There are many things to think about when applying for a job with TEFL. You don’t want to get information wrong, end up in a country you don’t like, or be unhappy with your contract. Following our 10 top tips in finding a TEFL job should help you find a job teaching English abroad that suits you.
1. Decide on which countries you would be interested in working in.
The first step in finding your perfect TEFL job is to decide where you want to go, which will help you narrow and focus your job research. There will be factors that are important to you, these could be: the climate, culture or whether you will need a degree. TEFL Org has many articles to help you decide which country best suits you, plus stories from teachers working in countries around the world.
2. Research TEFL in your chosen country.
Researching a country is easy. There are many different ways to find out more: brochures, holiday guides, the internet and speaking to other people about their experiences. All of these factors will indicate the kind of life you will be living whilst you are working abroad. Looking at the TEFL country guides can help you with popular destinations, as it is always good to research what sort of TEFL jobs are available – language schools are common in most countries, but there are other opportunities, such as corporate training or working as a language assistant in a state school, which can suit you better.
3. Find out about visas.
You must know the different visas available to you and what the requirements are. Often schools will help in arranging visas once you are in a position to be accepting a job, but it is in your own interests to make sure you are eligible to work in your chosen country before you start your TEFL adventure. You should know how long you can stay on a tourist visa – some countries allow for unlimited extensions, some have none, so make sure you know the rules and costs involved. If you enter on a tourist visa, you need to find out if you can convert the tourist visa to a work visa or if you have to leave the country. For further information about visas, you should get in touch with the embassy for your chosen country or with the Foreign Office.
4. Decide on the type of teacher you want you to be.
You have to consider many questions when you think about the type of English teacher you want to be: Would you prefer to teach adults or children? Would you like to teach intensive 1-on-1 or full classes? What is your ideal number of students for a class? Would you like to teach business classes? Job postings, such as those on the TEFL Org UK site will give you information on what is available.
5. Find out what TEFL qualifications you need.
TEFL employers want teachers with a TEFL certificate. Some countries and employers have different requirements so it is important you find out what you need. The TEFL jobs section can give you, details of what employers are looking for. A TEFL certificate proves that you have completed an intensive course, structured to provide students with the basic skills to teach English without any other experience. The TEFL certificate allows students to teach all over the world and can be favourable to those seeking jobs as it shows you have gained valuable skills. It’s easy to apply for a TEFL course – see our TEFL courses page for more information.
6. Make sure your CV is up to a high standard.
Your CV is the first chance you get to make a good impression. A high-quality CV will boost your chances of getting an interview. Remember, your employer may not be a native English speaker and using confusing technical jargon can put employers off, so be careful to keep your CV simple! If you are new to teaching, mention any training, childcare or teaching experience, time spent working or living abroad – all of which are attractive to TEFL employers. Also, with the TEFL Org job advice service, you can have your CV checked by a TEFL expert to make sure it is well suited to your job application before you apply.
7. Know where to find TEFL jobs.
Taking a TEFL Org UK course gives you access to our free online TEFL Jobs Centre, including access to all TEFL jobs advertised on the site – these vacancies are perfect for first-time teachers! There are many other TEFL job sites, such as TEFL.com and Dave’s ESL café, where recruiters and schools advertise new jobs around the world. Finally, contacting individual schools and recruiters can offer job vacancies, especially if you have a very specific location in mind.
8. Visit the country.
The most effective way to find TEFL jobs is to head to where you want to work. By visiting schools and handing your CV in personally, employers can judge you better face-to-face and see how well you can speak English. Also, you will more likely hear about other schools and TEFL jobs on offer if you are in the area.
9. Ace your TEFL interview.
To stand out from other applicants, a teacher needs to be enthusiastic about the country and the job. Being confident and clear is another great way to impress employers, as schools will not be impressed with a teacher who mumbles. Also, the end of an interview is a golden opportunity for you to ask questions and to show how interested you are in the school. You could ask about the uniform, about student demographics or teaching resources. Your best bet at a TEFL interview is to be the best, professional version of yourself, and look at an interview as an adventure.
10. Check out the school and your contract carefully
When researching the school, it is necessary to find out, non-teaching hours and how your salary is paid. Researching what other teachers think of the school is always useful. This can easily be done by searching for posts about the school online or asking to speak to a current teacher – a good school will try and accommodate this.
Teaching contracts should set out the length of time you will be working in a country, your salary, accommodation, holidays, teaching hours and if hours may be required outside of the classroom. Make sure you understand it and are happy with these important details. The employer wants a committed employee who will keep to their contract and do a fantastic job teaching.
We look forward to hearing how your progress goes, and wish you the best of luck!