Shanghai skyline: Pearl Tower
Kuala Lumpur towers
Abu Dhabi mosque
International high school
International high school
A group of teachers discussing their lessons
A job interview at an international school
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower
Shanghai skyline: Shanghai Tower

Aug 7, 2019

5 ways to prepare for the international teaching recruitment season

The recruitment season for international teaching jobs starts earlier and earlier each year, as people come back to school ready to begin making their next career move. So if you’re thinking of a job change, what steps can you take to make sure you’re prepared for the upcoming international recruitment season?

1) Use the summer to ask some important questions

The time and space away from school can be as an ideal opportunity to work out whether you want to move on the following year, or not. The physical distance from school will probably allow for a much more balanced decision about your future than during the middle of term, after a stressful meeting or a tough class. It’s also a good landmark in time to consider where you want to be a year from now and perhaps allow for time to do some good research into possible alternative locations or schools. 

2) Have a discussion with family early

Every year international teachers face the decision of whether to resign with a current school, explore their options, or actively seek a new job. Although it seems obvious to say, for those with a partner and children to consider, an early discussion about this will hugely reduce stress later on.

The recruitment season tends to be full of the unexpected. There might be the perfect job in a location that you’re not sure about or a position with more responsibility or pay but in a school that you wasn’t high on your list. Either way, it’s important to have a good discussion about what you can compromise on (because there will almost always need to be something) and what you really can’t.

A key decision is whether you will stay at your current school if the right thing doesn’t come up or whether you are definitely leaving and planning to take the best offer you get. This is better decided early on rather than in the hotel lobby of a job fair or during a 48-hour decision window while planning Monday’s classes. 

3) Update your CV and picture

CVs go out of date quickly and very soon don’t reflect all the great programmes you were involved in, the curriculum training you did or the trips you organised since you last looked for a job.

A CV update well worth putting time into - read our post about what makes a good international teachers’ CV. If the job you’re seeking is different from your current role, then it’s important to remove the information that’s not relevant to the new position. For example, if you’re in a teaching role and aiming for a head of department position, you will want to include the training and leadership activities and programmes you’ve been involved in and delete the responsibilities that might be implied in your role as a teacher.

When selecting a profile picture to accompany your CV, adopting a rule of ‘no older than one year’ is a reasonable way to ensure both your CV and photograph do actually reflect the person your interviewer could meet.

If you’re already signed up with Explore CRS, be sure to update your candidate profile at the same time as your CV so that we have the most up-to-date information about you. 

4) Update your social media and social circle

This is more applicable if you have decided to leave and have already let your school know you won’t be staying after next year. If you are in that position, it’s important to have every angle working for you in your search for the best new role.

Updating your LinkedIn profile can attract employers who search for candidates using key terms, while setting your profile status to ‘searching’ will alert recruiters to your availability. Read our tips on using LinkedIn effectively in your job search.

You might also want to see if your first-choice institutions have social media accounts and profiles (such as on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) that you can follow to stay updated on jobs and other information about them.

Letting your friends and fellow teachers know you’re looking is also worthwhile. A personal referral to a position, jobs fair or recruitment company that you didn’t know about is very often a successful path into a new job.

5) Register with a free recruitment company (like Explore CRS!)

Speak with friends and read online reviews, but if a recruitment company is free and will keep an eye out for vacancies for you, then why not explore this route alongside your own job hunting? A recruitment agent will have useful advice, good relationships with principals and heads of schools, and might just put a position in front of you that you had not considered.

This step comes at the end of the preparation process because the perfect time to register is after you’ve considered the idea of moving on and have updated your CV. The registration process with Explore CRS doesn’t take long either - just around 30 minutes (10 minutes online and then 15 to 20 minutes on the phone with a consultant). 

next steps!

We wish you well in your job search and hope you’ll let us help you with it.

Don’t forget to spend a few minutes creating a candidate profile and one of the Explore CRS consultants will be in touch to discuss your job search goals. 

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