Teaching is a popular career choice, and if you're seeking your dream role, you could face stiff competition. With the right know-how, preparation and planning, there's every chance your dream teaching job could transpire into reality.
Be open-minded with location
Many overseas teachers coming to the UK may be attracted to teaching in London, as they get to experience the buzz of the capital city. Yet, jobs here may be in short supply or inundated by applicants. If you remain a bit more flexible and open-minded with regards to your location, you may find your dream teaching job in another part of the country you hadn't first considered.
Get a foot in the door
The path to your dream teaching job may require a different approach to get there. Many teachers secure their jobs by starting out as supply teachers, taking part-time roles or other positions within a school. If you've got a particular school or position in mind, consider a compromise to get to where you eventually want to be.
Tailor your application
Sending out generic application forms won't make your CV stand out from others, so give it a fighting chance of being shortlisted by tailoring your application to each school. Research information about the school by scrutinising its website. Find out what the ethos of the school is, what it believes in, and what achievements or specialisms it's known for. Show how your skills and experience reflect the particular attributes of each school, and how you would be an asset. Think about what skills you can bring to the school besides teaching, such as performing, leading, coaching or directing.
It's also worth finding out why a job role may have arisen, and tie this into your application to show how you can fulfil this need. For example, if the school is expanding, explain how you would thrive in a school that's growing
Make your CV summary stand out
The professional profile summary at the start of your CV lets you sell yourself in a couple of sentences. It's often this section that gets scanned first by recruiters when sifting through piles of applications, so don't waste this golden opportunity to make yourself shine. Be specific in your summary and outline what makes you perfect for the job. Instead of writing what type of job you're seeking, mention any teaching-related achievements or strengths you possess. Back this up with specific data or evidence, where possible.
Avoid silly CV mistakes
Don't let your CV down by making school-boy errors, such as bad grammar or spelling mistakes. These won't instil confidence in the interviewer of your teaching abilities! Remember, that if you're considering teaching in the UK, you'll need to use British English on your CV, so make use of your spell checker before sending your application off.
More than just teaching
These days, teachers seeking jobs need to demonstrate that they have more than just teaching qualifications. If you want to secure your dream teaching role, be sure to bring a wide range of skills to the table. Leadership abilities, communicating with parents, classroom management, dealing with difficult or personal issues, time management and computer skills are all highly sought-after in the classroom.
Update your skills
Find out what the teaching role requires from applicants, and make sure your skills and experience fit the bill. If you're teaching abroad, be certain you have the necessary equivalent training to apply for posts. Consider updating your skills, if needed. Even if you possess the required skills criteria, continuing with professional training and development in relevant areas can prove your commitment to a job, and may put you at an advantage during the teacher recruitment process.
Use a teaching agency
Teaching in the UK from overseas can prove challenging for those not already familiar with the teacher recruitment process in this country. On top of this, overseas teachers will face competition from resident teachers when applying for posts. To overcome these obstacles, and to help secure your dream job teaching abroad, using a specialised teaching agency for overseas nationals can help you get that all-important foot in the door. Aside from helping with your job search, some teaching agencies can provide you with support and advice to help you settle better into your host country.
Prepare for the interview
Confidence is key when attending a teaching job interview as if you come across as nervous or unprepared, your suitability to lead a class may be questioned. Familiarise yourself with the school by looking at its website and think about appropriate questions you can ask at the end so that it shows you are enthusiastic and committed to the role. It goes without saying, that you should always dress smartly for the interview, even if the school adopts an informal dress code policy.