10 Ways NOT to Get an International School Job

When applying for international school jobs, there are several things you can do to make the recruiter start hearing alarm bells. When the entire process is online, it can feel less formal, and more impersonal. But you still have to make sure you’re sending the right message every step of the way! Here are some sure-fire ways to strike doubt into the heart of your potential employer.

1. Have an out of date CV.

Make sure your CV includes your current or most recent position. If your CV only goes up to 2012, the recruiter might stop looking at it there and then.

2. Lie about your experience or qualifications.

If you haven’t got the required experience or qualifications, you’re unlikely to get the job. Falsifying details will ensure not only that you don’t get that job, but that you won’t be considered for any other vacancies either.

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3. Use a silly profile picture.

Check your Google and Skype profile pictures, and make sure they’re something relatively professional-looking. These pictures may be the first time the recruiter sees your face, so make sure they’re the kind of image you’d put on a CV or Linkedin.

Pro tip: face the camera

Pro tip: face the camera. Image Ⓒ Joshua Earle

4. Slip up on Skype.

Set up a quiet Skype area and think about what’s in the background. A noisy cafe or your garden shed aren’t ideal. And if you wouldn’t wear pyjamas to a face-to-face interview, don’t wear them for Skype!

5. Copy-paste your covering email.

If you’ve written a completely generic covering email that you’re sending to six different schools, it’ll show. Be sure to personalise your covering email with details of why you’re interested in that specific school.

6. Apply for jobs just because they’re near the beach.

A tropical seaside location might be one of your motivating factors, but keep that in the background. You’ll need compelling reasons to work at that particular school, regardless of the location.

7. Hide the fact you’re bringing your family.

If you’ve got a partner and children coming with you, mention it early on. It shouldn’t hurt your application but is an important factor to take into account. Don’t wait until you’re offered the job before you mention your husband/wife and three kids will be coming too!

8. Assume your partner can teach at the same school.

If you’re relocating with your partner, don’t assume that it’ll be easy for them to work at the same school. There’s no guarantee that the school will have two suitable vacancies available. Again, mention it to your adviser early on in the application process, and be prepared that your partner may have to look elsewhere.

9. Brag about your achievements.

A certain amount of blowing your own trumpet is necessary when you’re looking for a job, but keep it factual and objective. Being cocky or arrogant will quickly turn off the recruiter and make them hesitate to recommend you.

10. Assume your children will get free places at the school.

Some international schools offer free places for teachers’ children, but not all do. Don’t make this your main reason for applying for a school.

Remember, by being honest and upfront about your experience, qualifications and situation, you set yourself up with the best chance of passing the interview and getting the job you want! Why not read our other job-hunting tips or sign up/sign in to browse current vacancies?

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Written by Sammy Tame, who lives and teaches in Cambodia. Sammy has her own blog.