9 Teacher Job Fair Tips To Help Secure a Position Abroad
Global Recruitment Team
The international recruitment season has already begun and there are so many amazing jobs for educators to find through international education job fairs! An international teacher job fair is unlike any other recruitment event. They provide candidates and recruiters networking opportunities, professional development, and the ability to interview with qualified educators and recruiters. If you’re new to the international education community, there’s no better way to learn the ins and outs of what to expect when serving as an educator abroad than attending a recruitment event.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to international education, these nine job fair tips can help you stand out at your first or next recruitment fair.
1. Be prepared
You’ll want to have a plan going into the fair. Research the schools you want to interview with. You don’t need to know every little detail about each school but having some knowledge of the school’s philosophy and environment will give you a strong foundation during interviews. Think about the questions you may want to ask. Look at their website, and reach out to them ahead of time. Setting up communication before the event is a key aspect of being successful.
Have extra copies of resumes and portfolios. There is likely a chance you will be meeting with multiple recruiters and schools, so having several copies of your resume and portfolio will give something for recruiters to review while speaking with you.
Don’t forget to apply to open positions before the fair! By applying to positions beforehand, you will be putting your name and profile in the recruiter’s mind before even checking-in at the fair. You should also apply to positions at different schools. It’s important to set your sights on certain schools but don’t rule out the opportunity to teach at a school not on your list! You can view vacancies at ISS EDUrecruit. Be open-minded and consider all options – as there are great schools in all parts of the world.
2. Make a connection
Making a connection with a recruiter is your best shot at getting that coveted international teaching position. There are many ways to do this. The best, of course, is to be genuine and show your passion for education.
- Be approachable
You want recruiters to initiate contact with you, too. So, never be reluctant to speak with a recruiter. You never know where a conversation could take you. Networking, or, “rubbing elbows” is a great way to land an interview you otherwise may not have been offered. Talk with people all around you – in the coffee shop, at the sessions, and get to know people. The world of international educators is comprised of great people wanting to connect.
Make a good first impression. Don’t forget to wear your smile!
- Pay attention
As educators, our job is to be attentive to our surroundings, students, and education practices. Pay attention to a school’s needs and share examples of ways you can contribute to the school and its community.
- Be remarkable
The goal is to land a job in education, right? Being remembered will help you stand out at a teacher job fair over other candidates. Positions at international schools are highly competitive, so you will want to make sure that recruiters remember you. That job offer can come at any time. If you get an offer at the table during an interview, great! If not, the opportunity is still there – be remarkable. And stay in touch! If nothing works out at the events, always remember that openings come up later. Yes, be remarkable and be in touch – anything can happen at a later date.
3. Be active at the fair’s activities
These multiple-day events are much more than interviews. Socials, breakout sessions, and presentations are great opportunities to learn more about different schools and network with recruiters and fellow educators.
Job offers aren’t only made during interviews.
At socials, you have the opportunity to ‘wow’ recruiters – or even secure an interview for a vacancy. Socials are a great way to showcase your personality in a laid-back atmosphere. Use this time to build your network and make connections. These recruiters want to fill their vacancies and are looking for educators who are seriously interested in their school. Your job is to make it easy for them. Be sure to circulate the room and speak with recruiters and other educators. And always remember that each activity and session is a networking scenario – be professional and on top of it at all times.
Don’t shy away from attending school presentations, prioritize and go to as many presentations as you can. Presentations are a great way to learn more about the international schools attending the fair! These presentations are given by recruiters, who are administrators or directors at the school. The time after a presentation is a great time to start making connections. Go up and introduce yourself to recruiters who have presented!
4. Practice your presentation
Have a brief introduction speech prepared to give to recruiters. Tell them about yourself, what positions you are interested in, and why you are interested in their school. This gives recruiters an idea of how best to start the conversation during an interview.
Have an answer for general questions recruiters may ask, like “Why do you see yourself as a good fit for our school?” You want to showcase how you are the right choice for the school and how you would fit in the school’s community and staff. Recruiters are looking for people they can see themselves working with.
Don’t forget to bring your own questions for interviews, too. Knowing some information about the school and asking questions shows your genuine interest in the school. Doing this could also make you the first educator a recruiter thinks of when considering who to make an offer to after the fair or even for future openings.
5. Stay at the event’s hotel
Staying at the hotel a fair is being hosted in is one of the best conveniences for any candidate. You’ll have ease of access to different sessions and meet with recruiters without having to consider the travel time it takes to get to the fair’s venue. Recruiters may reach out to you seeking an interview on short notice. Being easily accessible could make a difference in getting the position you really want!
Be sure to put your contact information on your resume, such as a mobile number that works in the country the international teacher job fair is being held in or an email address you’ll be checking regularly.
Positions are quickly filled during international recruitment fairs so you’ll want to maximize your time as much as possible.
6. Dress the way you want to be seen
Look your best, feel your best.
Recruiters are looking for educators who present themselves in a professional way from how they speak to how they dress. Most attendees opt for a professional look. You want to show recruiters you are qualified. As someone who is applying to a position, you want to present yourself in a way you would want to be seen at work.
Don’t forget your comfortable shoes! You want to dress professionally, but also comfortably. You may be walking a lot or on your feet for long periods of time at multiple-day fairs.
7. Never turn down an opportunity to meet with a school
A large part of any recruitment fair is networking. If a school wishes to meet with you, don’t turn down the opportunity to connect with them. You may learn more about the school reaching out and consider applying to them. And remember, always be open minded – great schools are out there, in all parts of the world. Keep your opportunities open.
You also don’t know where a recruiter at that school may end up in the future. In the world of international education, making connections is always beneficial!
8. Always follow-up
In any job search, following-up is vital to showcase your interest and gratitude for the opportunity to speak with potential employers. Here are some methods commonly used to follow-up with school representatives:
- Write personalized “thank you” cards for recruiters you’ve spoken with. Some fairs will have “thank you” cards supplied, but it can help you stand out if you bring your own!
- Send an email, thanking the school representative(s) for their time and the opportunity to speak with them. Citing specific details of your conversation is also very useful; it shows you were attentive during the conversation.
- Thank a recruiter in-person, if you see them before the end of the recruitment fair.
Taking the initiative to follow-up leaves an impression with international school recruiters. As mentioned before, you want to be memorable and leave a lasting impression.
9. Enjoy the ride
International teaching job fairs are exciting and can be stressful. Relax, you’ve got this! Be yourself and open-minded. You may get an offer from an international school that was not in a country you were considering at the beginning of the fair. Education job fairs are full of surprises and it’s important to enjoy yourself and focus on getting the most out of the experience as possible.
Leaving without accepting a position should not discourage you. Schools may reach out to you after the fair. If you are a candidate with ISS EDUrecruit, you can browse and apply for other vacancies in the international schools we work with all over the world. Be sure to check your messages on ISS EDUrecruit and your email inbox. Your next opportunity is still out there!