Tips for applying to teach in the Middle East

If you’ve been thinking about applying for a teaching position in the Middle East, now is the time to do it! Schools have already started posting positions for the next academic year and some have deadlines for applications as early as January. To get you motivated, I’ve broken down some easy steps to follow and maybe make the process a little less daunting…

  1. Update your CV

I know it’s a drag, but having an up-to-date CV is crucial. I attended a CV workshop in college once and learned that less is more. Apparently employers don’t want to read through pages upon pages of text so keep it concise and to the point. Make sure to include any sports, hobbies, interests you have that could make you stand out. Extracurricular activities are huge in schools here and anything that you could possibly offer may give you an advantage over others.

2. Register with recruitment agencies

Most of these are free to subscribe to. Some well known agencies are teachaway, seekteachers, teachandexplore.com, guardian jobs, and search associates (it takes quite a while to set up a profile on this site but it’s really worth it).

3. Create a LinkedIn profile

And if you already have one ensure it’s up to date. Make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects your strengths and interests. Connect with teachers of your subjects and with potential schools.

4. Do your own research

Contact anyone you know living and working abroad and ask them for recommendations on good schools and if they know of anywhere hiring. Insider information is invaluable! Plus, chances are, they might know of an opening that hasn’t been advertised yet. Also, if you’ve applied to any specific schools, make sure to ask around and try and find out more about them before accepting any offers. Don’t be shy about asking friends of friends for advice…everyone here was once in your position.

5. Keep an eye on recruitment sites

Positions are advertised regularly on tes.co.uk and the times educational supplement.

6. Apply to schools directly

If you already have a school in mind or have been recommended any, check their websites and apply for any positions directly through the school’s online application system (if they have one). That’s how I got my current position.

7. Keep an open mind

You may be dead set on a certain city or country but keeping an open mind means that you’ll have more options and a better chance of securing a position. Also, be aware that requirements may differ from city to city, for example, the teaching council requirements are different in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, despite them being the one country.

8. Be organised

Schools in the Middle East start interviewing very early in the year so get your applications in as early as possible.

9. Take any interview you get

Even if you don’t particularly want that school, do the interview anyway…it’s all good experience.

10. Don’t lose hope

It’s a tiring and monotonous process but stick with it…nothing worthwhile is ever easy!

I hope that helps… please add anything I’ve missed in the comments below.

Good luck 🙂

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