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Applying on spec - does it work?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by purpleapple, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. purpleapple

    purpleapple New commenter

    I would like to work in an international school in a specific country (sweden). There are some schools offering the IB for middle/older students. I have not seen these jobs advertised, which leaves me thinking that they are probably as rare as hen's teeth for non-swedish speakers. So I am going to apply on spec to see if anything happens,

    Have any of you applied on spec and actually got an international job? Also when do you think is the best time to start sending out the CV. Is now just right or a little to early?

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. I applied for a post that didn't exist when I applied for it and am in an international school (infact, it's a year since I was offered and accepted the job;o). I was also coming from an international school and started planning my application the summer before I got the job, submitted a speculative application in the October (October 2009).
    If you're going to send out speculative applications, you need to do it now- job fairs are in the next couple of weeks and while posts will continue to become available and be advertised well into the summer, I tend to think it best to get in early.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The great and the good Harry Deelman, of Search Associates, was of the opinion that while speculative CVs are infra. dig. in the UK, they are often welcomed by the principals of most international schools.
  4. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    It varies with the schools. If you have looked at a fair number of school websites you will see that some solicit speculative applications, some specifically say no, and others don't say anything.

    I've not got a job this way, but I have had replies thanking me, telling me I'll be kept on file, and inviting me to regularly visit the school's website.
  5. hockeysticks

    hockeysticks New commenter

    A school i am interested in has said teachers are welcome to send in their CV's at anytime which I am thinking of doing. Do you think they will expect referees on it? I don't particularly want to tell my head I am sending CV's out unless their is a specific job I want to apply for.
  6. The phrase 'References available on request' covers all evils.
  7. When we first wanted to move overseas I sent out a lot of spec letters/CV's. I actually was interviewed and offered a job at one which I declined in place of another. However that was 11 years ago and I don't think directors got as many CV's back then as they do now.
  8. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    Same here. I was interviewed and offered a job in Malaysia with a speculative application which would have been in around 2006. I don't think it works all the time but sometimes it obviously does.
  9. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Out of interest, why Sweden? a friend of mine in SMT applied to a good school in Sweden, but turned it down.
    His reason? apparently they take a huge chunk of tax out of your salary, which although very good gross, ends up being quite average, net.
    Obviously I am speaking 'second hand' anybody else know of this?
    ps doesn't Sweden have the highest suicide rate in the world?
  10. That's ABBA for you..
  11. Neighbouring Finland, although I doubt it's due to tax rates [​IMG]

  12. yasimum

    yasimum New commenter

    This is three years old though, it may have changed but it lists Finland as number 14. It worries me why I find these things so interesting.
  13. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    Outdated Urban myth - Sweden is only 27th for suicides
  14. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    OP - are you interested in a *traditional* international school - if so there are very few in Sweden - however there are a large number of billigual free schools that teach in English ass Swedish - IES is often recruiting and has a place on its homepage where you can register CVs
    However the main problem is the the need to learn Swedish if you work in the state/free school sector
  15. When sending your CV and letter in spec do you just start the letter off with an expression of interest to work at the school? How do you phrase it?
  16. purpleapple

    purpleapple New commenter

    Just to answer my own question: I applied to a few schools with my hard-slaved-over letter of application and CV. I heard absolutely sod all. A big resounding silence. Applied for an advertised job and got it. I think that just about sums it up. Although having said that last year a school did keep my name on file and contacted when in a dilemma, but only when they had obviously been let down and it was impossible for me to do anything about it. Are on spec applications kept as a last-ditch option?

    To Physallis: I started off by expressing interest in their wonderful school and the contribution I'd like to make to it as an alternative to the sentence that says where you saw the job advert and then just carried on as normal (remembering to change the name of the school in subsquent references!)

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