Emailing your resume to schools is the right way to go. It’s what you enter as the subject of your email that will make or break it for you. An attention turn-off is a subject line which is bland, such as “Seeking Overseas Teaching Position”. A super strong attention grabber and a much better subject line would be “Math teacher available NOW”. If a math position is open you can be sure your email will be read. If a position opens in the future, a quick search of the inbox will bring your resume up again.
Where to find the names and email address of school directors. Most International Schools schools their recruiting procedures along with resume submission information on their web sites. You can also use our School Web Site section to find and contact schools. There are also web sites that serve as directories to International Schools and a search will bring them up.
Know about the schools you contact. A little research can go a long way. Just visiting a school’s web site often yields insight into various unique facets of the school. You can use bits and pieces of this information in your cover letter to show you have carefully selected this school and are not just blanketing the world with resumes. Let directors know what you can coach, advise, and do for the school beyond your classroom work and let your background and history sing your praises for the specific needs and wants of the school.
Use Skype.com to call directors. With Skype it’s practically free to call fixed-phone and cell-phone numbers around the world. Email your cover letter and resume and then follow up a few days later with a phone call. Being politely persistent says a lot about you. Keeping your name at the top of the list and making it as convenient as possible for a director to consider your candidacy is the objective.
Make a short video of yourself and upload it to YouTube. Supply a link to your video in all your emails. Introduce yourself in your video. Talk about your teaching philosophy. Present a short lesson. Allow directors to see the “real” you and not just statistics on a page.
Create a small web site about yourself with photos and supply a link to your site in all your emails. GoDaddy.com and many other web hosting companies supply templates so you can create a simple web site and have it up and running in a matter of hours. No technical knowledge is needed. Market yourself. Let school directors see you as the dynamic person that you are with much to contribute to their school.
Stay organized. You’ll be contacting many schools and you need to be organized. We suggest you create a file to store information, such as school and directors’ names, date on which you sent your cover letter/resume, position(s) applied for and other information to help you remember to whom you sent what and on what date. Be ready for that phone call!
Remain confident. Job-hunting requires time and energy. Don’t give up even if you are still looking for a job and it seems like everyone you know has found one. Keeping a positive attitude and believing in YOU is an important aspect of the job search. It does happen that schools may have openings even after the school year begins as enrollments change and some staff do not show up or work out. Remaining confident is your best option as you step into the perfect job while you remain ready, strong and confident of your abilities.
Check school web sites for employment applications and a ‘what to send’ list. Most schools are well organized when it comes to hiring foreign staff and include an employment section on their web site. Follow the instructions to the letter, and submit your material as per their guidelines. Varying from the noted procedure could put you out of the running.
Send a Fax. Assuming a school gives no specific procedure for submission of an employment application, you can put your resume directly into the hands of a school’s director by sending a fax. Faxing is cheap and easy with Skype-fax or other computer-to-fax services. Even if a school does list a submission procedure, if you don’t hear back….FAX!
What else can you do for a school? Many educators enjoyed successful careers before answering the call of the classroom. If you have experience and/or skills in such fields as business, health care/insurance, technology or in a profession that could lend itself well to helping a small, developing school, be sure to note this in your cover letter. Your extra-curricular expertise may be what opens the door for you.
Make your personal web site as complete as can be. Create pdf versions of all letters of evaluation/recommendation and post them to your personal web site. Include your philosophy of education and even a section with curriculum units you created and taught. Add a section about your interests, hobbies, skills and work history outside the classroom. Make it easy for directors to find out ALL about you and conclude you are the right candidate for the job. You never know what new directions a director may wish to move the school towards.