Checklist for filling in your job applications

Checklist for filling in your job applications

Here a few important things to bear in mind as you embark on filling in your SAF. This document will most likely be your initial introduction to a potential employer and it is worth taking the time to fill it in as well as you can. Consider the following points when filling in your form.

What are they looking for in a candidate?

Have you checked the job advert for clues as to what's important to the school? A job description will sometimes state the kind of person the school is looking for. The school might refer to an aspect of its ethos that is really important to them, or perhaps they are looking for someone with a strong understanding of ICT for example. If you do not have this strong experience, and have not noticed the request for it, your application will not be as desirable.

Get the FREE Download: 30 things every principal wants here.


Do you have each piece of documentation ready? (only include what's being asked for). It is important to have all of your documentation up to date and available when required. You should only provide what has been asked for as this shows that you took the time to read the posting and were aware of the details. If they do not ask for a CV; don’t send one! Also, if a CV is requested, the posting might state that your CV is unbound with a slide binder in place (a simple staple is fine here).

Grab my Free CV Template here.

Read Completing your CV & Standard Application Form and answers here.


Have you reached out to your referees to remind them that you'll be applying for jobs? It is not only polite to let your referees know that they might expect a call from a school, but very important also for you to be sure that they will be in a position to answer that call. If your referee is planning leave or is unavailable at a time when schools will be calling, you will have demonstrated an inability to plan effectively. If your referee is likely to be getting that call at a time when they are on leave or away from the office, you should ask for their mobile number. I also advise providing a WhatsApp number for any school outside of the state so potential employers will not have to incur costs in order to contact your referees.


Have you checked that you've included 3-5 touchpoints to tailor the application to the school? This means that in order to show that the school that you have effectively researched them - you should mention the name of the school or reference their child-centred playground or website, etc on a few occasions throughout the Standard Application Form and Letter of Application. Simple ways to do this are by using it as a heading eg. Ethos of St. Mary’s National School or Success of Dunleavy E.T. This is an efficient and applicant-friendly way to show them that you’ve tailored your application.

Read ‘Three important ways you can tailor your application to a school’ here.

Read ‘Making better applications to Educate Together and Community National Schools’ here.


Have you checked whether the ethos section has the right details on it (ETB, non-denominational, RC etc.). This is a really important aspect of your application. If you create a one-application-fits-all SAF that does not show you have the awareness to differentiate between the beliefs of the schools you are applying for, this will not reflect well on you and you won’t be called for interview.

Providing evidence and following instructions

Have you shown evidence of your key strengths? Use this opportunity to show your potential employer who you are as a person and how the strengths you possess will be of benefit in their school. Is your letter of application one page long? School leaders are busy. Don’t send them reams of text when one page is all that they asked for. Less is more! Are you submitting it before the deadline? Be aware of deadlines! Late applications are often not considered at all.

Read ‘How can I make my Standard Application Form stand out?’ here.

Check out ‘Selling Yourself - The Complete Course to Apply for Teaching Jobs’

Be aware of your mood

How are your vibes? Do you have a positive or negative mindset when you sit down to apply for jobs? Be aware that the state of mind you are in is extremely important. If you are in a good mood, you are more likely to think more positively about yourself and show yourself in a better light.

The Standard Application Forms are available for you to download here.

If you need help with writing a winning SAF & CV, Mock Interview Practice or any other aspect of the application process, do get in touch with me at or find out more here.



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