The International Teachers Job Search: What to look for and where.

Welcome to the second post in our series International Teaching: Everything you need to know. If you haven’t checked it out already we recommend you read the first post Is International Teaching Right for Me? This will help you decide if a move into international teaching is right for you.  Today’s post looks at the next step: finding and applying for jobs as international teachers.

Selecting jobs and locations for International Teachers

As international teachers you are significantly less likely to apply for a job by printing off your CV (Resume) and taking it to a school you’d like to work at.  Instead, most of us rely on the connections made online to search for, apply for and hopefully secure a great job. Depending on your resources, experience and commitment to the search you have a number of options for places to look for jobs.  But before you get started, you’ll need to narrow your search a little based on some key criteria. 

  1. Type of Job: are you looking for a professional teaching job? ESL? Leadership? Coaching? Counselling? 
  2. School system: international schools or local schools? Private or public? British curriculum (GCSE/iGCSE), US curriculum, IB, Australian, other? 
  3. Location: Do you have preferred countries? Or places you don’t want to go? Are you open to new places you haven’t considered before? 

Once you have a rough idea of what you are looking for, it’s time to get your CV (Resume) out there. Different options fit for different people, and you may decide to register for one, some or all of the below.

Application Portals for International Teachers

Search Associates

Search Associates is a paid for recruiting platform for International Schools and International Teachers. Much of your documentation (such as background checks, degrees, qualifications, confidential references, etc) is required before your application is accepted and made visible.  They are considered to host a higher standard of candidate by some as a result of this. There is a fee for your membership and strict conditions to follow to help both educators and schools trust that they are getting positions/candidates of the highest caliber.  Vetting is strict and this gives a certain degree of protection and surety for both educators and schools.

Once your profile is live you can search jobs, directly apply for some jobs, contact schools, and apply to attend a job fair. Schools can see your confidential references and CV before/during any contact with you. This often reduces the number of individual applications you need to fill out. Search Associates charges schools recruiting fees so as an international teacher they will work hard to get you placed in a good school.

The Global Recruiting Collaborative

GRC is not as extensive in terms of the checks it provides, and offers less information.  However, it is free and connects you to a large database of schools. Most international teachers hired through GRC are hired at job fairs, with the website serving more as a way to check the candidates out, and as a list of opportunities for teachers to pursue face to face. Reference checks on GRC are very simple and sometimes this can help if you are needing to ask for multiple references from the same person.

The TES

The online version of the UK Newspaper supplement (The Times Education Supplement). This is free to sign up and lists international school vacancies searchable by location.  Occasionally you can apply through their portal, but more often you will be directed to the school’s website to apply there.

TeachAway

Known previously for its ESL connections, they now list jobs across the world at top schools as well as keeping their solid ESL base. TeachAway is growing as a recruiting platform and offers some additional support such as certification programmes to help you find the right job. 

This list is far from extensive, but these all represent good places to start your search!

Job Fairs

Both Search Associates and GRC have well established job fairs, with the TES growing theirs steadily.  The advantage of a job fair is that you can compare many different schools, meet face to face and spend concentrated time focused on recruiting.  It’s a little more challenge if you have young children and have to travel to the fair. There are no guarantees that you find a job. However, most people who attend fairs do secure great positions and love being able to meet people in person.  To attend a fair you need to be registered with the organisers. Some fairs (such as Search Associates Bangkok fair) are immensely popular so book your place as early as you can!

Preparing for Recruiting Season

There are a few more things you can do at this stage to help with your job search;

  • Prepare your documents
    • Make sure you have scanned versions of the following:
      • Passports
      • Birth and marriage certificates
      • Degree Certificates
      • Teaching qualifications
  • Check out school review sites – many teachers subscribe to International Schools Review (ISR) for a fee of about $50/year.  Whilst you should take any review with a pinch of salt, if you see a trend or cluster of negative reviews you can at least ask questions when you speak to schools

Good luck with the job search! In our next post we’ll tackle interviews and what to expect to be asked, as well as questions you may want to ask any schools you talk to.

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