Establishing your position as a senior leadership candidate

Sarah Catchpole, head of leadership recruitment at Hourglass, shares her best insider advice for senior leadership candidates.

First things first:

Spend some time dusting off your CV and tweaking it for the particular roles you’re interested in. You can afford to go to three or four pages as you make sure it’s 100% up to date, with laser-sharp focus on leadership roles.

Bear in mind that the first half page is what is going to hook your reader in. It’s useful to begin with a profile – your ‘elevator pitch’ which will explain who you are and what you’re about.

When it comes to listing your experience, make sure to Include concrete examples of your expertise, and quantify your achievements with numbers where possible. Measurable information such as the size of the multi-academy trust, or the school where you have worked, and data about the number of staff in your team, budgets, etc. is really useful.

Beyond your CV:

Are you active on LinkedIn? Don’t just cut and paste from your CV, but use it as a useful way to promote yourself and your application. Be selective about what you include there; it doesn’t need to list every role you’ve ever had, instead make sure you Add in strong recommendations from influential education leaders to add weight to your track record and future potential.

Video interviewing is now common practise, but like any interview, it’s worth preparing for. Take a few moments to plan where you’ll be when it’s time for your interview. You don’t want to be distracted by people coming and going, and a straightforward, bland background will help ensure your interviewer focuses on you, rather than something going on over your shoulder!

Although it’s an efficient way to start the recruitment process, there are limitations to video interviewing. It’s harder to pick up on the subtle, non-verbal cues so it’s worth making sure your positivity and emotional warmth comes through in order to help build rapport.


Sarah uses a blend of traditional search and selection methodologies and approaches every search assignment by taking the time to get to know each client’s specific requirements, timeframes and strategic objectives. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sarah to find out how she can help find your next senior leader.


Related articles

We're hiring!

We are proud of the relationships we build with the education professionals we work with – whether candidates or clients. Our aim is to take a proactive approach in partnership with schools, and a long term view of our candidates’ careers. Fundamentally, we’re a tight-knit team, committed to doing a good job and enjoying the time we spend at work. Our relationship with Pertemps means that we offer an abundance of benefits and a great salary. Our employees also benefit from an award-winning incen...
Find out more

Rest, Reflect and Recharge this Summer

After a long year of planning lessons, teaching classes, and marking who knows how many assignments, the summer holidays have arrived and it’s time to relax. Caring for your wellbeing is essential to every person, and teachers are no different. Here are five ways to rest and recharge your batteries during the summer holidays before going back to school in September: 1. Switch off your alarm clock and make the most of lazy mornings. It’s important to catch up on your sleep, and you’ll need to gi...
Read more

The best things about Cambridgeshire

There’s a rumour that Cambridgeshire can get a bit nippy in the winter months. It’s said that there’s nothing to stop the wind blowing in from Siberia. Whether that’s true or not, Cambridgeshire definitely has its wild side. When the Romans were roaming the fens, it was a remote and inaccessible region. The tufts of solid ground rising above shallow water provided a mysterious habitat well suited to willo-the-wisps with their dancing lights and the dead hand which would emerge from the water and...
Read more