Make the Most of Your International Teaching Job Fair Experience

by Kelly Blackwell - Date: 2007-02-05 - Word Count: 559 Share This!

When you attend an international teaching job fair you are in a completely manufactured environment. The organisers have brought together a large number of recruiters from international schools and teachers desiring to teach overseas, into what is usually a confined indoor space like a hotel, and the participants' sole objective is to fill teaching vacancies.

In order to make the most of this pressure-cooker-like environment, you need to network.

Networking is common place in the business world. Business people meet and exchange business cards, then either keep in touch or contact each other when they have a mutually beneficial need of each other's services.

When teachers attend a recruitment fair such as the international teacher job fairs, networking can enable you to leverage the time and expense involved in getting there. Teaching Job Fairs can be overwhelming to the uninitiated, check out The Complete Guide to Securing a Job at an International School for a detailed strategy dedicated to preparing you to make the most of the job fair opportunity.

Here are three quick and easy steps to leveraging your participation in an international teacher recruitment fair using networking strategies:

Step #1

Meet as many recruiters as possible, in person, and make a connection with them by talking about their school, the country their school is based in, regretting that they don't have a position for you this year, etc.

Most international recruitment fairs are held in hotels and the schedule of events will include activities such as welcome drinks. It is imperative to your networking strategy that you attend these functions and make yourself known to the international schools' recruiters as an international career teacher.

Step #2

After the teaching job fair, follow up with the recruiters to remind your new contacts of the conversation that you shared. Ask them how successful the job fair was for them and ask to be kept in mind if any suitable teaching vacancies come up. You can follow up via email, phone or letter.

Step #3

Maintain contact with the schools' recruiters and stay in touch. You don't want them to forget about you over the course of the academic year. You want to be the first educator these recruiters think of when they begin recruiting teachers the following year.

A word of advice, when I say meet as many recruiters as possible, I'm serious. Do not prejudge any recruiter as not being worth your networking efforts simply because they don't work for a school at which you'd like to teach. Unless the recruiter is the owner of that particular school, chances are they will eventually move to a school at which you would like to work. Recruiters are often headmasters and principals, and they move around as much as teachers do!

Additionally, recruiters talk to each other and there is always the possibility that a recruiter you've been networking with may know of a teaching position for you at an international school where they have a networking relationship of their own with another recruiter.

When you take the time to network at a teaching recruitment fair, you can begin working on an advanced strategy for landing the perfect teaching job. I call it First Contact Plus.

Kelly's been teaching overseas for 10 years and has seen and done it all. Kelly's book is a step-by-step guide to securing a lucrative teaching position abroad. Don't delay, kick-start your international teaching career today!

Related Tags: networking, teach overseas, teach abroad, international recruitment, job fair, overseas teaching recruitment

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