ESL teaching jobs can be found in almost every part of the world, but what is the best way to find a job to suit you? As the approach to recruitment varies from one region to the next, there is no simple answer to this question. Below we outline the main job hunting strategies that TESOL qualified teachers can use to find their dream job.
How do I apply for TESOL Jobs online?
Online job hunting is increasingly common, particularly if you are looking for a position outside of the country where you are currently residing. A quick online search will reveal several job boards that post vacant teaching positions from all over the world. In many cases, these jobs will be in areas where the demand for teachers is so high that employers choose to hire foreign teachers without actually meeting them in person. Jobs in this category are most often found in Asia, the Middle East and in parts of Europe. By using these websites you can draw up a list of potential jobs and then fill in the online application form or send your CV/resume with a cover letter and wait to hear back. If one or more of the employers like what you have to offer you will then have an interview via webcam or phone.
What are the pros and cons of applying for TESOL jobs online?
The main bonus of this form of application is you can secure a job before you leave your home country. The main downside is you do not get to meet the employer or see the school and general location of where you are going to live and work before you sign a contract. To avoid any major problems you need to ensure that the contract is very clear on important issues such as your salary, the amount of working hours, and any potential penalties if you decide to break your contract prematurely. If you arrive at your job to find it is not all you were hoping for, you will still be in a good position to find an alternative from within the country.
What are the pros and cons of using a TESOL recruitment company?
Using the services of a recruitment company is another popular option if you want to have a job in place before you leave home. Many employers around the world, particularly in the Middle East, use external recruiters to fill their vacant positions. As well as the security you get from knowing you have a job waiting for you upon arrival, using a recruitment company also removes much of the hassle involved in organizing things such as visas, work permits and other official documentation. The only real downside is that are some less than reputable companies out there so you should do plenty of research to ensure you get all the services you are promised.
What about national TESOL recruitment programs?
There are several government sponsored programs around the world that offer a good way into ESL teaching in certain countries. The two biggest examples of this are the JET Program in Japan and the EPIK Program in South Korea. Both of these long running and well respected programs recruit a large number of teachers every year to work in state schools. Some of these programs are extremely popular and you will need to meet certain criteria to be in with a chance of being accepted.
What are the pros and cons of applying for TESOL jobs locally?
There are many advantages to actually being in a country where you want to find a teaching job. This approach will typically give you more choice in the job market and you will also be able to visit individual schools to see if they are suitable for you. This method of job hunting will work in most countries around the world, and in areas such as Latin America and many parts of Europe it is the only realistic option for most people as few jobs are advertised online. The main drawback is that you will need sufficient finances to see you through to when you receive your first paycheck, and it is difficult to say how long that might be.
Should I take a TESOL course in the country where I want to work?
If you have yet to complete a TESOL qualification you might want to consider doing an in-class TESOL certification course in the region where you want to live and work. This is a great way to gain your teaching qualification at the same time as finding your feet in your new environment. During the course you will be able to get a feel for the local job market and take advantage of the training center?s local knowledge and connections with employers.
Should I use more than one method of TESOL job hunting?
There is no need to only use one approach to your job search if you want to have as wide a choice as possible. Once you know where you want to teach you can sign-up for a TESOL course in that region, contact recruitment companies regarding any openings they have available, and also send off your CV/resume to as many jobs as can find online. The wider you cast your search, the more chance you will have of finding the perfect ESL job to suit your plans.