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Starting out

The job-hunting season has started in earnest. Here are Sara Bubb's tips for success

Hooray. We're in the season of bumper editions of The TES, heavily laden with job adverts. Because resignations had to be in by May 31, school leaders are now desperate to find the best teachers for September. They will search everywhere and anywhere, advertising in newspapers locally and nationally, through the local authority (and the diocese for church schools) but, most importantly of all, headteachers will be talking to each other about promising new teachers they have come across.

The education grapevine is a good way to hear about jobs, so make sure you let everyone know what kind of job you're looking for and how to contact you. Also check your mobile and emails every day.

With about 36,000 people being awarded qualified teacher status in England every year and the number of pupils in schools declining from Year 10 to Year 1, you'll have to work hard to get a job.

Take a good look at how you come across on paper. People want to see how well you fit what they're looking for, so make it easy for them by writing concisely and following all their instructions to the letter. Can you offer other strings to your bow such as a talent or interest in sport or music?

This may well give you the edge in a competitive market. Don't leave any gaps in your career history or your reader may smell a rat and wonder which prison you were in.

Remember to choose two relevant referees - usually a tutor from your training institution and someone senior from a school; references from careers outside education will be of limited use. Keep referees informed about applications you're making. They will often be expected to turn things round quickly - so keep them sweet.

Get your applications in as soon as possible and be alert for an interview at short notice. Some schools aren't waiting until the closing date before grabbing strong applicants - scary, huh Sara Bubb is an education consultant specialising in induction. She answers questions at www.tes.co.ukstaffroomnew_teachers

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