How to Search for Job Vacancies in Schools and Colleges
The Further Education sector offers a range of exciting career options. Whether you are interested in administrative support, managerial or teaching role, there are a number of schools and colleges you could consider. Here are some tips to help you with your next job search.
Decide what roles to apply for - Have you been thinking about applying for vacancies however seem to put it off most of the time? Often people procrastinate about applying for vacancies because they are not clear about what role they could aim for. If you are not sure about what level or role you should consider, you could devote a few hours simply researching vacancies online. At this initial stage, it is best to just research options and see what piques your curiosity. The more clear and specific you are about the role you want, the easier it will be to find it.
Do ask yourself the following questions:
-Would you like to work in a freelance role or would you prefer an employment contract?
-Would you be looking to work full-time or part-time hours?
-Would you consider contracted positions such as those for 6 or 12 months?
-Are you looking for primarily home-based, office-based or blended roles?
-How long are you willing to commute?
-In an ideal world, what would be your perfect position like?
-What is the contribution you would like to make in your new role?
Structure your search
Once you have identified your ideal role, you might find it helpful to structure your job search. Do think about finding a new job as a project. You could start an excel spreadsheet to keep track of details of your search. In your excel file, do create some subheadings such as what position you apply for and when, where you find the vacancies, and how many hours you have spent searching each week.
Do not be tempted to search for jobs every day. If you search for vacancies most days, you could end up seeing the same openings and lose motivation. It is best to devote a couple of hours weekly to keep up to date with new vacancies. It can be very helpful to note where you find new interesting jobs. Often people discover that they find the most suitable positions in a small number of online platforms. In addition to your structured weekly search, you could also sign up for some job alerts.
To find suitable positions in the further education sector, you could find out about local or regional schools and colleges, and see what vacancies they have available. Depending on the role you are considering, you might find that there are slightly more vacancies published before the start of the autumn semester and the beginning of the New Year. It is worthwhile to keep track of job postings regardless of the time of the year, however. This will help you to ensure that you do not miss out on great job opportunities.
In addition to your online job search, you could speak with friends, colleagues or family members who work in the education sector. Some larger organisations regularly recruit temporary workers with the view to offer a permanent position to the right candidate.
Sarah has accepted a short term HR position working for a leading college in the southeast of the country. The college was keen to fill the post urgently whilst the position was being approved to become permanent (and to be advertised). At the time, Sarah did not know that the position would become a full-time permanent role. After working in the role for a few weeks, her manager encouraged her to apply for the permanent role and to consider staying on. A month later, Sarah was thrilled to receive an offer to work as the department’s new Human Resources Manager.
Consistency and resilience
When you start applying for vacancies, you are likely to receive some disappointing news. Dealing with rejection is not easy. However, you can turn unfavourable responses into learning opportunities. Do make sure that you continuously improve the quality of your job applications and polish your CV and cover letters. The key to successfully receive a job offer is consistency and resilience.
Rita, who is an experienced college lecturer, has been keen to work for a large reputable college. Despite applying for a couple of positions, she has not even received an interview invite. One day, she has seen a freelancer position advertised by the college. Although this would have been the third time applying, she decided to try again. Rita has been offered a freelancer contract, and six months later she was appointed as a permanent full- time lecturer.
You would need to consistently devote time searching for vacancies. If you find accountability helpful, do tell a friend about your intention to spend time searching for jobs on a weekly basis. Do notice what works (and what does not work). If you constantly look for ways to improve the quality of your applications and are willing to put in the effort, you will eventually succeed.
Most people find it hard to handle rejections. The key however is not to give up. Keep on searching, applying, and going for job interviews. Every time you receive some disappointing news, consider carefully how you could improve. Are you perhaps applying for jobs which are much more senior to where you currently stand? Is there any way you could make your CV and your cover letter more aligned with the job criteria? If you were part of the recruiting panel, would you consider your application successful?
Do consider the nature of the career progression you are aiming for. Those who have already worked in the UK further education sector and want to stay within the same professional area might experience less challenges in the application journey. If you are looking to change either your industry or your function, you may experience more initial hurdles and it could take you longer to succeed.