Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Attending an International Recruitment Center Conference

I attended the Fairfax, Virginia IRC on June 11th to 13th of this year.  This was my first IRC conference and it proved to be a successful one for me.  If you are interested in attending one of the upcoming IRC Conferences scheduled for 2011, please visit this link:  International Recruitment Center for the dates and locations.

For those of you who have already decided to attend an IRC, here are some strategies and suggestions that I followed and proved to be helpful in achieving the goal of getting an interview and later on a job offer!

BEFORE deciding that you might want to attend an IRC:

  • Make sure that your file (dossier) is up to date with ISS fees have been paid.
  • Pay the fee to attend the IRC, otherwise you will not be able to attend the event.
  • Try to book your room accommodations at the same hotel that the ISS is using for the IRC Conference.  
  • Use the ISS registration code to get a cheaper rate on your room.
  • Arrange for plenty of travel time from your home to the hotel.  You will want to freshen up before the IRC Orientation Event.
  • Organize all of your credentials in a two-pocket folder.  In that two-pocket folder include:
    • A label with your name and address on the front of the packet.
    • Left Pocket:
      • Business Card (you can make your own or order cards from your State Teacher's Association)  Here is a link to order business cards from for less than $10:  Counterpoint and also Vistaprint are two online and reliable printing companies that I have used in the past.
      • Resume
      • Contact Information for your Professional References
      • Educational Philosophy, Vision, and Code of Ethics.
      • Any executive summaries for:
        • Action Research
        • Projects
        • Committees
    • Right Pocket:
      • A label with any URL's for online portfolios, wikis, etc.
      • Copies of all of your State Licenses (Teacher, Supervisor, Principal, etc.)
      • Copies of all of your Diplomas
      • Copies of all of your Transcripts
      • Copies of all of your Assessments (NTE, Praxis, etc.)
  • Make sure that you have enough packets to give each school that will be in attendance at the IRC.
  • Invest in a Presentation Portfolio
    • Have all of the documents mentioned above in this portfolio.
    •  Additional reports, presentations, or documents that will help you showcase your work and the work of your students.
  • Pack professional attire for all IRC events.  Two business suits, dress shoes, and accessories should do the trick. Remember, first impressions always make a big difference!
  • Bring stationary, pens, highlighters, pencils, extra business cards, and lots of mailing labels (this is a perfect time to use all of those free labels that come in the mail and accumulate around your desk area at your home).
  • Bring a buddy that you can bounce ideas back and forth with about the possibilities that are going to be presented to you during the IRC.
  • Don't forget to bring your laptop and cell phone.  Use the laptop to research the schools that you have an interest in meeting with their recruiters.  The cell phone comes in handy if a recruiter needs to meet with you right away.
  • Bring an open mind!!! 

the IRC:

  • Check-In with the IRC desk and pick up your credentials.
  • Attend the IRC Orientation program.  - This is a VERY helpful event prior to meeting the recruiters the next day.  This is were you will receive the most up-to-date list of vacancies, the ISS School Directory, and the latest copy of NewsLink.
  • After the orientation event, take some time to read all of the materials given to you at both check-in and at the orientation meeting.  
  • Select the schools that have vacancies that you are eligible for based on your credentials and experience from the vacancy list.
  • Prepare an introductory speech that will include:
    • Complete Name
    • Subject and grade levels taught
    • Years of experience
    • Interest in the position listed
  • Meeting with Recruiters:  This is a meet and greet opportunity.  Do not take more than five minutes with the recruiter.  Have your introductory speech memorized and charm them with your smile!
    • Introduce yourself and indicate to him or her that you are interested in interviewing for the position posted on the vacancy list.  Give them your folder to review before they see you for the official interview.
    • Set up the interview, thank the recruiter, and move on to the to the next recruiter of interest.
    • Once you have met with all of the recruiters that you have credentials for, go ahead and introduce yourself to the other recruiters.  Ask them to keep your folder on file in the event that unexpected vacancies at their school occur after the IRC that you are qualified to teach.  
  • Strike conversations with everyone in the waiting lines to see recruiters and those candidates mingling around the IRC help desk area.  This is a great opportunity not only to meet and network with other teachers, it is also a great way to create new friendships and check out the competition!
  • Interviewing with Recruiters:
    • Be on time!
    • Most interviews will happen in the recruiters hotel room.  Don't be alarmed.  This is a cost saving move on the part of the IRC and there is nothing suspect about it.
    • Relax, be yourself, enjoy the process.  Most of the interviews should feel like a conversation and should not feel rushed.  Take notes during the interview.
    • Ask questions about health coverage, retirement, housing, relocation fees, visas, etc.  Most schools will hold your hand during this process.  So ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the job placement and the decision of teaching overseas.
    • Please remember that if you agree to take the job verbally, that becomes a binding contract!
  • After meeting with a recruiter, put a thank you note in the recruiter's mailbox by the IRC help desk.  It may sound quaint, but it is good manners, and it works!


  • If you did not get a job offer during the IRC, don't give up!  Other opportunities await you!
  • Keep checking the candidate portal of ISS and keep sending emails to recruiters listed on the portal for job openings.
  • Keep checking the ISS website for additional information on upcoming IRCs.
  • Start planning on what you would like to pack, give away, or sell.  Eventually, you will be hired to teach overseas and there is no time like the present to lighten up the load in the event you get a job offer that you may need to relocate quite rapidly.

I wish you a productive and successful IRC experience.  If I can be of further help, just drop me a note here, and I promise to get back to you soon!  

All the best,
The Nomadic Librarian

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