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Teaching Overseas - Should You Register At An International Teaching Job Fair?


When you consider that there may be 100 schools represented and 400 pre-screened candidates, your chances of securing a teaching position at an international school is high. Additionally, many of the top schools will only consider interviewing candidates who are pre-screened by a recruiting agency.

Whether or not you decide to register with a job fair might depend on your ability to get to where one is being held. Job fairs are held at locations worldwide, with a particular concentration in North America and the United Kingdom. Some of the organisations hosting the job fairs do not charge participants to attend, they make their money from charging the recruiters.

There are several organisations that hold job fairs for international teachers. International School Services (ISS), Search Associates and the Council of International Schools (COIS) are three of them that hold job fairs around the world. These organisations pre-screen the candidates and invite those candidates that meet the criteria published on their websites to attend their job fairs. You can go to their websites and check if you meet their criteria.

Both ECIS and Search Associates are very professional and experienced in their approach to organising job fairs, and it shows at their events.

Recruiters rely on these organisers to cut out the unqualified or undesirable candidates. They turn away many candidates each year, so you should feel proud if you are invited to attend one of these fairs; it’s the first step to getting a contract at the fair.

COIS

COIS do not charge candidates to attend their job fairs. The recruiters do pay a fee to attend.

COIS job fairs are held from February through to June in the UK and in North America. The requirements for becoming registered with COIS are available on their website and include:

* A current teaching certification/ qualification
* Three professional referees, one of which must be your current head teacher
* 2 year’s experience
* Candidates should be willing to consider being placed anywhere in the world.

The dates and venues and application deadlines for the COIS job fairs for 2007 are available on their website and the deadline for applications for their first job fair is January 18th.

Search Associates
Search offer an online application process and a number of job fairs in a variety of geographical locations. Before completing an application you can go through a self-screening checklist on their website to determine how competitive you will be in the job market.

Search charge candidates $US150 to register, which is good for 3 years if you don’t find an overseas position in your first recruitment season. Search offers a number of job fairs and your registration fee covers your attendance at one fair per registration period (of up to 3 years). You can attend more than one for an additional fee of $US 50 per fair. Should you find your new position through Search Associates, there is an additional placement fee of $US 300.

On application Search will assign you an ‘associate’ to give you personal service.

Once you are registered, your resume will be posted online for recruiters to peruse. It is vital that you go log in to the site and update your resume at least every 30 days or your resume might be pulled off the site.

Teachers in Australia and New Zealand can attend one of the Information Seminars offered by Search. These seminars are held throughout Australia and New Zealand in order to provide information for people interested in teaching overseas, and to pre-screen potential candidates prior to the Search job fair in Sydney. Check their website for details.

Search offer two specialised placement services aimed at teachers with experience in either the IB system or the British National Curriculum, see their website for more details.

The dates and venues of the Search Associates Job Fairs for 2007 are on the Search Associates website and their first job fair is being held in Australia in January.

ISS

ISS charge candidates $US175 to establish a professional file with them. If your application is not accepted by them, they will refund $US125, and they do not charge a placement fee if you accept a position at one of the job fairs they host.

ISS job fairs are held in January, February, and March. The requirements for establishing a file with ISS are available on their website and include:

* A 4 year bachelor’s degree
* 2 year’s experience
* Candidates should be willing to consider being placed in two continents.

If you are interested in establishing a professional file with ISS you should look at the more detailed list of their requirements on their website.

The ISS name for a job fair is International Recruitment Centre (IRC).

ISS are holding three IRCs in 2007, the first one will be held in Bangkok in January.

ISS say that ‘typically 50 percent of those who attend accept positions as a result.’

These are the big three of the recruitment organisations for teachers looking at a career in international teaching and participation in one of their job fairs can kick start you onto a new and exciting career path. It can sure beat searching through job advertisements and sending out your application pack 100 times.

Submitted by:

Kelly Blackwell

Kelly Blackwell

For more information on kick-starting your international teaching career visit http://TeachOverseas.info info and sign up for Kelly’s free newsletter. This article is based on a chapter in Kelly Blackwell’s The Complete Guide to Securing a Job at an International School.





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