Recruiting Fairs: A-Z Strategies that WORK!

Recruiting Fairs are pressure cookers. Educators currently teaching in schools around the world will have invested thousands of dollars to fly to, and attend recruiting fairs. These teachers have resigned their current positions, making them highly motivated with a proven track record. Does this make them the most desirable candidates?

For those new to recruiting fairs, you quickly learn that competition is intense. If you arrive unprepared, chances are you’ll be leaving empty-handed! Our Tips to Make Recruiting Season a Success is specifically designed to help you navigate your recruiting fair experience and potentially walk out with a contract in hand! Seasoned overseas educators will find plenty here to refresh the memory and some new ideas as well.

Ever wonder what Directors are looking for in a candidate? Wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance of finding yourself engaged in an interview? To keep you informed, ISR asked School Directors to tell us what they look for in an international teaching candidate and then posted the top 3 responses. The bar is much higher than you might suspect! What Directors Look for in International Teaching Candidates.

Do you have a personal favorite approach to the recruiting process we would all benefit from knowing about? Or, do you have a question about the recruiting process? This is the place!

9 thoughts on “Recruiting Fairs: A-Z Strategies that WORK!

  1. If a director for whatever reason calls ISS, UNI etc. to blackball a teacher how does one get around that when signing up for a job fair?


  2. Can anyone tell me whether or not I’ll be wasting my time applying for positions in schools that run the IB PYP programme when I’ve not gone any experience of it? I’ve taught in the USA, NZ and worked with the IPC so can obviously easily adapt to new curriculums. I’ve tried to get a visit to an IB school in the UK, but there are none around my area or any in the primary/elementary sector. Any advice you could offer would be gerat. Thanks.


    1. Don’t worry about your experience. There are schools out there that will take you as long as you are still breathing. Have nothing on your radar and be prepared to accept what comes along. Based on the reviews I have read on this site…..Mickey Mouse could get a job teaching at some of these schools.


    2. I would suggest you do what I did. I did an IB DP History workshop on my own, this showed schools that I was willing to learn and work to get the job I wanted. It did work by the way. You can do PYP online courses, they cost a fair bit, but it is worth the effort because there is a lot of IB snobbery out there.


  3. Zorro, I agree with you 100%. On more than one occasion my wife and I flew back to the States from half way around the world to hustle our butts off in an all out effort to find new positions for the upcoming academic year. I figure those conference, including air fare, hotel, conference registration and ground transportation cost us about $4000. With Skype and other online venues available the recruiting fair has really become a dinosaur destined to go the way of the telephone book. In the meantime, these cattle calls are still viable ways to find a job and my feeling is they will be for some time because heads of schools will keep them alive.

    So, since we are stuck with them to a degree I’ll offer my two cents on what works for me. I have found that I can get the most out of a fair if I write in advance of the fair to the schools I am interested in. I have in some circumstances sent my resume and cover letter by DHL to ensure it gets into the hands of the director. Yup, it is a bit expensive but I just send out three or four that way. It’s worked for me every time and I recommend it. I include a photo and the address of my personal web site. After sending the package I wait a couple of weeks and then I email the director and include a link to my personal web site in the message. On my personal web site I have a form that can be used to submit questions or comments to me. Directors have in the past sent me questions asking for more information. It’s a quick easy mode to communicate and it demonstrates I’m tech savvy and innovative.

    This is what has worked for me. Why we need to then spend thousands to meet in person is just beyond me. But since the guy I’m going to see gets his way paid for him I’m sure his attitude is, why not?


  4. No comments yet? OK, I’ll get the ball rolling… When will Skype put the broken, degrading animal (from a teacher’s standpoint, anyway) that is the recruitment fair out of its misery? SA and ISS can be allowed to survive as collectors and verifiers of school and teacher data, but these soul-crushing dog and pony shows where one lines up behind a zillion other forsaken troubadours to juggle knives for the nobility (and sweatily hope that the white-gloved thumb goes up) simply aren’t necessary any more. I realize that our ersatz politician types generally love the chance to experience the perks of the world’s great cities and get their backsides polished (on the parents’ nickle), but these fairs are an appalling waste of time and money, for both schools and teachers.

    Webcam interviews; recruitment agencies to run reference/credential checks and to allow courts and jesters to browse each other; and scanning, signing and emailing contracts once a match is made: this just has to be the wave of the future, doesn’t it? I went to a Search Associates job fair a few years ago and it was one of the most depressing experiences of my life, though I was offered several jobs and accepted one that I don’t regret having taken. Still, I devote my vital energy to the education of savagely capricious adolescents in the hope that tomorrow might be slightly less dumb for chump change. Do I also need to dump a large chunk of that pittance into a cattle call audition? Leave us our dignity, if nothing else!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.