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How to stand out when applying overseas

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by dancer404, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. dancer404

    dancer404 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am a UK based secondary Biology teacher currently completing NQT year. I am looking to start applying for overseas positions for an August/September 2018 start. This allows me to get another years experience as I know many places require 2 years teaching experience as a minimum.

    My goal is to work in Singapore, but I am aware of how competitive it is to get a teaching position there. My question is then, how do I make my application stand out? I am doing my training to become a Duke of Edinburgh leader and I am running a STEM club, but is there anything else that international schools look favourably upon?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks
  2. 765M

    765M New commenter

    I ran my own recruitment agency years back when teaching in the UK and most science teachers were biology teachers, I don't know why. There were a few chemistry teachers and hardly any physics teachers. Don't know why as what do all the graduates with physics degrees do? There must be a lot of them worldwide! Electronics specialists were hard to find. What is so competitive about Singapore?
  3. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I have quite a few friends who studied physics. 99% of them went into finance in the City. The few who didn't stayed in academia or research. None became teachers.

    The DoE will be a good selling point as will the STEM. A lot of international schools are really pushing that now. Those sorts of additional extra curricular stuff will go down well in an application.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    You'll be more competitive after several more years of experience. Preferably with some in other decent international schools.
    Add to your cv with extracurriculars and demonstrated commitment to going the extra mile.
    Earn fantastic letters of reference by being an excellent teacher where you are, pitching in and getting results, and never being the resident naysayer. You need letters that say you're awesome, not letters that say you're young and have potential to be awesome.
    Singapore is a tough gig to get into and a tough gig to succeed in. Good luck.
    Charlyrose likes this.
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Been applying to Singapore for over ten years, i even teach a shortage subject.....not even got an interview yet
  6. dancer404

    dancer404 New commenter

    Thank you for all your responses, looks like I have my work cut out if I want to go in 2018!

    dumbells66, can I ask what subject you teach? Have schools given you any feedback as to why they are reluctant to give an interview?
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    No direct feedback, they do honestly get 100's of applications for each job. It would take forever to do that. Unofficially i have been told that im "not known" by anyone. Some of these schools can be a closed shop, especially the big popular ones. You need to know someone on the inside before they will even offer you an interview. Although, to be fair, thats exactly how i got my last two jobs. Once you are on the circuit, and built up a network of connections, recruitment gets a LOT easier.

    Its not impossible though, some people have managed it. You wont know until you try.
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  8. dancer404

    dancer404 New commenter

    Thanks for your honesty, it makes it a lot easier to know what to expect! Good luck with your applications!
  9. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

    Very true. There's also a strong internal market in Singapore - not unusual to find teachers on their second or even third Sing school - making it hard to break in but easier to stay in if you do.
  10. justengaged1

    justengaged1 New commenter

    WHat's so good about Singapore? My fiancee is Indonesian so we could possibly try for a job there. i agree though, you need inside knowledge or a friend to get you in some places. Sometimes being near a place helps too as I got my last job being close to where the post was.

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