Find an international teaching job: What you should be doing and when
Are you looking for an international teaching job for next September? It’s certainly not too late for that; there’s still plenty of time, if you plan properly. Here’s a time-line from now of how you can best prepare to find some good international school vacancies this year:
What to do now
If you haven’t already, the immediate things to do during January are:
Review your CV or resumé. Your CV is often the first impression a recruiter will have of you so make sure it stands out. It needs to be well written, clear and concise; ideally about two pages long. Ensure you describe in detail your teaching levels, subjects, curricula and qualifications. Don’t use acronyms as they may not be understood. It’s a good idea to reference some personal and extra-curricular skills that reflect your ability to cope with a job overseas. You’ll need to be flexible, and your personality and attitude are important too. Many international schools look for teachers who are adaptable, will join in with the wider school community, and take on extra-curricular activities. You can find out more about what schools are looking for here
Research potential destinations. Look at a world map and think about countries where you know you don’t want to work. Then start a list of some regions that you’d be willing to teach in. Think about your personal lifestyle and any important needs you may have, such as family, weather, good access to returning home for visits, etc.
Find a recruitment agency that will support you. Once your CV is updated, and regions researched, it is time to register with a reputable agency specialising in international recruitment and teaching jobs overseas. This should not cost you anything. Reputable agencies do not charge candidates. Your recruitment manager should get to know you as an individual and match your preferences accordingly. Look out for jobs yourself too, making sure the schools meet COBIS, BSO or accreditation standards. Check out the websites of any international schools you are interested in and do some research on the schools if you can. Alternatively, ask for advice on reputable schools from your recruitment manager.
Be Skype ready. Many international schools have replaced the traditional face-to-face interview process with a Skype interview, certainly for the first round of interviews so get yourself prepared for a Skype interview. Don’t forget your interview won’t just focus on your teaching experience. Interviewers will also be looking for your personality, attitude and the characteristics that will help you to fit in to an international location. Plan a list of questions to ask at interview and think of the questions you might be asked.
What to do in February
Be proactive - Keep on top of the communication. If you’ve not heard from your recruitment manager for a while, get back in touch and ask them why you’re not being considered for jobs. Get some advice from them on what you could be doing to improve your chances. If you’re not getting the support you need, look for another agency.
What to do in March
Don’t panic. There are lots of schools still recruiting and filling spaces. Make sure you are being proactive; don’t just rely on your recruitment agency, continue to scan international school job adverts in places like The Guardian and the TES.
Most importantly, make sure you attend the TIC Virtual Recruitment Fair this month. There will be so much to learn, many vacancies, and great schools to talk to – and it’s totally free if you’re a teacher or leader looking for a job. Read more about it and register here
What to do in April and May
Don’t give up. If you’ve had no luck this year, book a consultation with your recruitment manager to understand what skills and qualities you need to develop for future consideration. And there will still be opportunities. These days, international school recruitment occurs all year round.
What to do in June
Get ready to go. If you’ve been offered a job, make sure you start planning for your move – there’s lots to do and it’s very important to be prepared.
What to do in July and August
Can you respond at a moment’s notice? Some schools have last minute opportunities, often because a teacher’s circumstances have suddenly changed. So, if you have the flexibility to move last minute, or to take a short-term post, then make sure your recruitment manager knows so that you are top of their list.