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Careers advice from Theodora Griff

I'm still looking for a job, and the adverts seem to have dried up recently. Are there going to be any more coming up for January?

Yes, there have been fewer adverts in the past week or so, and for a good reason. Half-term is almost upon us, and schools that have vacancies for January have been in a mad scramble this week to interview candidates in time for the chosen one to hand in his or her resignation by the 31 October cut-off date. Schools all put their adverts in TES with a closing date of a week or more ago, so that they could fit in the interviews before the deadline.

But this can be good news for those who are not in permanent posts, because where someone has got another job and handed in their notice, the school will advertise the post for a January start. And the only people who can apply are those of you who do not have to hand in notice: NQTs still to start induction, supply teachers and others in temporary posts that are coming to an end.

Plus - and this is something that some readers may not realise - some maternity cover posts only require a very short notice period, so you can apply for a permanent post after the 31 October deadline and still be able to start on 1 January. Check your contract! And another tip: if your maternity cover contract says your school only has to give you one or two weeks' notice to terminate your employment, whereas in order to leave you have to give it a lot more, say two months, then get in touch with your union because this could be considered an unfair contract and may not be enforceable.

So if you are still looking for a job for January, don't despair. There will be a few more permanent jobs as well as the usual maternity covers and other temporary posts coming up. And there will be fewer applicants, so less competition. But don't use this as an excuse to produce anything but your very best application; go to the TES Jobseekers forum and get the advice to help you land that job.

Meet Theodora Griff online on the TES Jobseekers forum or in person at a TES Careers Advice Service seminar or individual consultation. bit.lyuWhqN2.

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