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It is that time of year when recruiting teachers need to get their things in order and register with various recruitment agencies. There are a number of them out there now: Search Associates, ISS-Schrole Advantage, Teacher Horizons, etc.
However, it isn’t as ‘quick and easy’ as one might think to get fully signed up with one of these organizations. There are a number of things that you need to prepare, find, upload, and create. It is a time-consuming process, so it is best to start early. Even if you have been keeping track of things and collecting the necessary documents, each time you move countries, you need to keep yourself well-organized so that you can find things easily.
A personal statement
International school administrators want to see and read a short write-up about yourself and your teaching philosophy. This statement shouldn’t be too long, but long enough. It should be personable and reflect your true self and ambitions. It could include a highlight of your past experiences in teaching and your passions so far in your career.
It has been quite common for a while now that international schools want to see confidential references of the candidates that they are considering to interview. Getting these confidential references doesn’t always happen in a quick way, so it is best to ask your references well in advance so that they will have enough time to fill it out for you. You definitely need to include a reference from your current supervisor. Talking to them in person about this request beforehand is advised before you send them the reference request.
You typically need to enter your latest contact information as this can change quite often for international school teachers. You also need to include a copy of your current passport. Don’t forget to make those changes on your updated CV as well.
The positions that you are seeking/qualified for
Schools need to know what you are qualified to do so that you will become searchable for them via the recruitment website’s database. Also, for you to receive the sometimes daily email updates on the latest job vacancy information, of course, you want to receive the information related to the job position/s you actually want to apply for.
Your address and police reports for at least the past 10 years
This one is tricky if you are not prepared. Every time that you leave a country, you need to make sure you get a police report stating that you have not been charged for any crimes there. In some places, you can get this report for free. In other places, you need to pay a fee. The part where it could get even more expensive is if you need to get the police report translated into English. Once you get the report, scan them in and save them somewhere as you’ll need them when you move on to your next country. It is not just a requirement to have your past police reports uploaded on a recruitment agency’s website, it is also typically a requirement when applying for a visa in a new country.
Details of your past and current teaching experiences
You need to write down the school names and the years you worked there for all the schools that you’ve worked at in your teaching career. Hopefully, you don’t have too many gaps in your career as that will often need some explanation. Also, you will need to include your supervisor there at the time. The challenging part is which email and phone number will you put… as your former administrator, there has probably moved on and is working at a new international school. Make sure you get up-to-date email addresses for these past bosses.
Education and credential details
You are required to enter the universities that you’ve attended. You will need to write in what your area of focus was for all of your degrees. You also need to upload a copy of your scanned diplomas and teaching certificate. A lot of us need to keep our teaching certificate valid and up-to-date, so don’t get lazy and forget to renew your teaching license before it expires.
Activities and sports you can sponsor
Many international schools will be looking for candidates who can run after-school activities and/or sports teams, so make sure to include all of your experiences doing that. If this is your thing, then it could make you stand out more and help you get the job. It will be a nice addition to your paycheck there! On the other hand, other international schools will not necessarily pay you to do these things as it will be a requirement in a lot of teaching contracts that you offer at least one after-school activity in a school year…for free!
Languages you know
Make sure to state your proficiency in all of the languages that you know. It is an asset in many international schools if you can speak the local language; especially at schools where the parent population has a low or even non-existent knowledge of English. For example, you might need to hold parent conferences in the local language.
Fairs you would like to attend
Many international school teachers still attend recruitment fairs. It is a good way to meet the school administrators face-to-face. However, many recruitment agencies often state that their candidates get hired before the recruitment fairs even happen, so it is not always necessary to attend a fair. Other international schools like to know which fairs you will be attending so that they can set up some interviews there in advance.
Money to the recruitment company
For you to be an available and accessible candidate in a recruitment agency’s database, teachers often will have to pay some sort of fee. It can be for free as well with some companies, but typically the fee could range from USD 50-250. If you don’t get hired that year, some agencies will not require you to pay again. If you do get hired through the recruitment agency, then you will need to pay the fee again if you want to recruit with them a second time. In some countries, it is illegal to charge a person to get access to jobs and interviews.
Your up-to-date resume and transcripts
Get all of your past university transcripts scanned in as well and make sure to upload them to the recruitment agency’s website. To fully complete your profile, you will also need to upload the most recent copy of your CV. The maximum number of pages for a CV is typically no more than two pages.
Confirmation that you haven’t committed any criminal offenses
Finally, all international schools need to know that you are a safe candidate to hire and this is in relation to child protection laws. Many countries are getting very strict with this process so as to keep their students safe at school.
These are really just some of the things you will need to prepare and do when applying to be on an international school recruitment agency’s website. It can take only a few days if you are really prepared and if your references fill out the confidential reference in a very timely manner! However, if you are not the most prepared, this process can take many weeks. In turn, be sure to start early. As you hop from international school to international school, find a spot online where you can store all of these important documents.
Good luck to everyone recruiting this year!