So many teachers that attend international school recruitment fairs say that they are stressful and a pain. Others say that they are like meat markets. With many directors walking around and potentially sleeping in the next room to you, it is indeed hard to get a good night’s sleep while staying at the hosting hotel of the recruitment fair. Nervous and sleep-deprived candidates…not fun.
On the other hand, there is a group of international school teachers that enjoy attending the fairs. Yes, that’s right. They look forward to and actually have a great time there.
So, what are the top 10 reasons why attending an international school recruitment fair is super fun? Maybe you can relate to some of these!
#1 – Getting to network with other international school teachers.
Sometimes it is all who you know at the fairs. It is fun chatting with and getting to know some of the other candidates at the fair. Networking with as many teachers as you can surely help you to get your foot in the door. Maybe you will meet somebody who has the right connection and can introduce you to some of your top schools.
#2 – Getting inspired by others to move to countries you never even thought you would go to.
A few years back, at the UNI fair, there was a panel of veteran international school teachers telling their stories of working abroad and answering questions from the audience. Almost all of them had worked in a country that they hadn’t really seriously considered during their job search. All of them said that they were so happy to have taken that chance because they all had such wonderful experiences. You might say that being in the international school community is all about taking chances and risks about living in foreign lands. It is exciting to hear from other international school teachers about their experiences in countries you don’t know about and haven’t visited.
#3 – It is like Christmas morning when you go and check your “mailbox” folder in the candidates’ room.
The candidates’ room. So many nerves and so many folders! It is easy to get butterflies in your stomach as you enter the room. As you get closer and closer to the tables with the ‘mailbox’ folders, you get more and more excited and nervous. You find the row of folders that start with the first letter of your last name. Opening your folder and seeing one note from a school is cool enough, but seeing notes from three, four or even more schools in your folder, now that is a good feeling. Checking your folder becomes an addiction during the fair, as you find yourself checking it multiple times throughout the day.
#4 – Pretending you are interested in a school by going to their informational session.
Even if you know a school does not have a position for you to interview for, it is fun to just go to their informational session anyway. Sure, the other people in the session might be actually interviewing with the school later on at the fair, but do not let that get you down. There might be a position for you down the road at this school, so keep a positive attitude and sit back and enjoy learning about a school that you might work at in the future! It is fun to fantasize and pretend about these potential future schools for you.
#5 – Getting surprised, in a good way, that a school you are interested in actually has a position for you!
Thinking you know all the available positions at the schools attending the fair is a first-timers mistake. Anything can happen at the fair and things change fast. It is guaranteed that there will be last-minute vacancies that come up for many schools. So, make sure you check the master list of vacancies (if that is what your recruitment fair has) or take a close look at the posters behind each school at the round-robin sessions because there might just be a vacancy for you that pops up last minute.
#6 – Having intense dreams each night while you sleep, dreaming about what could be.
Yes, it is hard to get a good night’s sleep during the recruitment fair. But, the dreams you have are intense and exciting. Having a dream about your top choice can be just what you need to help you make the best decision. You might even have a great dream about another school you are interested in, moving it closer to the top of your list. It is true though that you cannot choose the schools or countries you dream about when you go to sleep at the fair. So, if you do have a dream about a school/country, it might be your subconscious telling you which school to seriously consider signing a contract with.
#7 – Making some pros and cons lists about the schools you are interested in.
You need to know you are making the right choice at the fair; if you are lucky enough to get multiple offers in which you are interested. When you make a pros and cons list of each of the schools you are considering, you get to think about your future life there. Fantasizing about you living with the school’s salary and benefits is what all international school teachers like to think and talk about. Additionally, you will be writing down the pros and cons of life working at that school itself, your actual job. The pros in that list could truly be the changes you have been looking for in your next school.
#8 – Getting to wear your dressy interview clothes.
Most teachers only get to wear their interview clothes once every 3-6 years. During the years while working at your current international school, there is typically not an appropriate time to wear them. Well, it is true that at some British international schools, you need to wear a suit and tie during parent conferences, etc. Maybe you are lucky enough to live in a country where you can easily and cheaply get some new interview clothes made for you at the local fabric market. How nice to show up at the recruitment fair with a custom-designed suit made specifically just for you. Nice interview clothes that you feel good in are important. You will be at your best (at the fair) when you are wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and help you be yourself.
#9 – Enjoying the host city of the recruitment fair (who doesn’t want to go for a long weekend to Boston, London, Bangkok, etc.?)
It is true, you do not have that much free time to enjoy the host city of the recruitment fair. Most of your time is spent in your hotel room researching cities, countries, and schools. It is good though to take some time to get away from the fair. Get out of the recruitment fair hotel and explore the city a bit! Each recruitment fair is hosted in a cool city that most people would actually plan vacations at, so get out and have a nice dinner or take a walk around some cool neighborhoods. Maybe you have some family or friends that live there that you can hang out with as well. It is nice to have a good friend or family member there so that you have somebody to talk to about all the happenings at the fair that day.
#10 – Signing a contract on the first day of the fair and just enjoying the rest of your time at the fair.
Yes, these candidates exist. They interviewed with a number of schools before the recruitment fair even started. Once at the fair, they have that final interview and sign the contract shortly after, sometimes on the first day of the fair. Signing a contract with a school that you are seriously interested on the first day of the recruitment fair is a dream come true for most candidates. It definitely gets a load off your chest. You can just sit back and enjoy the rest of the fair and your time at the hotel and in the host city. It is still good to hang out around the fair though so that you can continue networking. You might just meet some people that have worked at the school you just signed a contract with, and they can give you all the insider information about your new school (hopefully mostly good things!).
This top 10 list was submitted to us by a guest author and International School Community member. All guest authors to the ISC blog get one free year of premium membership to our website. Email us if you have a top 10 list idea and would like it to be highlighted on our blog!continue reading
If you are job-searching this school year, then going to a recruitment fair is definitely on your mind. To keep your mind set on the right path both before and during the fairs, here are 8 helpful reminders on how to find success at an international school recruitment fair:
1. Keep an open mind – when attending the Fair you will be meeting many different schools at once. Whilst it’s always helpful to have an idea of what you are seeking, it also doesn’t hurt to remain open-minded to options you hadn’t previously considered.
2. Go to the PD Workshops – the feedback we have received from past attendees has been that the PD workshops are well worth attending. It’s a great opportunity to understand better the curriculum, culture and expectations of your potential new school and to connect with other teachers.
3. Get involved – it’s also your chance to shine! You can make sure you get noticed and stand out from the crowd by actively participating in the workshops. It helps to demonstrate your teaching skills.
4. Prepare some key questions – before the interview stage you will get your chance to meet and greet with various schools and make an initial introduction. You don’t necessarily always have the luxury of time at the Fairs so make sure you have done your research and go ready to maximize your allotted slot.
5. Network – there should be time to mingle and get to know the other teachers, sponsors and schools. The day needs to be broken up a bit from just interview after interview and it helps to make connections in a slightly more relaxed setting sometimes.
6. Shop Around – it makes sense to talk to as many schools as possible to get a good idea of what’s available.
7. Be Yourself – Give the schools a chance to see who you really are. Honesty is after all, the best policy. You are far more likely to end up in the right school environment and in a positive new role where you can flourish if transparency is respected and championed from the start.
8. Relax – and smile! The Fairs are quite intensive in terms of the amount of interviewing that can take place over those 3 days. A smile can go a long way in contributing to a pleasant Fair environment for everyone.
To learn more about what to expect from the Fairs environment, check out these past attendee experiences.
This article was submitted to us by Explore CRS.
The team at Explore CRS facilitates a number of different programs to help applicants find teaching opportunities in wider Asia. In addition to posting current vacancies and providing consultation services, they also organize recruitment fairs that match candidates with recruiters actively looking for talent for their schools. Applicants will be interviewed on-site, and at last year’s fair over two-thirds of all attending candidates were offered positions. An added benefit of attending the Fairs is an opportunity to take part in our Professional Development workshops, after which all attendees can receive certification.
They have two upcoming recruitment fairs in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai that you may want to check out if you have considered teaching abroad. The dates are as follows:
January 13th – 15th, 2017
January 19th – 21st, 2017
The recruitment fair season has started!
International School Community is the place to gather information and ease your mind.
Over the past five years, we have amassed a vast array of informative materials for everything to do with recruitment fairs.
The following is a list of all of our materials and statistics to help you stay well-informed:
Hate recruitment fairs, some say they are fun!
Top 10 reasons why attending an international school recruitment fair is super fun!
Think Search and ISS are your only options?
A New Kind of Recruitment Fair for International Schools in Asia
Think living overseas is easy?
Ten Commandments of Relocating Overseas
Get a glimpse of what your new journey to work will be like.
The Journey to School
Want to stay one step ahead against the other candidates?
9 Lessons Learned Regarding International School Hiring Fairs
Why not get firsthand information from veteran international school teacher blogs?
• Three Job Fairs, Three Jobs: An International Teacher Hiring Saga
• Which international school job fairs do you recommend and the job fair circus!
• Are you ready? The international school recruitment fair season is a few weeks away! (A Search Associates fair experience)
A director who thinks recruitment fairs are a thing of the past.
“From the Principal’s Office” (A principal working in Sudan)
Now if you didn’t get a job after attending an international school recruitment fair, take a look at the results of our recent survey of our members.
Almost 40% of people survey said that they got their last job via Skype interviewing; that is basically double the number of people who got hired at a recruitment fair.
Skype is truly the future of getting a job at international schools!
Good luck recruiting this year, everyone. May you get the job of your dreams! And may the schools find the best fit for the positions they have!continue reading