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Writing Your NQT Personal Statement

Top Tips for Writing Your NQT Personal Statement

Date posted : 15 February 2021

While there are many moving parts when applying for a job as an Early Career Teacher (formerly known as an NQT), the most important of them all is your personal statement. The application form is for you to lay out your qualifications and skills. But your personal statement is where you can shine through as a candidate. It’s an opportunity to sell yourself, highlight your personality and explain why you would be an asset to their school.  

It’s not an easy thing to write. But as many successful ECTs can attest each year, it’s certainly not impossible.   

To give you the best chance to succeed, we’ve put together six top tips that will help you create a personal statement that lands you an ECT interview at your dream school. 

1. Tailor your statement to each school 

As an Early Career Teacher, you’re probably applying to a large number of schools at once. When you’re in the middle of your busy PGCE year, it might feel like a waste of valuable time to edit your personal statement for every job application. In fact, it’s the most important thing you can do.  

Every school is different, and so every application you send should be different. Take the time to read the job advertisement carefully, have a look through their website, and their latest Ofsted report. Make a list of the exact requirements of the position, plus what is most important in the school’s ethos, and connect all these to your own passions and experience.  

2. Craft a killer opening line

Just like a great novel, your opening sentence should stand out (for the right reasons). Effective personal statements often start with a brief explanation of what inspired them to become a teacher in the first place, or why they’re excited to be applying for this particular position.  

3. Focus on the age group you will be teaching 

Rather than saying you enjoy teaching a particular age group, show that you understand the challenges (and how to overcome them) that come with those particular students.  

For example, if you’re applying for a job within a secondary school that has a sixth form, you might want to show how you have helped students with UCAS applications. Or if you’re applying for a primary position, you could demonstrate why it’s important to keep an element of play within your lesson plans.  

4. Highlight how your experience has develop

A list of your working experience is a necessary part of your CV, but it’s not what schools are looking for in your ECT personal statement. Instead, you should use this as a space to give your own perspective on how all this experience has shaped your outlook as a new teacher.  

Whether you want to talk about classroom time, a school trip, or coaching a youth sports team, specific examples of how your experiences have improved your skills will give the school’s hiring team a fuller picture of what you’d look like in the role.  

5. Show off your strengths and skills

Use your personal statement to demonstrate what you, as an NQT, can bring to the school that no other applicants can. Achievements, professional goals, strategies you’ve developed; all of these will highlight what makes you unique and how you (and only you) can specifically help that school.  

6. End on a strong note

Just like your pupils’ best essays, your conclusion should mirror your introduction. Reinforce your enthusiasm for teaching and the school your applying to. 

Finally, before you click send, take the time to triple check your statement for any errors!  

How to skip the ECT personal statement 

If you’d prefer to avoid writing a personal statement altogether, then Teaching Personnel is here to help.  

Our ECT Pool is the most efficient way for newly qualified teachers to start their careers. We will actively promote you to schools in your local area and help you prepare to nail the interview.  

As soon as you register, our educational recruitment specialists will create a detailed profile of your skills, abilities, personality, and professional goals. We use all that information to match you to jobs at local schools. This saves you precious time writing out many detailed applications. 

Find your first job as an Early Career Teacher – register for the ECT Pool today.   

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