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Preparing for International Job Vacancies

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Mrs_CS, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Hi All!

    So I have decided that I would like to apply for jobs in Singapore and Abu Dhabi that start in Sept 2020. I know that the majority of vacancies will appear between Sept and December and I am hoping to use some of my summer holidays to help me prepare. So far I know that I must join some teaching agencies and have decided to join the following:
    • Search Associates
    • Teaching Abroad
    Before that I know I need to update my CV. I have experience in teaching primary school but also secondary Computer Science and Business and will be looking at the both types of vacancies. Should I create 2 different CV's for this or try and incorporate it into 1? Do I need to add details of my dependents on my CV? Any other advice or samples of international teaching CV's will be gratefully received! :)

    Also I am going to get myself on LinkIN however I am not sure what I will do with it yet. Anybody found this particularly useful in networking or finding an international job?

    Once I have got myself registered with the agencies with a CV I am happy with, I was planning on doing weekly searches for vacancies on:
    • TES website
    • websites of the school that I am interested in
    • website of the Agencies mentioned above

    I am aware that it might not be easy to find a job suitable for Sept 2020 but I would like to give myself a head start so that filling in applications isn't so time consuming whilst I am working in the Autumn term. Also the schools I will be applying to will be limited as it has to be a school that I would like to work at but also one that I would be happy for my child to attend. Anything I have missed or any other tips/pointers in my preparation?
  2. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    All seems well planned to me.

    The only thing I can think of is once you’ve done the SA application get together a bank of paragraphs/sentences for your cover letter/supporting statement so they’re quicker to put together for the actual application.

    Topics to consider in this:
    Why you want to work abroad and in particular their school
    EAL experience
    What you can offer beyond the classroom
    Teaching philosophy
    Supporting ALL students to achieve

    When putting together the letter/statement for a particular school read their website with a fine tooth comb and match your application accordingly.

    Make sure you can back any statements up with relevant examples from your own experience. It’s all to easy to spout the right words with no real meaning behind them.

    Ask your referees and if necessary chase them for the SA application, as you are stalled until those are done.

    Apply for schools with any curriculum...good teaching is good teaching and it’s relatively easy to pick up a new curriculum, but do your background research.

    You can’t name schools here but once there’s a hint of interest put out a vague clue and with any luck you’ll find someone on here who knows. Do your research.
    Sloth_91, blueskydreaming and mermy like this.
  3. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Oh...and good luck. If you find the right school it can be great.
  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    A greatly respected former TES staffer once commented that the most effective application in history might read 'Richard Whittington: Four times Lord Mayor of London'. During 25 years in senior management I waded through literally thousands of applications from NQT to Head of School. The ones that stood out (for the right reasons) were short, pithy and to the point and I blush to remember some of my own early waffling attempts. By the time I was applying for headships my CV was no more than a page and a half and my letter of application fitted on one A4 with room to spare.

    Juggling two CVs could be confusing both for you and for potential readers. Draft ONE integrated CV and prune it ruthlessly. Write a concise Letter of Application and adapt it for each application. Family 'details' need be no more than (for instance) 'son aged nine'.

    There are conflicting views but 'floating' an unsolicited application to a school that particularly interests you can pay off.

    I have no idea about Abu Dhabi but Singapore is hotly contested (and horribly humid). Why restrict yourself?

    Good luck!
    rouxx and mermy like this.
  5. mermy

    mermy Occasional commenter

    This is very well planned and rouxx's answer is really helpful. Like you, I could do two different things, so had letters ready for each and then adapted once having studied the school's criteria and their website.

    I would add Teacherhorizons to the list of agencies. I really liked them, but some have had less success. Their website is a bit pants, but they add a little personal touch which I found good.

    Also, invest in an annual membership of the ISR. When you see a job advertised read the reviews to make sure the school is fine and you are not applying to a proper dumphole. But also read the reviews with a pinch of salt. However, if you see the same theme again and again it's definitely best to stay clear.

    One last thing - why only Singapore and Abu Dhabi? The world is your oyster. Just see what comes up, research the country and you never know, you might fancy something different. Useful sites I found when researching are salaryconverter http://salaryconverter.nigelb.me/ for checking how much you need to earn to have a comparable lifestyle (as in some countries you need faaar less) and numbeo https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp for checking how much day to day things cost. For example, Singapore you would have a very high salary, but the cost of living is super high, so make sure you take everything in consideration. As you mention child, I can recommend places like Malaysia and Thailand for lower cost of living, but still a good lifestyle.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  6. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I'm happy to be corrected, but I think for AD you will only be able to apply for jobs that match your undergraduate degree. Therefore, you won't be able to apply as a primary teacher and as a CS and BS teacher if your degree is in CS.
  7. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I've had recruiters contact me via LinkedIn.
    Never when I was available for work, which is typical.
    I once was contacted through a recruitment site by a school in Cambodia named after the US equivalent of MI5.
    Didn't teach my subject and I think in fact was primary, whereas I am secondary...
  8. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Thank you for your prompt responses! Some great advice to start adapting my CV - it seems like keeping it concise but short and sweet is key. The reasons for choosing Abu Dhabi and Singapore are that we would like to save some money (higher or tax free salaries offered in both) and we have some people we know out in both places. There seems to be a big expat community in both locations and both rank quite highly for safety and being family friendly. Anybody moved to any other locations that meet the above criteria with a family?
  9. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Thank you for your tips rouxx! As my children will potentially be going to the same school I was only considering UK Curriculum just in case we want to move back again, resulting in smoother transitions. Are you aware of any other curriculums that are similar to the UK curriculum?
  10. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Depends on the age of your children. If they’re primary/elementary or early middle/secondary school it doesn’t matter that much. Kids are more adaptable than we often give them credit for.

    If they’re heading to exam years, then yes, it will be something to consider.

    If you’re definitely going to stay international then a good IB score will get them into a UK university so no need to stay with British/English

    Around age 13/14 is when you need to pick a curriculum and stick with it for the sake of your children.
  11. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I would prepare to be more flexible in your choice of locations - if saving is the priority, then Singapore isn't really going to cut it - housing is expensive, even if they provide an allowance. China is still generally good for saving although not as much as before, but also Bangkok and KL should give you options.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, the general consensus seems to be that spreading your net as widely as possible is the wise strategy. Singapore and AD both seem to be very popular destinations, so there might be a lot of competition for not that many vacancies.
  13. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Thanks amysdad! Any idea how safe or family/child friendly Bangkok and KL are?
  14. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Thank you everyone! Looks like I might need to do some research in the mentioned locations.
  15. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    Safety and family friendliness are very subjective qualifications. We’ve brought up our kids in Shanghai, Penang and now Bangkok.
    Pushing a buggy on the pavement in Shanghai was no problem, they had good pavements. Georgetown on the other hand sucked for toddlers and young kids, no pavements and wide open street drains. People tripped and or fell in them all the time breaking legs and ankles. Bangkok also doesn’t have the best pavements. All the sub alleys are narrow with little room between you and the cars. Really, it depends on the age of the kids and developing common sense.
    Shanghai was relatively safe for a city of 25 million, a few pick pockets, bike thieves and aggressive drivers. Except for the population size, ditto in Penang plus crazy speedsters on motorcycles that weave wildly in and out of traffic. Bangkok has terrible traffic but on the whole drivers are more polite and I haven’t had a pocket picked or my bicycle stolen.
    Depends on where you’ve come from and what your tolerance level is. I came from a sparsely populated place to China, it was a shock. Even if you came from London to China it would be a shock. Penang was very sedate in comparison, boring even.

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