After qualifying as a teacher, the next step is to start applying for your first teaching position. Applying for your first job is a big step in your career and for many early career teachers (ECTs), this can be daunting. With limited experience and even more limited spare time, the application process can sometimes be overwhelming.


Are you one of the many early career teachers who don’t know where to start when looking for their first job? Well, we’ve got you covered.


In this guide we will outline where to find teaching jobs and what to consider throughout the application process.

Where to find teaching jobs


Job searching can be hard work, but there are lots of ways you can find your first teaching position. For example…


  • Job websites. You may choose to search for jobs on education websites like Indeed, Reed, TES, Education Jobs and Prospects. These job boards have hundreds of teaching jobs for you to choose from.


  • Teaching vacancies on This is a free job-listing service from the Department for Education. You can search for jobs at schools or Trusts in England and set up job alerts.


  • Direct applications to schools. You can check your university’s job portal and talk to staff at the school you’re at to see if they have any job openings. You can also check school websites and send your CV to schools you are particularly interested in.


  • Career fairs and employability services. These are often attended by local authorities, teaching unions, schools and recruitment agencies. Job fairs will often have online job portals and can give useful advice on local teaching opportunities.

Working with a recruitment agency


Many graduates don’t feel ready to commit to a full-time teaching role. In these cases, supply teaching can be a great option. During the early stages of your career, working on supply provides opportunities to develop your skills in different classroom environments and helps build up confidence before committing to a permanent position.


For early career teachers looking to work on supply, recruitment agencies can be a simple and convenient way to find a job that suits you. Monarch Education works with several Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) across the UK and can connect you with job opportunities near you that suit your skills and preferences. You can register with us by contacting our team or submitting an application to one of our teaching roles.


Agencies either book you in advance or you will get an early call at around 8am. The more flexible you are, the more work you can get. Be sure to communicate your skills and preferences with your recruitment consultant so they can place you in roles you enjoy.

Finding the right job


When you first start applying for jobs, it can be tempting to go for all available teaching vacancies near you. However, it is important to consider whether the position is a good fit for you. You are more likely to be successful if the job you have applied for is close to the subject area or age range you’ve been trained in. Remember to use your experience and skills to your advantage – consider what subjects, grade levels or educational settings that match your teaching style.


When applying for jobs, also consider what jobs you will be happy in. Focus your effort on applying for jobs that genuinely interest you as this can increase your job satisfaction and likelihood of finding a role you will make a meaningful contribution in.

Finding the right school


As you start looking for jobs, don’t just apply to any school. Think about what is important to you. Consider things like the school’s ethos, size, location and values. Make sure the school has a culture that resonates with the sort of school you’d like to work at. Take time to read Ofsted reports on schools you’re interested in. This can give you valuable insights into how it would be working at a specific school.


It can be useful for new teachers to make a list of criteria that are important for them. After doing some research on the school’s mission, values, culture and access to resources, you can decide whether the school would be a good match.


If you are unsure of whether a school is a right fit for you, it can be a good idea to get in touch with the school and ask questions around their principles, expectations and challenges. Not only will this give you an indication whether the school is right for you, it can also make a lasting first impression and show your interest. Be sure to prepare some questions to make the most out of your call.

Teaching CV


When applying for a job in education, you will likely need to provide a CV outlining your skills and previous teaching experience. This is often the case if you are working with an agency or sending a speculative application to a specific school. Check out our tips on how to write a compelling CV by clicking here.


Your CV should be clear, easy to read and well structured. To make your CV stand out, start with a targeted personal profile (3-4 sentences). For more guidance on writing a CV personal profile, read this guide by Indeed.


Throughout your CV, highlight relevant qualifications and experiences you’ve gained in your teaching career, including:


  • Details of your teacher training and what grade you achieved in your recent training placements
  • Relevant modules from your university degree or postgraduate course
  • Details of your experience working in schools including what age ranges you worked with
  • Relevant voluntary experience
  • Interests and skills relevant to teaching (for example, musical abilities or sport activities)

Personal statement


Early career teachers may also be asked to write a personal statement. A personal statement should cover two A4 pages and should include information about who you are as a person and what experience you have within teaching.


Always read the person specification and target your personal statement to what schools are looking for. Remember to…


  • Tailor your application to the specific school and include examples of how their vision and mission resonates with you
  • Get someone to proofread it to ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors
  • Make sure any employment gaps are explained
  • Give details on extra curricular activities
  • Convey a passion for teaching


Click here to see some examples of personal statements.

References and DBS checks


You may be asked to provide references and complete a DBS check early in the application process so it’s important to be prepared! You will be asked to apply for a criminal record check. If you’re working through an agency, they will process the application form for you. This will be sent back to you so you can confirm that the information is correct. If you have any queries or concerns about the accuracy of the checks, please visit the following page to make a dispute. Make sure to report the mistake 3 months within the date on the certificate.


You will also be asked to provide two references during the application process, one of which can make a comment on your teacher training experience. It is best to select a referee that can vouch for your teaching performance or academic ability such as a teacher or headteacher from your previous school placements. The other could be from your teaching practice. Remember to always ask for permission before naming any of your referees in your application.

Sit back and relax!


After submitting your application, you can take a big sigh of relief. Try not to think too much about whether or not you will get an interview. If your application is not successful, don’t be discouraged. Use this as an opportunity to ask for feedback from the school.


If you have been successful, it’s time to prepare for your interview. Click here for tips on how to ace online interviews.


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