Starting in November or early October you have submitted all of your registration information to your recruiter and you have been invited to attend a job fair. What can you do to prepare for a job fair?
After reading many forums and blogs some tips for a successful job fair include:
- Book your flights and hotel as soon as possible to get better prices
- Update your résumé
- Get some passport size photos of yourself to attach to your résumé – so that recruiters can attach a face to a name
- Buy thank you notes to give to recruiters after the interview
- Review the information given to you about the fair regarding the schools that will be in attendance at the fair. Contact these schools directly to try to get your name out there. Try to schedule a time to interview with the school (either on Skype before the fair or schedule a time for the fair).
- Study the salary and benefits packages offered by different schools in different countries. Be aware that the salary may seem ridiculously low, but if the cost of living in that country is comparably low, you may be able to do a lot of travelling and/or save good money. The reverse is also true of schools in more prosperous countries where the salary may seem good, even high, but if cost of living is prohibitively high, then you may well be paying to live there. Regardless of spending power, you need to be able to pay any student loans or debts back home.
- Prepare brief answers to standard interview questions with good, clear examples of how you have done something before or how you might t apply your skills and experience at such and such school.
- Practice your interviewing skills with a friend, partner or relative while still sounding natural. Schools want you to fit in with their staff so just be yourself.
- Prepare some questions for the recruiter about such things as academic standards; student population; teacher camaraderie; parent expectations; quality of resources available at the school; school facilities; orientation for new teachers; administrative support for teachers professional development; accessibility and quality of cultural and recreational activities; telecommunications and internet access; accommodation for teachers; daily life; quality of health care; extra-curricular programs and workload.
- Prepare a portfolio (it can be an online version) of a few simple but illustrative examples of your students’ work or some photos of them engaging in some kind of interactive, creative, or hands-on activity.
- Leave recruiters with more than just an average résumé to remember you by. Alongside your resume, you can leave a recruiter with a pamphlet, magnet, CD Portfolio with your picture on the sleeve, a pen with your name and website address on it, etc. Try to be creative.
- Pack professional yet comfortable clothes. Formal work attire is best. Think suit and tie for men and jacket and skirt for women. Remember that you will be on your feet for a long time so comfortable shoes are a must.