Preservice to professional: tips for your final year of study


Without a doubt, successfully snagging your first teaching job is a big milestone. And if you're in your final year of study, chances are you're thinking ahead, getting ready to launch into your new career.

So how do you make the most of your last year as a student so you're poised to take place in front of your own classroom? Try these top tips to help make your final year count.

1. Get your resume ready

Try to spend a little bit of time each fortnight writing your resume and building your portfolio. We know there are heaps of things to tick off on your to-do list between study and the rest of your life, but you don't want to leave your resume until the last minute. It's an important document and will probably take you longer to pull together than you imagine, so we recommend you chip away at it slowly so that you end up with a polished finished product.

We've pulled together some quick guides for writing your resume, cover letter and professional profile which will help get you started. Good luck!

2. Apply early

If you're keen to make a difference in one of the many primary, secondary or special state schools across Queensland, start by submitting your application to teach with us. We encourage preservice teachers to lodge applications as soon as possible in your final year of study so you can be considered for early employment offers.

3. What's your unique point of difference?

When you're looking for a job, you need to be clear on how you stand out from the crowd of other grads. What are your hobbies? Have you had any relevant work or life experience that you can bring to your classroom and school? What are your professional and personal aspirations?

Present the whole package you would bring to a classroom. What is it about you that's special? What's your particular blend of pizzazz in the classroom? We are looking for well-rounded teachers with relevant experiences and qualifications, as well as an ability to work as part of a team and have a positive attitude.

4. Make the most of your professional experience placements

Your professional experience placements are the perfect time to ask questions about starting out in the classroom. Your supervising teacher has been there before and will have advice to share. Get to know the team at your school and learn from their expertise and experience.

It's a great opportunity to test out a school and community before you accept a role—not to mention putting your soft skills to practice. Volunteer to help with school events and you'll get to mix with students and other staff in a different context to usual. Anything you can do to build relationships and demonstrate your value will not only be beneficial to your professional learning, but might also open up long-term employment opportunities. After all, it's not unheard of for a preservice teacher to be offered a job at their placement school once they graduate, so we recommend you put the effort in!

5. Network

If you're on the hunt for a job, you don't want to miss our career fairs. Held twice a year, they're the place to go to get information and ask questions about the different regions and positions available. Plus, our recruiters and principals will be on the ground ready to make job offers on the spot. So make sure you get along with your game face on and you could walk away with your dream role!

Check our website for details about our next career fair. You might also be interested in reading these tips for the day.

6. First impressions count

Whether it's your first day on your placement or you're dropping in to one of our career fairs, come ready to leave a good impression. Dress professionally, arrive on time and don't forget to smile! Make sure you've prepared by thinking about all your skills and experiences, and specific examples you can use to answer questions. Stay calm and collected, but remember that you're there to share what you can offer our schools and students.

7. Explore the regions

If you're curious about teaching in a particular part of Queensland, get to know the local surroundings of our regions:

You can also get in touch with our regional recruitment teams and find out what jobs are available or coming up once you've submitted your application on our website. Contact details for our HR teams are available on our website.

We love seeing what you're up to, so don't forget to share your teaching journey with us on social media using #teachqld. All the best for the final stretch—you can do it!

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Last updated 01 July 2020