Everything You Want to Know About Recruiting….. but didn’t know who to ask

Recruiting season is nearly upon us! We know you’re eager to get the jump on the knowledge that will bring you success in finding the best possible opportunity for your recruiting energies.

You surely have QUESTIONS: Which recruiting fairs have the most job listings to offer? Are there countries that have age restrictions that might limit your search? How early do the fairs begin in your part of the world? How late do they run? Is there a more family-friendly part of the world? Where should you NOT go if you’re a single teacher? What should, and should not, be included on your resume–coaching skills,  IB experience, your non-teaching spouse coming with you? Is it wise to contact a school prior to a recruiting fair? Is it just a dream that you may be hired early without attending a fair, and how secure, exactly, ARE those promised jobs?

ISR is the place to ask your recruiting questions. Many of your colleagues who frequent ISR are Recruiting Fair experts! So, whether you’re a newbie international teacher or a seasoned veteran with twenty years of international teaching under your belt, be sure to check into the Everything You Want to Know About Recruiting Blog and share in the wealth of  Recruiting information!

36 Responses to Everything You Want to Know About Recruiting….. but didn’t know who to ask

  1. Danica says:

    Hello,

    I am currently getting a teaching credential (elementary) in California and will graduate in May. Is it too late for me to try and find a job teaching in an international school for the 2016-2017 school year?

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    This may be a strange question, but here goes! How formal is the introduction letter these days? Should it be typed out on a separate document and attached like to the e-mail or is it acceptable to do a professional letter within the text of the e-mail with an attached resume? I would think it would be more time efficient for the recruiter to review the e-mail rather than reviewing two attached documents? You only get one time to make a favorable impression, and I thought I should ask before leaping! Thanks to all of you that are supportive to others in this forum! That speaks highly of your professionalism. 🙂

    Like

    • McSpirk says:

      When I was interviewing, I always had a cover letter that summarized my experience, resume, and educational philosophy. I also tailored each letter to the school to which I was applying. Looking for a job is hard work! Good luck.

      Like

    • Edvectus says:

      We see lots of CVs (resumes) and cover letters. Generally speaking a school or agency will read the resume/CV first and then, if they like what they see, will read the cover letter… not the other way around. One mistake people make is to put everything into the cover letter and this is a mistake. The cover letter won’t get read if the CV does not provide a compelling case.

      I find only about 1/4 or fewer of schools want to see a cover letter (or will read it if sent) but those who do, really want it.

      Like

  3. vagabondwithfamily says:

    Hi. I have posted a four-part detailed description of my experience last year at a fair, my third in eight years. There are some general ideas, too, about the fair system, not just last year’s. Here is the link to part one, and the others can be found linked on the page.

    http://vagabondwithfamily.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/international-schools-recruiting-fair-a-bit-of-insight/

    Like

  4. Cynical B*sterd says:

    If you cant get to a fair and are getting no response by going directly to a school then try a recruitment agency. Capita in the UK are working with British and International schools and have a policy of only working with schools that have a good reputation. Other agencies are around too.

    The benefits of working with a reputable agency are that they will work towards your needs as well as making sure the school fit and cultural fit are correct.

    They also have direct access to the Head teacher and so are able to communicate directly about candidates that they send through to a school, so your CV does not get lost in a pile sititng onh a desk.

    Perhaps a dowen side is that schools often tend to use them later on in the day rather than early in the recruitment season. This does not mean that you cant get work in a good school but it may happen later.

    Like

  5. Bklyn teacher says:

    should I get in touch with schools i know will be at the fairs ahead of time? I am going to the AASSA in December and the Search Fair in February and am hoping for a position in Brazil. Thanks for reading and for any and all advice.

    Like

    • McSpirk says:

      ABSOLUTELY! Contact everyone with an open position, tell them you’ll be at the fair and you hope to meet with them there. Be very proactive and sell yourself.

      Like

  6. airlys says:

    My wife and I will be recruiting for the first time as a married couple – we were single when we got the job at our school in Korea and married while here. How do married couples handle a job fair differently than singles? Do we both have to wait in the the sign up line together? Do we both interview together? If interviewed together, does the recruiter ask questions to both of you, or just one at a time? Any help for how to prepare would be great. Thanks in advance.

    Oh, and if it helps, we have been 5 and 7 years at our tier 1 school teaching lower elementary and middle school science/upper elementary respectively. Both of us have an MA in Ed Tech, and one is pursuing an EdD in leadership. We want to move somewhere besides Asia for a new experience. Any school/country suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I am married and have found that most school interview us together but we did have 1 school that requested to interview us separately.

      I think it will depend on if you are in same section of the school, what your subjects are etc. I think in your case you may be asked to interview separately seeing you are in different sections. Also, I know couples who always request to be interviewed separately.

      Like

  7. nahcuur says:

    I would agree that checking out less desirable locations would be a good way to get your foot in the door at IB schools. I’ve known of people who have gotten their first IB experience by teaching at schools in Mongolia, Qatar, and Iraq. Flexibility about location will make it much easier to reach your goal!

    Like

  8. Elizamina says:

    We’re a married teaching couple (math and English) with a few years of experience, looking to get our foot in the door of IB schools. Can anyone recommend schools/countries where we would have a better chance of getting hired *without* IB experience?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I would suggest looking for schools who are new to the IB Programme or who are in less-desirable locations. They are more flexible in their hiring of non-IB teachers for IB positions. You can also look for schools that have a non-IB Programme in addition to offering the IB Programme. Then you can enter teaching the school’s curriculum and perhaps move into the IB Programme in a year or two. The school I am at offers the school’s American high school diploma, AP and IB. My husband started teaching the school’s science courses (basic Bio, Physical Science, etc) and when the IB Bio position came open, he applied for it and got it.

      It sometimes helps if you’ve had the training at least. You can do IB trainings online for a fraction of the cost of in-person trainings. If you can show that you don’t need additional training, some schools might look more favorably on you.

      As others have said, a lot of it has to do with being in the right place at the right time

      Like

    • McSpirk says:

      Do you have IB training? It would be worth the investment to take an online IB training course to show your sincerity and interest. I took two online IB training courses when I started looking to switch schools. I was even able to get my then current school to pay for the courses out of PD funds.

      Like

    • Edvectus says:

      My advice:
      – target existing schools rather than new schools because newer schools typically need the training embedded as they don’t have the training infrastructure.
      – target schools in less popular locations, as mentioned. very good advice
      – don’t target the top paying, most prestigious schools to start with. go one step down. you will have to take a bit less pay but you will get your training and 2 years later you will be able to step up.
      – Middle East and Far East/SEAsia are probably your best bets.

      Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am part of a non-married teaching couple in Mexico. At the fair our options were only slightly limited by this fact (we had a principal from South Korea tell us that if we got married he’d hire us). We ended up at our first choice, an amazing school where most of the families of our students possess strict morals. We have not shared with the students that we are together, let alone living together, but the school has been supportive we haven’t had any problems.

    Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am recruiting as a non-married teaching couple. Does anyone have experience with this? Any experience with schools not taking a married teaching couple?

    Like

    • beckst says:

      I think this really depends on how non-married couples are seen in the host country. For example, I live in Egypt and most non-married couples say they are married. I don’t speak for all schools, but I do know that it can be cheaper for the school to hire a couple- the school can save on the cost of housing and insurance, and even the cost of hiring at a recruiting fair. It all depends on where you want to go! The Middle East or any country that has a very strong religious background will probably prove to be a problem.

      Like

    • Edvectus says:

      You should not target the middle east as it’s illegal in most countries to live together. Yes some schools let you but you will put yourself at risk.

      My advice is FE/SEA.

      Like

  11. Anonymous says:

    How can you avoid schools with racist and abusive/bullying admin., staff, practices?

    Like

  12. Eve says:

    What about resumes? I’ve been on several committees. I currently have them listed on my resume. Should I remove them?

    Like

  13. MissingOverseas says:

    Ok – so here is my question asI jump back overseas:
    I cannot afford to go to a fair so I need to target schools directly. How do I make myself (and teaching husband) stand out??? I want to get out of the pile/inbox.

    Like

    • Lincolnship says:

      I wish I knew the answer to this. My husband and I sent out over 30 letters last season (mostly strong IB schools). Our CVs are decent; years of international teaching, IB, AP, IGCSEs, positive reference letters and non-saturated teaching/admin fields. My director (a great guy who actually scans all CVs sent to him) told me bluntly that directors just don’t have time to read over all the cold CVs they get and just wait until the fairs (this is not the case for schools that struggle to fill positions, tough). He said it is a matter of luck and timing. Place your teaching areas on the subject line and note you are a teaching couple. Helps to throw in ‘IB’ ‘A Levels’ ‘AP’ (whatever the school uses) too if you have that experience. Good luck (we need some of that too but are biting the financial bullet and hitting a fair.)

      Like

      • Jane says:

        It is based on being in the right place at the right time. I have been overseas since 1984 and initially thought that other thing mattered. Yes your qualifications/experience do count, but if you are there at the right time – that is the answer.

        Like

        • Been there says:

          I have been recruited via a phone call as well as via a SKYPE interview and attended a Job Fair. My experiences with those resulted in two positions, from the phone/SKYPE interviews. My observation at the Job Fair was that it was definitely a ‘junket’ for the Principal. One Principal I heard boast that he had been on the ‘recruiting trip’ for three months….. all at the school’s expense!!! Most new teachers at the schools where I have taught (China and Japan) have been recruited well before the Fairs via SKYPE interviews.

          Like

    • China Teacher says:

      Many directors looking to hire outside of the recruiting fairs ask for recommendations and referrals from their teaching staffs. So if you have been teaching internationally you probably have a network of colleagues scattered around the globe. Get in touch with each one and ask them to forward your resume to their superintendent and HR director. Even if they don’t have a current opening that fits you, these referrals tend to go to the top of the stack for future openings.

      Like

    • Edvectus says:

      Dear Missing Overseas, I am with an agency (Edvectus) and so perhaps biased but this is exactly what we do… help people find the right schools.

      Like

  14. Jerry says:

    Depends on how you feel, doesn’t it? Sure, the Middle East has the whole “woman as inferior” thing but ex-pats rarely are effected. In all the countries we’ve worked in there have been single females. Where do you WANT to work?

    Like

    • MissingOverseas says:

      I agree it is your perspective. I did a year in Egypt but didn’t love the experience of being a female there – others I worked with didn’t notice/care.

      Like

  15. RUCTeacher says:

    I’m going to pursue my first overseas teaching position for next fall. I’m a single female. Where should I not look for a position?

    Like

    • exteacher in egypt says:

      We (I and my wife) spent two years in Cairo (2004-2006). Back then situation already for single women was not great. Single female teachers were frequently harassed (verbally, and sometimes physically), even in westernised sections of the city – Maadi and Heliopolis. We always walked together.
      According to our friends, who are still there, situation since then significantly worsened.
      And Cairo, back then, was a relatively tolerant place.
      I cannot imagine what is happening now. Our other friends were forced to leave Cairo about two years ago.

      Like

      • beckst says:

        I currently live and teach in Cairo as a single woman and would and have encouraged single women to come here. Yes, the sexual harassment can be strong- there is rarely a day that some man isn’t saying something to me out his car window- but in 3 years I have had only 2 people try to touch me- one who I pushed into oncoming traffic🙂 I go out alone all the time and feel comfortable and very safe most of the time! Once you get past the harassment the Egyptian people are loving, generous and very kind and helpful. I am sorry the above couple had such a horrible time! I just wanted to offer a different perspective on Cairo. I personally would say don’t go to Saudi Arabia!

        Like

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, I worked in Saudi Arabia as a single woman, and I can say that it was a wonderful experience! Yes, there were a few restrictions on women (like no driving), but in general, I found Saudis to be very welcoming and respectful. I never once feared for my safety, and in general, men did NOT harass…it is considered shameful for a man to speak inappropriately to a female who is a stranger. I felt safer living in Saudi than I did when I lived in Asia or South America! I think that KSA’s bad reputation is undeserved.

          Like

    • Edvectus says:

      I think more important to consider is what you like doing in your spare time and what kind of lifestyle.

      In general, we advise single (hetero) women to stay away from Thailand… because you probably won’t find much of an expatriate dating scene.. the men tend to have their attentions turned elsewhere. This is what the principals /teachers have told me anyway!

      Like

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