When looking for jobs it is very useful to use the services of recruiters. These guys have contacts with schools looking for staff and can help put you in contact with them. However as most of you are aware recruiters have a bad reputation. This has come about because of them taking an unfair cut of your salary and/or benefits. I have met teachers whose recruiter had being taking his sick and holiday pay. He only found this out when he told the school he was leaving because he could not afford to live without a salary over the summer, the school was shocked because they were paying the recruitment company who then keeping it. Recruiters make money from finding you a job, so be aware their priority is to fill a position not to find you a dream job.
How To Find A Good Recruiter
The first thing is to avoid any recruiter who asks for money. That is simply not how things work, the recruiter gets paid by the school. If they are charging you money it shows that they think your new and don't know how things work so can rip you off.
Second, only use the recruit to introduce you to the school, don't sign a contract with an agent or recruiter - do it directly with the school. This will prevent the recruiter from taking a cut of your wage or benefits.
Third, be aware of the countries employment laws and what the recruiter is telling you. In China it is not possible to get a work permit without a degree. If a recruiter is pushing you into a job without a work permit and does not make you aware of the dangers there is a good chance they don't have your best interest at heart.
Fourth, listen to the recruiter. They will know what jobs are about and the wages that are linked to your experience and qualifications. Although be aware that most agents will try to lower your expectations to make it easier to find you a suitable job.
So now you have chosen your recruiter(s) how to deal with them?
1)Recruiters make their money from finding you a job, so they are on your side, be nice to them and listen to what they say. If a recruiter advices you to update or improve your C.V do it, and if you are unsure what needs improving ask them. They want you to get an interview and you'll only manage that if your C.V is acceptable.(Check out My 8 Tips To Writing A C.V)
2) Try to build a positive relationship, because they make money from finding you a job, they are often nice to you even if you are being rude. Why be nice? because then they are more likely to remember you when a great job for you comes up, your not the only teacher they can offer jobs to and if you have been rude to them and another teacher has been nice they might just pass on one C.V.
3) If a recruiter is asking for documents of you it is because they need it to secure an interview. The longer you mess around the less likely you are to get an interview.
4) Use the knowledge of your recruiter, they will often know what sort of candidates schools are looking for, so ask them what you should do to get certain jobs.
5) Tell the recruiter your motivations for working. If they know that you want to work in Beijing because your wife works there, they wont bother sending you jobs in Nanjing. If they know that you want to work at an IB school, they will not send you to other international schools, this may seem obvious, but the more a recruiter knows about you, the better they will be to find you a job.
6) If you are late for an interview or miss one completely, apologise to the school and your recruiter. People being late and missing interviews does reflect badly on yourself, but also on the agent.