How to plan for your international school job hunt
This handy month-by-month guide will help you find and prepare for the ideal international school job for you.
Are you looking for a new international teaching job for next September? That may sound like a long way off, but the recruitment season for many international schools is virtually upon us. Now is the time to start the process. Here’s a time-line of how you can be best prepared for making the most of as many good international school job opportunities as you can:
Review your CV or resumé. Don’t forget, 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. 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 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.
November and early December
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 teaching 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.
November and December
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 they meet COBIS or BSO standards. Check out the websites of any international schools you are interested in and do some research on the schools if you can.
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.
January and 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.
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.
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.
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.
July and August
Can you respond at a moment’s notice? Some schools have last minute opportunities due to any number of reasons, 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.
Use this plan as your guide and you know you’ll be well prepared, at the right time, for the best teaching job overseas. Check out our latest Vacancies to see what international school jobs are available today, and if you haven't already, register with TIC for free advice and placement.