Your personal statement says a lot about you as a teacher, over and above your qualifications and experience. It’s the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd and secure the competitive edge to find your first teaching job or first promotion. This is the only part of your CV that’s really about you as a person. But how do you make sure that it’s perfect? What are the best tips to help you stand out?
What is a personal statement for?
Think of your personal statement as the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd and secure the competitive edge to find your first teaching job or first promotion.
Schools use the personal statement as one of the main ways to match teachers to roles. It is your chance to shine and to explain why you are the perfect candidate for their teaching job based on your qualifications and experience.
If you are an NQT you should give detail on your teaching placements; which subjects or age range you taught and what key achievements you made with the pupils you worked with. For more experienced teachers it could be that great CPD course you went on and how you used it to improve your practice or how you mentored a new teacher. This is where your application becomes unique. It is not just about how many years of experience you have or where you studied. Your personal statement is about you and should start with why you wish to work in the school you are applying for and give clear reasons why you are the perfect hire for the school and for their role.
So here’s our top tips to help you write a personal statement to secure your next teaching job –
Tip 1: Do your research before writing your personal statement
By using the Evolve Teachers app, you are able to create the perfect CV and use it as many times as you like to apply for teaching jobs. However, whilst we have made that part of the application process really simple, we really do recommend writing a personal statement for each role.
Before you start to write your statement you need to do some research. It’s like setting yourself homework. You need to make sure that what you are including in your personal statement aligns with the job you are applying for and matches the job and person specification. Top Tip for you – use a highlighter to go over each part of the person and job specification as you go through them on the forms. Next to each, write how you meet that criteria. Then, use those points to refer back to in your personal statement. Schools will tend to shortlist teachers who share their ethos and this is your chance to show that you do. Read the job advert and pick out some key points. Research the school online. Taking the time to make sure that your personal statement is relevant will help you secure more interviews. This applies to both experienced and newly qualified teachers.
Tip 2: Don’t forget to share why you are applying
This is a great piece of advice and one that so many can overlook. What made the job stand out to you? Maybe it was the great things you’ve heard about the school. Or, an award they have received. Remember – schools are attracted to teachers that share their ethos. Explain what stood out and why. This is an important part of your profile and will show that you have taken the time to learn about the school are are genuinely interested in joining them.
Tip 3: Use your personal statement to back up your strengths with real life achievements
We’ve all listed our strengths before on a CV. That’s an easy thing to do. But listing strengths alone won’t help you stand out. Can you back up your strengths with achievements? If not, then consider if it really is a strength. Give examples of how your strengths have been used in certain situations. Maybe it was a classroom strategy that was particularly effective, or a positive impact you’ve had on a difficult student. Keep it short and to the point, but make sure it has impact! Here’s an example to help – ‘with my Year 10 group I successfully identified pupils falling one or more grades under target and offered extra lunch time revision to boost their performance – this gives an example of pupil intervention to help underperforming pupils reach their target grades.’
Tip 4: Your aspirations – don’t leave them out
Schools like to know about the journey you are on and what you aspire to. But that’s not it. They also want to know if they are right for you. Don’t just say why you are applying and what you want to achieve. Think how your aspirations may be of use to the school. Do you have certain strategies you’d like to introduce. A teaching style that you’d like to learn?
Tip 5: Get feedback!
And finally, it’s important to get feedback on your statement from someone who will be honest with you. A personal statement should be like talking to a friend. So there’s no-one better to ask for feedback than a friend. Is it unique enough? Does it give the school a true insight into you?