The Ultimate Guide to Job Fairs for Teachers
International Schools Services (ISS) is proud to offer some of the most extensive recruitment services for educators worldwide. As a nonprofit with over 60 years of experience in the education sector, we’ve gathered a wealth of knowledge to share with teachers who are actively job searching. In this article, we’ve compiled some of the most useful tips for standing out and getting hired at a teacher job fair.
What is a Teacher Job Fair?
We’ve all heard of career fairs, but teacher job fairs can run a little differently than your typical job fair. Obviously, these particular events are catered specifically towards teachers and education professionals. What you may not know is that these events are full of school recruiters – in some cases, from schools all around the globe – who are actively looking to fill teaching and school leadership vacancies.
This means that you can realistically expect to leave one of these teacher job fairs with a new teaching job and the contract to show for it. So, how do you plan for one of these, what should you bring, and how do you stand out? We’ll answer all of these questions and more below.
ISS job fair attendee shares where they’re heading next year.
What Types of Teacher Job Fairs Are There?
Just like there are many different types of teachers, there are also a number of different types of teacher job fairs. Here are some of the most popular types:
In-Person International Job Fairs
Like the name suggests, these fairs tend to be either held internationally or focus on hiring for schools around the globe, or both. ISS hosts numerous teacher job fairs around the globe, from Bangkok to the US. Each of these events will typically focus on schools in the area, although they will also generally include some outliers. For example, a job fair in Asia may host schools from China, as well as several European schools.
The thing that makes this type of job fair unique is that people travel from far and wide to attend. This usually leads to a higher focus on landing a contract at the event.
Some of the most common teacher job fairs that exist are run exclusively by certain teacher associations. For example, a state-run teacher association may host a job fair for those living in the US. Each of these associations will highlight schools from their area and focus on hiring local talent. There also may be international associations that focus on hiring people of a certain demographic or teaching background.
ISS frequently sponsors and networks at international organization events and conferences like AAIE, NAIS PoCC, EARCOS, and more. You can learn more about some of these organizations and collaborations here.
Virtual Job Fairs
The name says it all. These events are held virtually where attendees are able to network, interview, attend Professional Development sessions and more from the comfort of their own home. From our many years of hosting ISS iFairs®, we’ve seen a crucial perk of this type of job fair is the ease of attending. That typically means these events receive high participant levels. While this can lead to shorter times with each school recruiter, it also means candidates can enjoy a very wide world of options to connect with.
For those who are unable to travel halfway around the globe to attend an in-person event, these job fairs are a great way to connect with interested schools and learn more about the international education landscape.
What Can You Expect at a Teacher Job Fair?
As we’ve mentioned above, teacher job fairs are one of the best ways to meet directly with school recruiters from schools around the globe. These events will typically have several components throughout a weekend. Here is a typical schedule for a teacher job fair from our 2023 Bangkok event:
So, as you can see, these fairs are about much more than simply interviewing. These events allow you to network with other professionals in the same field, advance your career growth through professional development sessions, and get to know your international community in an inclusive social environment.
How to Prepare for a Teacher Job Fair?
There are many things that you can do before actually stepping foot in the job fair. The first thing is to take the time to develop your resume or CV. Employers are going to ask to see your work history, and having an organized resume or CV will be a positive first step in the eyes of these employers. In addition to showcasing your work history, you’ll also want to highlight any certifications, trainings, etc. that you may have acquired throughout your career.
By organizing your past experiences, you’re setting yourself up for success, but there’s much more that you can do to be fully prepared. After developing your resume or CV, you’ll want to take the time to practice interviewing. At these teacher job fairs, you’ll have the opportunity to meet directly with school recruiters. You don’t want to be a deer in the headlights when you receive that first question about why you’re interested in shifting to a new school. Write down some practice questions and outline several experiences that you can use to answer each question. The goal isn’t to sound like a robot here, but rather to have plenty to pull from. Additionally, you want to have questions prepared that you want to ask the employers to show that you’re curious and have that extra drive.
Finally, the goal of these fairs is to get hired. So, don’t stop at your practice interview. Prepare for success by organizing your references and letting them know in advance that they can expect to be reached out to. The hiring process in international schools and schools around the globe can happen quickly, so plan ahead and have your references sorted so they don’t hold up your hire. Many teacher job fairs will even require you to submit them beforehand. Check out ISS EDUrecruit ® for more information on how you can organize your references and job search all in one easy platform.
Here Are Some Sample Questions That You Can Ask and That You Should Be Prepared to Answer:
5 Questions to Ask at a Teacher Job Fair:
- What opportunities do you provide for teachers to grow their careers? Professional Development, mentoring, etc.
- How would you describe your school culture?
- What does a typical contract look like? And what opportunities are there to extend a contract?
- Are there any extracurricular communities that I can get involved with?
- What is the typical turnover at your school for teachers?
5 Questions to Prepare for at a Teacher Job Fair:
- Tell us a bit about your experience teaching.
- What was one lesson plan that you were particularly proud of and what impact did it have on your students?
- What certifications or trainings have you completed?
- What interests you in teaching internationally?
- What is the reason for your desire to change schools?
What Can You Expect From A Teaching Job In An International School?
There are numerous differences between US-based schools and international schools. One of the most obvious differences lies in the hiring season. US teachers often look for their next job in the spring, after a particularly trying semester of school. International teachers and schools generally look in the winter because they know ahead of time whether they want to extend their contract or not.
International schools typically hire teachers under one or two-year contracts with the ability to extend. This timescale is largely due to the nature of teaching internationally. Since teachers who teach internationally often like to travel and see the world, contracts are designed knowing teachers will likely change schools more often than teachers in the US. That being said, there are definitely exceptions to this. Some international teachers will stay at their schools for 20+ years.
Wondering why teachers work at international schools? We’ve heard a lot of fantastic answers, but you can read about five of our favorites here – they may help you consider if teaching internationally could be a rewarding experience for you too.
In Conclusion: Teacher Job Fairs
Whether you have 20 years of teaching experience or 2 years, a teacher job fair is a great place to discover new opportunities and land a dream job. By following the advice laid out here, you’ll be prepared for any questions a school recruiter may throw your way and know how to navigate these fairs in order to maximize your time there.
If you’re interested in taking part in one of these events, ISS offers numerous opportunities throughout the year. From our first job fair of the year in Bangkok to our numerous virtual iFairs, we can help you connect with school recruiters and take the first step towards your dream job. You can view our upcoming job fairs below and register for the teacher job fair of your choosing.
Save the date for these upcoming ISS EDUrecruit® Fairs and Events!
October 23-24, 2023
Virtual ISS iFair®
November 18, 2023
With a vast database, vibrant networking opportunities, and human-centered support, ISS EDUrecruit® helps candidates and international schools fill teaching and staff vacancies around the world. In this new platform, recruiters and job seekers can connect one on one, view active openings and candidate profiles, and more.
Schools and candidates can learn more about how to join ISS EDUrecruit at ISS.edu/Recruit.