covered a few GCSE classes during your placement year, you’ll want to talk in-depth about this experience in your placement section; and mention it in your personal profile.

Do check your online footprint

It’s 2019 and your teaching application isn’t the only way that schools judge your suitability for the role. You can be sure they’ll be checking out your digital footprint, too!

You could be the perfect candidate for the role, with shining references and a faultless interview technique – but if they find questionable social media posts online, you might find yourself out of the job.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a personal life. Just make sure you watch what you post online, untag inappropriate photos and keep social media profiles as private as possible.

Don’t forget to proofread

As a teacher, you’re expected to have a good (if not excellent) level of written communication. For this reason, a typo or significant grammatical error could spell the very end of your chances. Aim to be meticulous in your proofreading process, checking your CV several times and asking a wordsmith friend to double check it for you.

Perfect your NQT CV

If you aim for the do’s and avoid the don’ts stated above, you should be well on your way to a top-class NQT CV – good luck!

About the author: Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.