a Diary from the Recruiting Fair Front


In this one-of-a-kind recruiting fair diary by an ISR reader and seasoned International Educator, “Shadowjack” gets up-front and personal relating his experiences at the 2013 Search (Bangkok) Recruiting Fair.

    From personal impressions and well-honed strategies, to insightful reflections and lessons learned, this author captures the emotional turbulence he and other candidates experience as they navigate towards an International teaching position. If you’re searching for information on how to prepare for an upcoming recruiting fair, this is as close as you’re going to get without sweating it out, literally, at the recruiting fair itself.

    So here we go! The plane has touched down at Dong Muang Airport in Bangkok and we’ll hit the ground running! After all, we have an 11-hour flight behind us and thousands of dollars already invested in our efforts to land a teaching position! Let the adventure begin!  Read more…

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8 thoughts on “a Diary from the Recruiting Fair Front

  1. Yantantether, happy in my new country/school and so glad I didn’t take the offer I had from my interview pre-fair. I am in a very interesting place with a great vibe and a very supportive admin. So far, so good! What about you? As for the others, thank you – I had never been to a fair before despite working overseas a long time, so thought I would put out something that I would have wanted to see. Anon – BKK is good for families with kids – many of my friends have gone and been successful. Others have gone and not been successful. If you want to go to BKK instead of your local fair, tell your associate that you want to go to BKK and for him to get you the invite. Right now the fair is nowhere near full for candidates.


  2. I really appreciated the time it took Shadowjack to write this well-detailed blog article about his Bangkok Job fair experience. Having only been to one small Canadian job fair, but been overseas for 15 years, I’ve always been curious about the big job fairs. It felt like I was right there with them and got great advice out of it, if I ever decide to go that route. Thanks for posting this.


  3. We have always found Harry D impartial and warmly helpful. He has never guided us to the fairs he organises, but towards those that are regionally relevant.


  4. We have been actively discouraged from attending the Bangkok Recruiting fair by our Search Associate because we are a family with a dependent. This associate says we will have a better chance of getting a job at another fair (it just so happens that the recommended fair is the one that this associate organizes), because the Bangkok fair is better for singles and couples with no kids.

    My concern is one that has to do with incentives for the Search associates. It is my understanding that a Search Associate gets paid more for a placement at a fair that they organize.
    I’d like to conduct a little experiment to see if this is true. So is there anyone out there with a family, whose Search Associate (Harry D or Michael W) organizes the Bangkok fair who has requested to go to another fair (say London, Melbourne, Joburg etc.) and has had this associate say that it would not be in their best interest because their chances would be better at the Bangkok fair?


    1. After multiple recruiting fairs thoughout our career, we were still favorably impressed with our last Search rep, Ray Sparks, who went along with our request to attend Cambridge even though it wasn’t ‘his’ fair. In the end we took positions with a school that was both at Cambridge and at his recommended fair, so he wasn’t off base.
      Have been to Bangkok in the past with dependents and did not have trouble getting interviews or offers, so that reasoning sounds odd. If Bangkok is closer or more economically advantageous, I’d insist upon it. Still, I believe your rep gets a fee if you accept a position from any Search fair, so it should be in his/her interest to steer you toward the best one for you. Should be.
      Good luck!


  5. We stayed in a much cheaper hotel up the road and loved it. Why? We had nowhere to hide, nowhere to just pop out of sight for a few minutes. We had a direction the minute we left our hotel we wouldn’t be coming back and it was full on work. That helped us mentally (and financially).

    The fair is a horrible mindwreck of an experience (and this is coming from our last experience where we had all our interviews arranged beforehand, we did not have anything to worry about). There are people that just annoy you because they’re moping around, there are people that annoy you because they’re shouting from the rooftops how many interviews they have and jobs offers they have received. We keep quiet and have quiet conversations when it feels natural and not forced.

    We’ve decided not to sign up for the fair this year, even though we’re on our last year of our contract at our school. We feel that if you’re valued enough you can get a job outside of the fair and even before the fair through Skype. We hope we have been to our last one. Hope…


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