General Chat Thread, Making an application for a post as ICT Technician - no experience in a school Help! in General; I am a Component Nesting Computer Programmer at a Large engineering firm in North Yorkshire.
My aim in life is ...
Making an application for a post as ICT Technician - no experience in a school Help!
I am a Component Nesting Computer Programmer at a Large engineering firm in North Yorkshire.
My aim in life is to work as a ICT Technician and a post in the Secondary School near where I live has come up vacant which I would love to do.
I have no experience in working in a school or with young people. My ICT qualifications are City and Guilds Diploma in ICT Practice with A+ and Diploma for ICT Practitioners. I have great deal of skills and expertise in all areas of ICT which is mainly self taught over 20 odd years.
additionally to my current job I work freelance and for next to nothing/as a favour as a PC/Laptop repairmen for friends/neighbours and their acquaintances in my local area. I get a lot of requests for my services and customers are always really happy with my work.
What I wish to ask the forum is whether what i have is relevant to the post I am hoping to go for?
I was told I should go for this job by one of the teachers (who works there) who I did a PC repair for a few days ago.
Please help me to word my application form/supporting letter right or just some common sense advice would be great.
Well I got my post in a school with no previous experience, infact I didn't even work in the IT industry at the time, I worked in retail and did IT as a bit of a hobby almost, so it is possible to get appointed with no previous experience.
Have a read of the job description and person specification if there is one, and decide if you fit them, if you do then make sure you engineer your CV to cover the points in the job description and where your past experience is relevant to them. Once you get an interview, you can get the chance to expand on those points, so don't be tempted to put too much information in.
Schools tend to be lively fast paced environments, so your personality can count for as much as your skills, so make sure you sound enthusiastic about the post, and come across as an approachable person as well.
Do some background reading about the school, find out about their past, and where they're heading in the future and read the summary of the last ofstead report, this will give you a broad understanding of the school as a whole, which can be good to know, particularly if you can drop a few bits of it into the interview if you get one to show you've done your research.
If I was serious about a job I'd seen advertised, I would do all the above and probably more.
I agree with much of the above. You seem to be covered technically so as with any other job you need to set yourself apart from the other candidates.
Do a bit of background reading on the school. Visit the website, read the Ofsted reports etc. Part of the job description I applied for mentioned improving the school website, so I took along some mock ups of what I could do and they were quite impressed by this - not necessarily by the material I brought in but by the fact it demonstrated enthusiasm and background preparation.
And yes, personality counts. To be a good all-round tech you definitely need good people skills so I'd bring to their attention any customer-facing experience from your time in retail.
Also learn the key diffrences between schools and companys
A schools prority is T+L, as well as Value For Money.
Whilst a companies is Up Time and ofc profit.
A quick translation for someone not yet in the education sector!
T&L = Teaching & Learning!
T&L is the reason for the school existing and ultimately everything that we do in school comes down to allowing the teachers to teach and the students to learn.
It is different working in school to working for a business, not least because some kids main reason for being at school seems to be to override evry security feature that you have enabled... in business the prospect of losing a salary seems to keep the users better under control!
On the other hand, I get a great deal out of working with young people and there is a lot to be gained from joining in activities other than the IT ones on site. I get to do all sorts... as do many others (the tech at my daughter's school runs the DofE, for example)
I got my first job in a school with only a C&G PC Maintenance and Repair (level 2) but started pretty much at the bottom. A few key areas to remember about schools (T&L already covered) is that prioritisation of work can be key.
Most schools would use the following priorities ...
Anything affecting the whole (or majority) of the school gets dealt with first ... internet down, DC not allowing authentication, etc ...
Anything affecting a whole class comes second
Anything affecting an individual user comes third.
Important bits to note.
A teacher who cannot log on is actually affecting a whole class ... so treat as second priority, not third
A member of senior management can trump everything else, but let them know where they would normally stand in things and make them 'instruct' you to do it ... that way it covers you and them.
Best of look with it and no doubt everyone will continue to give advice as you bring up more questions.
I am a network Manager in York and have employed several technians over the years. Enthusiasm is what i look for most the rest i can train them in also an abilty to listen and not get rattled by angry teachers (thats my job).
we used to train students from local college before the CRB thing got so tight it was not worth the hassle and the only ones i ever had a problem with were the " I know it all types" how would do things their way not the way i asked them to do it.
Ok, the first step is to actually get sellected for interview. The key part here is to fulfull the criteria of the application form. I discard around 70-80% of applicants for technician jobs because they haven't read the application form and responded correctly. In ou LEA we have set criteria which they have to show by example that they meet the criteria and yet around 50% of applicants just send in their CV, anothe 25-30% send in 10 pages of waffle which doesn't actially answer the requirements.
If it is like ours where they ask to show by example, I recommend you complete by writing a single paragraph about how yoy meet the requirements by example, headed and in order that they appear on the application documentation. Anyone who does this is guaranteed an interview. I have had to turn down many applications with releceant experience, good qualications etc just because they haven't completed the application properly.
Last edited by teejay; 28th September 2009 at 12:58 PM.
Sound qualified to me, good luck. Just make sure you read up on the forums about common questions in Interview - for example, prioritisation of jobs/what would you do if child did a/b/c and so on.
Also be aware of BSF in your local area and how any job might change soon. Also the lack of career development/future progession in many schools for I.T. support staff unless your working for a big outsourcing company like RM.
I can help you with your CV or the app form if you would like - pm me
You would be a fool not to take Witch up on this offer, Witch helped me get my current post (Thanks again) and many others of this forum. Her advice is truthful and honest (the truth can hurt) but at the end of the day my interview rate was 90% + for every application that I used her advice with when writing.