Job applications are not a substitute for your resume but are frequently required anyway. How you complete them is crucial to your job search. Most school districts request an application for conformity reasons and to obtain a signature from the applicant.
Some employers require applications because they want certain types of information provided in a particular format, like on online databases such as SchoolSpring.
Tips to Properly Fill Out a Job Application
- Never leave an item blank. If it doesn’t apply to you, enter “N/A” or write “non-applicable” in the blank.
- Use your resume as a guide when completing this employment document. Make sure all the information is accurate and agrees with the details presented in your resume.
- If requested to provide references, offer at least three individuals. Be prepared with all pertinent details about your references: full name, address, telephone number, position, relationship, and how long you have known the person. This is especially important when completing an application on the school’s website; you don’t want to appear disorganized.
- Complete all blanks and follow the instructions carefully. If it is an online application form, organize your thoughts clearly and use paragraphs or bullet points to organize your answers.
- Choose your references carefully. Select individuals who have known you for a significant period of time (at least a year or more) and are familiar with your skills and abilities, especially as they apply to the teaching position you are applying for. Previous co-workers and school principals make good references.
- Never leave an area blank by stating, “see resume.” The school district has the application for a reason. Asking the school principal to flip back and forth between your resume and the job application will only irritate them and probably eliminate your chance for an interview.
- Always keep a copy of your job application for your records and refer to it before your job interview.
- You may be asked when you can begin work. If you are employed already, always allow for adequate notice to your current school principal. This reflects professionalism and respect on your part. If you are willing to leave your current school without adequate notice, your potential school principal may be concerned you would do the same thing to them.
- Before naming an individual as a reference, it makes good sense to discuss it with them first to make sure they are comfortable providing a reference. It also guarantees they will be more prepared if a potential employer calls them.
- Always include a copy of your resume and cover letter with your job application. Include keywords in all of your job search documents to get the best results.
Although it may feel like you are repeating a lot of the information found in your resume and cover letter in the application form, take the time and care to ensure the form is properly filled out with appropriate detail. Often, the application form is browsed first before moving onto the resume and cover letter. If a school is not impressed with the completed form, they may not consider reviewing your resume and cover letter.
Ensure the job application form contains all the right keywords, which will enable it to get scanned properly by the applicant tracking systems. If you’ve gone to great lengths to ensure your resume is keyword dense, you don’t want to lose out because you didn’t take the same care with the application form.