Top tips for a shining application

14 February 2018

Are you thinking of submitting an application to Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program?

We recruit outstanding individuals with academic expertise as well as a range of skills and experience and support them to be stellar teachers and leaders. But anyone who scores above our benchmark for eight key competencies will be extended an offer – so it’s important to know how to showcase your skills and experience in your application.

We’ve gathered a few top tips to help you submit a great application.

1. Be yourself.

“Be 100% yourself and honest – the selection process and the eight competencies are designed to ensure you’re ready for the rigorous and challenging experience. If you meet those competencies, we’d be crazy to not let you in!” – Jun Zhang, Alumni Manager

2. Answer the question you’re asked.

“There is no special sauce that tops off your application, and we aren’t looking for any buzz words. Throughout the application and further selection process, the questions and prompts make it quite clear what we are looking for. For each question, make note of what we have asked and ensure that you answer the question in front of you, not the question you wanted to be asked.” – Lauren Smith, Admissions Manager

3. Choose your examples carefully – and make sure they fit within our eight key competencies.

“Our selection process includes behavioural interviews, the premise being that your past behaviour is predictive of your future performance. This is most true when the context of your past behaviour is similar to the context we want you to be successful in (i.e. the Leadership Development Program). When you’re choosing examples to speak about, don’t be concerned if they’re not directly related to Teach For Australia’s vision or work, but think about whether your examples are short or long-term in their focus, whether they’re in personal or professional contexts, and whether you held significant responsibility and made a significant individual impact.” – Matt Norman, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager in WA

4. Proofread.

“Your online application is your first opportunity to showcase your strengths and motivations. The best approach to ensuring that your answers are clear, concise and error-free is to take these three steps: (1) Utilize the word count and check your spelling/grammar. (2) Quantify and qualify your answers. If you’re speaking about achievements, ask yourself, “How can I measure my impact?” If you’re speaking about experiences, ask yourself, “What did I say/hear/feel/do that led to the outcome I’m sharing?” (3) Share your answers with a colleague, friend, family member to get some feedback.” – Josh Farr, Recruitment and Advocacy Manager in VIC

5. Remember why you’re applying.

“Be clear on your motivations in applying – you will be joining a network of passionate individuals who are committed to addressing educational disadvantage, both during the two years and beyond. Is that you?” – Elizabeth Cullen, Recruitment and Advocacy Team Manager

Remember to explore your past achievements to find evidence for all eight key competencies before finalising your application. You can download this handy worksheet to help you brainstorm. And when you’re answering questions in an interview, try using a framework like the STAR method to help you structure your response.

The online application saves your progress automatically so you can work on it over time. If you have any questions about your application, the program or the process, you can always reach out to

You might also like

We work in regions and communities where Associates can have the most impact, which often leads to once-in-a-lifetime opportunties to live in a new, exciting, and diverse regions of Australia.