How to Apply for a Private School Job

Updated May 25, 2016 |
How to Apply for a Private School Job
Do five simple things when applying for a private school teaching position and you will be successful.
Applying for a private school job has some subtle differences from its pubic school counterpart. Here are five things you must do when applying for a private school teaching position.

1.  Make sure that your credentials are impeccable.  You will probably get looked at for that English position if your degree is in American Language and Literature from one of the better colleges such as Brown, Duke, Stanford or Cornell. If your degree is from Harvard, Yale or Princeton, go to the top of the list. A bachelor's degree is ok, but you better make the right noises during the interview about your plans to finish your master's. Private schools vastly prefer to say that 80% of their faculty have advanced degrees. If your degree is terminal, that's cool too, as long as you are not terminal too.
2.  Offer glowing recommendations. If one of your recommendations - and note that most schools will ask for 3-5 references - comes from somebody the headmaster knows personally, that's a big plus. If you are an unknown, make sure that your recommendations are solid, unequivocally glowing ones. Your references must be able to speak warmly and without hesitation during the inevitable phone call which WILL be made to check you out.
3.  Be able to coach prep school sports. Prep school sports have their little traditions and rituals. If you know these intimately, your resume will stand out from the crowd. It doesn't matter what the sport or club is which you can coach or lead, just be really good at it. Offering sports such as hockey, lacrosse, field hockey and crew will vault you to the head of the list. Expertise in forensics or having produced a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta will win a speedy stamp of approval.
4.  Apply according to their explicit instructions. Follow application instructions to the letter. If for some reason known only to the headmaster, the school wants applications submitted on 3x5 cards, then so be it. In lieu of any precise instructions, submit a one page cover letter of interest together with your resume which should not be more than 2 pages and must include 3 references. Supporting documents such as transcripts and certificates can be submitted at a later stage.
5.  Demonstrate your love of teaching. Private schools are all about excellent teachers. Parents pay a small fortune to expose their children's minds to gifted teachers. You must make sure that your love of teaching dominates any and all conversations with your future employer. It is really the only thing which matters.

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Jobs in Private Schools


Learn more about applying and interviewing for jobs in a private school. Here we'll cover everything from cover letters to interview questions. Get tips on common application mistakes, how to ask good questions during your interview, and marketing yourself.