The three biggest mistakes you may be making in your Standard Application Form right now


Reviewing CV and Standard Application forms daily I see common mistakes coming up again and again. This blog will help you understand where you may be going wrong if you're not being called for interviews.

There's lots of ambiguity around what makes an effective CV but I'm here to outline 3 key things that will make a massive difference to your approach.

Mistake #1: You're not using adjectives

Using adjectives is a great way to add detail to your experience briefly and concretely.
Here are a few examples of ways adjectives can help you add detail to your application.

Taught Geography and Irish to pupils
➡️ Taught Geography and Irish to 33 pupils.
X Prepared and implemented plans.
➡️ Prepared and implemented evidence-based plans.
X Communicated with colleagues
➡️ Communicated effectively with colleagues

Being mindful to add small extra details to your job application will make it much more tangible and relatable to the reader.

Mistake #2: You're not elaborating enough

Are all of your bullet points pretty short? In job applications, I find that quality over quantity works best. 3 well thought out bullet points is much more powerful than 5 bullet points that have less content in them.
Taking our bullet points above and using the role of a teacher as an example:

For example: Communicated effectively with colleagues
Becomes: Communicated effectively with colleagues regarding school policies, student progress, assessment procedures and in team teaching initiatives.

Can you see how that makes a difference?

Mistake #3: You're not making your application reader-friendly

How do you make your CV/Application Form reader-friendly?
These are my suggestions so that your CV isn't so much of a chore to read.

1. Use bullet points instead of paragraphs of information.
2. Use headings to emphasise a new point
3. Avoid lengthy answers.
4. Don't play around with margins so that you cram all information into two pages: white space is good.
5. When outlining experiences in past roles, begin each bullet point with a power verb.

A principal told me recently that "bullet points are a principal's best friend". Are you making the best use of them?

Check out my free download here to learn more about what principals are looking for in candidates for jobs at their school.

If you want to learn more about how having a personalised SAF or CV can improve your chances of success email me at



There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!