2017 is coming to a close, which means it’s that time of year to start considering your next possible career moves. Are you ready to explore the opportunities? If so what do you do next? One of the best ways to get an idea of what’s out there is by attending an international educator’s recruitment fair.
Explore CRS are running our annual Fairs again in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi early next year. These are conducted over the course of 3 days each where we invite hundreds of candidates to meet with elite schools from across wider Asia and The Middle East. These events provide both schools and educators a chance to connect with each other and seek new opportunities on both sides to build faculty staff and careers. We also invite attending schools to run professional development workshops. These will be on a variety of topics and provide a unique opportunity for the schools to showcase their establishment and core mission/values to interested candidates.
We like to ensure that our events maintain a collegial and social atmosphere without too stressful or competitive an environment. It’s our aim to make the Fairs a pleasant and friendly experience for everyone involved without the highly pressured tone that can sometimes be felt at other recruitment events. With this in mind, we will usually select around 25 schools to attend per Fair, so we can still offer a variety of options to candidates.
We also hold a candidate and recruiter mixer after the first day of the Fair. This is a relaxed and informal drinks and canapés evening, courtesy of Explore CRS so attendees can relax and network after a busy and exciting day.
So how does an educator stand out amongst the crowd at the Fair when they’re trying to find the next job of their dreams?
6 ways to impress at an international education recruitment fair
• Research the schools who are attending – check out who’s coming in advance and do your homework. As well as qualifications and experience, schools are looking for candidates that want to embrace their school culture and values. If you have read up beforehand and feel you would be a great fit – let that show.
• Don’t be afraid to approach the schools and sell yourself – it may seem intimidating, but this is a jobs fair. If you want to get noticed – you need to push yourself and put your best foot forward. There’s an allotted time within which to make a great impression and ensure you get yourself an interview.
• Have plenty of copies of your CV ready to hand – you will need to hand a lot of these out so make sure they are organized and easily accessible whilst moving from stand to stand.
• Make time to speak to fellow candidates as well as the recruiting schools – there will be hundreds of other educators there all in the same boat as you. They may be able to share useful information with you. Which school is worth talking to? Which ones didn’t seem to be as worthwhile?
• Get your pitch prepared – the open session when you are trying to talk to potential schools is busy and there are a lot of other people also trying to get an interview lined up. Make sure you don’t waste any time when its your turn in front of the recruiters. Its your moment to win them over!
• Dress the part – it may seem obvious, but this is your chance to make a great first impression. Make sure you are professionally turned out to present yourself in the best possible light.
At Explore CRS we recruit international teachers and provide consultancy services to the international school sector, with a particular focus on the wider Asia region. Based in Shanghai, we know what operating in this sector means for daily life and work.
Our primary concern is ensuring we provide an honest and efficient service to bring the right people together. It is important to us to understand a schools’ vision and a teaching candidates’ career goals. It’s our job to bring these two elements together and find the right fit.
If you are interested in progressing your international teaching career, then we would be delighted to help you take the next steps towards your new role. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.explorecrs.com for more information.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
Recruitment season for international schools and for international schools teachers has definitely changed over recent years.
Getting a teaching position at an international school almost exclusively happened at the various recruitment fairs across the globe (London, Bangkok, Boston, San Francisco, Iowa, etc.). At least 10 years ago that was surely the case.
Now recruitment fairs still play an important role during the international school recruitment process, but increasingly teachers are getting hired via telephone and/or Skype. In fact, if you were hired at an international school in the past 2-8 years, a high percentage of you were probably hired via Skype which resulted in you and your new school not having a face-to-face meeting in person.
Recruitment fairs, like Search Associates, still provide great fairs to attend, but more importantly they provide a large database of teaching vacancies. If you are a registered candidate with Search Associates, you have unlimited access to those vacancies. Even though you may be signed up to attend one of their fairs come January/February, they often encourage you to contact schools directly and try to arrange an (online) interview or at least a pre-interview before the fair. If you are lucky, you will get offered a position via this Skype interview which will in turn cancel your trip to the recruitment fair (saving you time and money).
Having access to a constantly updated list of job vacancies is definitely a valuable tool in your search for a teaching position. You can also look at the school’s own website (via their employment page), but it is possible those lists aren’t as updated as much or at worse don’t even exist. One bit of advice for international schools is to create a useful, updated, and informative employment page on their website.
To repeat, we (the teachers) strongly request that international schools make sure their list of vacancies are constantly updated with the latest information (on their website, on a recruitment fair website, etc). There is nothing worse than preparing a unique cover letter, carefully adjusting your CV content, and a writing personal email message all for not. We understand that vacancies can take a long time to fill as some school’s interview processes can take a long time. But if the school indeed has secured somebody for a position, it is their responsibility to update their list of vacancies accordingly.
There are many reasons why Skype is becoming more and more used during the international school recruitment process. One reason is that it is cheaper for both parties involved. No paying for the recruitment fair fees, no paying for hotel reservations, and no paying for all flights involved. Another reason that Skype is being more used is that it saves time, a lot of time in some cases. When interviewing candidates from all over the world, it is a hassle to take off a long weekend or miss a whole week of work just to attend a fair. A third reason Skype is being used more is that it indeed still gives the school and the candidate a good idea of each other’s personality and demeanor. The ultimate goal for both parties involved is to find the “best fit”.
In the end, there really isn’t a clear answer though to which is better: going to a recruitment fair or just using Skype. At this point, it is still recommended to use a combination of the two. Utilizing both covers all your bases; giving the candidate the best chances in securing a position.continue reading
We recently ran into this guy who made a video series on how to get an international school teaching job; based on his experiences.
In the first video he talks about what type of qualifications that you need. He also discusses the different types of schools like non-profit and for-profit international schools.
The second video talks about how people go about finding these jobs. One way is to use one of the two big recruitment agencies: ISS and Search Associates. He also refers to some review websites, though International School Community is unfortunately not mentioned!
In the last video, he discusses the timeline that people must follow to be the most prepared when recruiting. He mentions that the recruitment process really starts in September and can go all the way up to July.
Part 4 of his video series talks about the tips for getting an international school teaching job. One recommendation he mentions is to be flexible when job searching. Another recommendation is to keep an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the information you are receiving from each school.
If you have a video that you would like highlighted on our blog. Email us here.continue reading
Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad and working at an international school?
Our 44th blog that we would like to highlight is called “The Roaming Filipina” Check out the blog entries of this international school educator who works at Shekou International School in Shenzhen, China.
A few entries that we would like to highlight:
“I attended my first Search fair in Cambridge, MA and came away with interview experience, but no job. ISM even left me a “thanks, but no thanks” note. Frustrated, but undeterred. Through that experience I learned that it wasn’t really about moving to the Philippines anymore, but about fulfilling my desire to explore the world.
About 2 weeks after the Cambridge fair, one listing caught my eye. A listing for a whole school counselor at a school in Uzbekistan. YES UZBEKISTAN. I waited a day or two to think about whether or not I really wanted to apply to this school. Afterall, it is in a country that I knew so little about. My boyfriend gave me a weird look, but said that I should do it if it’s what I really want. I also sent resumes to more schools in the East Asia/SE Asia region and even considered teaching English somewhere. But after perusing the school’s site thoroughly and reading every article I could possibly find on Google, I started to imagine myself living in Central Asia. It didn’t seem so bad.
I interviewed with the two principals and Head of School on Skype. After a few days, they asked if I wanted to meet face to face in California. I was offered the position and I immediately accepted. I spent three GREAT years in Uzbekistan…”
Getting your first job overseas is always exciting and typically makes for a great story to tell your international school teacher friends.
Want to read more about what “newbies” to international school teaching should know about? Check out our blog series called “For the Newbies.“
“Day Two and Three – Saturday & Sunday
This is THE HEART of the fair. It is the day you sign-up for interviews and will likely do all your initial interviews during this time. Do:
• WEAR YOUR POWER SUIT – DRESS TO IMPRESS
• organize your resumes, laptop, etc. I preferred to keep my laptop/iPad with me so I can work on stuff outside of my room – saved a lot of time vs. going back to my room between interviews.
• agree to interviews with schools that you’re not sure you’re interested in. Good for practice and you never know – it might be a GREAT fit for you.
• find a quiet corner besides your room to chill between interviews – you just never know who is walking around. Visibility is important.
• breathmints – use them
• prioritize which school tables you want to hit first during sign-ups. Some schools are REALLY popular so you might want to go to the ones that have shorter lines first and get interviews lined up.
• if you get a “fast pass” – direct invitation from the school to bypass the line to schedule an interview, HIT THOSE SCHOOLS FIRST
• try to get to the interview 10 minutes before – don’t schedule your interviews so close together that you’d be late. Also – keep in mind that hotel elevators will be really busy, especially if there are 200+ candidates rushing to interviews...”
Great advice from an experience international school teacher. Going to the recruitments fairs with a plan of attack is always a good choice. Knowing ahead of time what to expect can better help you manage your emotions throughout the fair experience.
For more advice check out our blog series called “Nine Lessons Learned Regarding International School Hiring Fairs.” As a sneak peek, lesson number one is “Bad interviews are good things.“
Want to work for an international school in China like this blogger? Currently, we have 160 international schools listed in this country. 109 have had comments submitted on them. Here are just a few:
Wellington College International Tianjin (Tianjin, China) – 47 Comments
EtonHouse International Schools, Wuxi (Wuxi, China) – 49 Comments
Suzhou Singapore International School (Suzhou, China) – 47 Comments
Western International School of Shanghai (Shanghai, China) – 202 Comments
British International School Shanghai – Puxi (Shanghai, China) – 35 Comments
Concordia International School (Shanghai) (Shanghai, China) – 77 Comments
Access International Academy (Ningbo) (Ningbo, China) – 48 Comments
Hong Kong International School (Hong Kong, China) – 92 Comments
Creative Secondary School (Hong Kong, China) – 39 Comments
Canadian International School (Hong Kong) (Hong Kong, China) – 55 Comments
QSI International School of Dongguan (Dongguan, China) – 64 Comments
Guangdong Country Garden School (Foshan, China) – 48 Comments
Tsinghua International School (Beijing) (Beijing, China) – 93 Comments
Western Academy Beijing (Beijing, China) – 43 Comments
Additionally, there are 264 International School Community members who currently live in China. Check out which ones and where they work here. Feel free to go ahead and contact them with any questions that you might have as well; nice to get first hand information about what it is like to live and work there!continue reading