What is in a Search Associates’ reference?

Your supervisors need to spend about 15 minutes listing responses to questions such as –

  • How long you worked together
  • Strengths/concerns
  • Professionalism
  • Teaching effectiveness
  • School relationships
  • Personal qualities

These responses are then added to your profile for recruiters to access.

How many do I need as a teacher?

Although we request 5 online confidential references, we will accept a minimum of 4 as long as three are professional references submitted as requested on either of our Teaching Reference forms.

Search Associates reserves the right to ask for additional references, beyond what is required, if we feel it is necessary.

Why do you need to verify references if they are written from a generic email address?

We can’t know if your references are legitimate if they come from a gmail/yahoo etc. address, so we need to follow these particular references up, which may take some time. We understand that there might be circumstances in which a supervisor needs to use their personal e-mail address (retired, changing schools, etc.).

Do Search Associates contact my referees?

Yes, but only if a school email address is not listed on the returned reference. Otherwise, the schools will contact your workplace for more information.

My supervisor is on summer vacation and without access to his work email. Can I proceed without his reference at this current time?

You can complete your Profile, but until we see your references we cannot accept you as a candidate.

I don’t want my principal to know I am looking for a new position

We understand your hesitation and most teachers feel the same!

We recommend that your Principal knows you are looking internationally as they will need to write a reference in order for us to make you active. We advise saying that you are ‘considering the possibility’. It would be best to become active towards the end of the year, say October, to start the following August.

What references are most valued?

Recruiters understand that a head of school or director may not know you intimately, however, they hear how teachers are impacting the school environment and can make general assessments based on feedback from a variety of sources. Also, these references are particularly valued in light of Child Protection recommendations.

Principal and Deputy Head references are the next most highly regarded, especially as they have a more detailed working knowledge of an employee.

Department Heads/Team Leaders are accepted in cases where candidates may have difficulty in obtaining other references.

Colleagues know you the best as they work closest to you. Unfortunately, we do not accept these as they are less impartial. Recruiters expect to see references from supervisors who are able to comment objectively on your performance as a result of a teacher development / appraisal system. 

Parent references round out your references and are often the icing on the cake – not essential, but a nice extra touch.

We recognise that in some schools, especially those that are quite small, it may not be possible to obtain multiple supervisor references. Please contact Nick if you need further guidance.

What teachers need to ask for

Two references submitted from CURRENT employers/Supervisors

  • One must from the Principal level or higher
  • The second from the Assistant Principal, or similar level, or higher. ONLY if you are unable to provide a second reference from this level, can you submit a reference from the level of academic coordinator, year level coordinator, Dept. Head, etc.
  • Please choose the “Teaching Reference” form when submitting your reference request

AND One reference from PAST employment (within 6 years)

  • From Assistant Principal, or similar level, or higher. ONLY if you are unable to provide a reference from this level, can you submit a reference from the level of academic coordinator, year level coordinator, Dept. Head, etc.
  • Please choose the “Teaching Reference” form when submitting your reference requests

One or Two “Parent” references (parents of students you teach or taught)

  • If you are unable to get Parent references, please request one additional Supervisor reference in its place
  • Please choose the “Parent” form when submitting your reference request

I want to delete the reference from ‘x’

In theory, yes you can. Please contact our office these requests for deleting a reference are reviewed on a case by case basis and must be approved by Search Associates before removal.

I am still at the same school I was at when I asked for references 2 years ago. Should I get new ones?

You might like to think about asking for another reference from a different supervisor as people will know you very well by now and recruiters are looking to view up to date references.

All of my required confidential references have been submitted but they are not checked off as complete on my “Requirements Box”, why?

If you think all of your references have been submitted, and this box is still not checked, please contact us. We have to manually check the box from our end and we may have just missed it.

I want to update one of my old references. How do I do this?

You can simply send out a request form to your referee to complete a new form. Once we receive it, we can delete the old one.

Can you give me an idea of whether my confidential references are strong?

All confidential references are completely confidential and therefore, we are unable to divulge the contents. However, we would not accept you as a candidate if we felt you would not have a reasonable chance of getting a job!

I can’t get new references

One of the reasons Search Associates has a very high reputation among international schools and why top schools use our services is that we screen our candidates thoroughly. This is what they expect. Unfortunately, if you do not have the references we require, you would not be competitive when compared to all other Search candidates and would not be successful in getting a job through our organization.









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