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Getting your first interview

Each job will attract lots of applicants so yours has got to stand out – and not for being dire! Read the job specification and application form carefully and follow instructions to the letter, giving information as requested.

The personal statement is the toughest part of the form. It’s used to assess how you meet the person specification so structure it to help the reader. Use real life examples to back up assertions: "During my school experience I cut up oranges to help make the lessons on fractions relevant to the children". Show commitment by slipping in a reference to something you’ve found out about the school.

Draft each section of the form to ensure that you can fit things into the given space, neatly and with no mistakes. Online forms have the potential for hours of work disappearing at the touch of a key to say nothing of e-gremlins in the formatting so take special care, saving versions.

More than anything heads are looking for people with enthusiasm. Be passionate!