Careers advice from Theodora Griff

29th March 2013 at 00:00

The silent treatment

Why don't schools ever write back to you? I must have sent in 100 applications and the letters have all vanished into a black hole.

When I was a fresh-faced young teacher, schools wrote to you all the time.

You applied for a job (by snail mail; there was no other way) and they wrote back to acknowledge receipt. They then wrote to tell you that your application was - or was not - being taken forward to interview.

They did not write to tell you the result of the interview, because there was a different system then. The candidates all stayed after the interviews, until someone came into the room and said, "Miss Smith, the panel would like to speak to you." Miss Smith then left and the remainder waited until the door opened again with either the announcement: "Miss Smith has accepted the post," or the words: "Mr Brown, the panel would like to speak to you." That meant that Miss Smith had turned it down. It was a horrid experience, sitting waiting in the company of the other candidates.

But nowadays I doubt any school ever acknowledges receipt of an application. Most do not even tell you if you have not been shortlisted, although they often say in the advert, "If you have not heard from us by the date of the interview, you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful."

I know you feel that this is rude and I tend to agree. But on the other hand, a school receiving 100 or even more applications just cannot afford the time for the secretary to look up all the email addresses and inform the unsuccessful candidates, so I also tend to agree with them that it is not practical.

But if you also mean that you are not getting any interviews from a hundred applications, then you need some help, so read the advice in the Jobseekers forum on the TES website.

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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