Why you shouldn't look at non-specialist sites for job application advice :-)

15th November 2014 at 00:00

I have just been browsing the web, and came upon the following, on a site dedicated to telling teachers how to apply for a post.  I suggest that you sit down before you read it, as it breaks just about every rule for writing an effective application letter for a teaching post.  A letter like this would ensure that the application goes straight into the Reject pile.





Dear Mr Jones

I am replying to your advertisement for a supply teacher vacancy. After reading the job description I feel very confident that I have all the experience and abilities that you are looking for.

I currently work very near to St Benedicts High School and I feel that a move to your school would suit me perfectly as not only do I have the required skill sets, but I am also familiar to the area and the local community. I am aware of the high reputation a award winning school like St Benedicts has within the city and am keen to be associated with such a well respected educational institution.

I feel that one of my greatest strengths as a teacher is the ability to meet each students unique needs by having an in-depth understanding of their abilities and needs. My experiences include tutoring, organizing daily activities, and keeping students organised and controlled, all requirements asked for in the job advert.

I feel St Benedicts High School can benefit from my four years of teaching experience and my ability to educate young minds and help them to develop into responsible successful individuals.

I hope that you will consider my application and I would welcome a phone call so that we might be able to set up an interview. If you need any further information then please do not hesitate to contact me. I thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely :

Your signature

 Well!  I am speechless!  Just what is wrong with this letter?


  • Grammar error
  • Punctuation errors
  • Varied spelling with US and UK usage in the same sentence
  • Every paragraph begins with I
  • Trite comments
  • Generalisations made with no supporting evidence
  • Ridiculous statements - meeting needs by having an in-depth understanding of needs
  • We are told that the job would suit the applicant perfectly because s/he is local.  Who cares?
  • Repetition
  • Nowhere do we learn what the candidate would bring to the school, how the school would benefit from this appointment
  • We learn nothing about the candidate, except that s/he works locally and has been teaching for four years.
  • And ends by gaily expecting a phonecall.


In your dreams!


You would do better to follow the advice on here in the Jobseekers forum.


Best wishes