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Applying for jobs

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by kirby42, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. kirby42

    kirby42 New commenter

    I've been checking out the vacancies section of different schools' websites and saw some positions which I would consider applying for.

    However, I've noticed that certain schools are only taking applicants through Search Associates, despite also having the ad on their school site.

    I don't have access to Search Associates and I'm not confident that I can secure a reference from the principal of every single school I've worked in, like their site wants. Principals change, the years pass by etc.

    Should I send the CV directly to the advertising school? Maybe by email to their reception/administration? Will my CV just get binned if it's not from Search Associates?

    Also, has anyone ever sent any applications to schools which weren't advertising, just to see what comes back? There are a list of cities which would take preference for me, due to the increased chance of my partner also being able to secure work there.

    Thank you!
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you are a good candidate, kirby42, then I find it hard to believe that a school would not consider your application if you were not registered with Search.

    As for "speculative applications", i.e. applying for jobs that have not been advertised, then I would say that in the UK this is simply not done, infra dignitatem and yes, your CV and application form will be binned. However, things are very different in most international schools and I have personal experience of teachers applying "on spec", even though no job had been advertised. Many international principals will welcome your interest and keep that CV. And you never know...

    I also do not understand why you are not considering signing up with Search. Yes, it does take a while to get everything sorted out, but surely the fish will be worth the price of a new hook. I have always been a fan of Search Associates and found their jobfairs to be interesting and enjoyable, even though some on this forum have said that these days SA does not do such a good job. I am not sure is that is true. Well, you should perhaps consider one or two other agencies, such as Andrew Wigford's TIC.

    Well, kirby42, I have been teaching in international schools around the world for twenty years and on the whole I would say that it is a lot more fun than teaching in the UK. I am sending you one of those TES Conversation things, so you need to click on your avatar in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I think the other thing is that if you're in the UK at present, then you will get access to Search free of charge. It might be a faff but if the schools are still there, there should be someone who can still give you a reference. If it's UK schools, then it's more likely that it will be the school / local authority rather than the headteacher who does that anyway.

    In terms of your partner - and I'm assuming that they are not a teacher - then you might find that some schools are actually quite creative in finding work for them. If they want you, then it could even be part of the deal that your partner works in the school - i.e. if they are an IT specialist, they could work in the IT department - and this can be a useful link between some of the backroom staff and teachers.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    There are definitely Search candidates without references from all past schools, generally for those teachers with a longer career. They leave out the earliest ones. You may want to explore that with them. But for Child Protection purposes, you will certainly need to disclose all the places you worked. Some schools, like mine, can't hire anyone unless they complete a full background check. Search is very useful at providing the info we need, and helping us avoid getting involved with anyone with insufficient background info.
  5. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    From every school you’ve worked at!!
    Can’t be the case, can it?

    My first school doesn’t exist any more and if the head is still shuffling around he must be approaching his centenary as he retired the first year I was there.

    On a lighter note the head of the school I went to had her picture in the local paper last year as she reached her 100th...so that pension must have been good value.
  6. somethingfunny

    somethingfunny New commenter

    With regard to 'speculative applications' where you contact the school directly with CV/cover letter, who would you recommend sending this to? The HR email? Or directly to the Head?

    If I was the Head, I'm not sure how I'd feel receiving unsoliciated emails looking for a job. Maybe I'd like it, maybe I wouldn't.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, somethingfunny, I think that you are absolutely right. Some heads of international schools would not be happy to receive unsolicited emails in this way. On the other hand, I have spoken to several heads on this subject and their usual line if, "Well, that depends..." So it might pay off, in some situations.
  8. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I always thought a speculative application would be 'filed appropriately' so to speak - at least, until that speculative application worked out for me!
  9. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    One worked out very well for me too. I stayed 8 years.
  10. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    Is it search which also requires all your residencial addresses going back I don't know how long? I have a feeling that was when I gave up last time.
  11. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    One of my speculative applications received the response “we have no openings that match your cv”. A month later at a job fair I was offered the job to which I had speculatively applied.
    colacao17 likes this.
  12. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    I think they like their jollies to the job fairs or to those swanky London hotels where they hire suites for a week's worth of interviews.
  13. somethingfunny

    somethingfunny New commenter

    So what are people's feelings about who to send the speculative application to? HR email address? Or direct to the head?
  14. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    I'd go for the Head, or maybe the head of primary/secondary as appropriate.
    I'm sure they would pass it on the HR if necessary, whereas I'm not so certain the opposite would happen.
  15. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Do your research and always address your letter to a person e.g. 'Dear Mr Bloggs'. The worst possible approach is 'To whom it may concern'.
  16. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    In my limited experience I don't think Search is worth it any more. I wouldn't be surprised if it was on its last legs. When I first joined about 7 years ago it had tons of jobs and was the place to be. I used it again last year and found it to be extremely limited
  17. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Many school groups and the larger international schools now have their own job application portals, no need for over expensive agencies.

    If you own 50 plus schools world wide its cheaper to set up your online application system. Pay for one advert in the TES for jobs in a school in Singapore, applications by our own website please. Then offer applicants a take it or leave it job in Kuwait or South Sudan.

    All the big chain and rent-a-name schools in China operate their own online recruitment systems and cut out the high fee middle men agencies.

    You can also email applicants monthly with the latest job vaccines in Singapore, but you will only get job offers in sh! te hole countries.
  18. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Yet the majority of schools remain single entities who benefit greatly from agencies doing the grunt work of collecting references, transcripts and background checks. We won’t be going it alone any time soon. Nor would your referees enjoy sending separate letters to every individual school.
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some good points made by gulfers, as per usual.
  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Majority of international schools are family owned businesses who don't want to pay the 4000USD plus per candidate to an agent. These schools then depend on a countries visa application process to validate candidates.

    How many schools don't even check references anyway these days. Many schools will hire staff that can stand up and have the right accent to their voice.

    Most candidates have to provide their own documentation and have everything notarized and authenticated, arrange their own medicals and visit the foreign countries consulate to obtain a entry visa.

    It's sometimes hard to see what an agency actually does to justify the prices they now charge. I always wonder how the TES justifies its cost of advertising as the majority of its business in now web based. It must be to pay the moderators salaries.

    The old recruitment far in Dubai or Hongkong is also dated with virtual fairs using Zoom and Skype now possible. No more excuses for the principal to get a weeks free full board in a 5 star hotel twice a year in Dubai and London.

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