and what to do about it. There is no doubt the overseas teaching market is competitive, but have you ever thought about what could be preventing you from setting sail? This week we cover 5 common reasons why you are not be getting a look in and tips to overcoming them.

1. Your cover letter

monika-kozub-1284133-unsplashAre you sending out a generic covering letter to the school? You have 50-300 words to use in your covering
email on an application so make sure they count. This is an opportunity to make a connection between you and the school. Read up on the school and think about how your
experiences, qualifications and beliefs fit with the school’s requirements and vision. Make sure you are applying to schools that you have the qualifications for and that you clearly emphasise them.

2. Gaps in your application

ben-white-998822-unsplashThis is more important than you may think. Often schools will not give your application a second glance if there are gaps missing between your teaching gigs. Even if you have spaces between jobs you must make sure these are accounted for. In fact, the extracurricular activities or that time you spent volunteering or honing a new skill is especially useful in creating a good character reference of yourself and highlighting your passions and purpose.


So you made the interview but now you must get equipped with the right questions to ask. Read this post, here.

3. Limited experience
jordan-rowland-1127671-unsplashCertain countries require at least 3-5 years teaching experience so you won’t make the cut if you haven’t got this yet. Countries in the Middle East and Asia, such as those in the UAE and Indonesia or China require more teaching years than others like South Korea. so apply for jobs that are in line with the experience you have and work your way up
4. Irrelevant curriculum
If the school is requiring IB experience and you don’t have it you will just be wasting time for both parties. Do your research to find out what curriculum the school is using. Is it a UK, US or IB school and how does your experience match up? Naturally, the schools will want teachers who are familiar with their system.  Building your way up and taking some positions as a stepping stone in your career is a good attitude to have. First, you can work on gaining experience in the curriculum you want, maybe in a place less desirable  than your dream location and over time you can start to put together all the pieces and be hired in the perfect place, in that popular school teaching the curriculum you know and love–but it won’t happen overnight. Remain strategic.


Interested in how to gain IB experience? Find out more here

yousef-alfuhigi-357033-unsplash5. Age

This can be an incredibly frustrating scenario—you have years of experience and feel like you could offer a lot
to the school but they have age restrictions in place. Or even more frustrating, you already complete the application only to find out afterwards this is the reason. Many countries in Asia and the Middle East keep age limitations for over 60 which are often in connection with the visa, so it is hard to budge. The best thing to do in this case is to look beyond these places and explore more liberal options in Africa and Europe. Furthermore, do the research and ask beforehand about the age limit so that you don’t waste your time on the lengthy application process.

Have you had experience with any other factors preventing you from a job? Let us know your stories at





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