This commonly asked question is actually hard to answer as there are so many variables that can have an affect on the outcome. The one thing we can say for sure is that the vast majority of our TEFL graduates who want to find a teaching job either at home or abroad do so relatively quickly.
Will my choice of teaching destination make a difference?
Where you choose as your teaching destination will have a significant impact as demand for TEFL qualified teachers can vary greatly in different locations. Across much of China demand is so high that newly qualified teachers with no experience will often be able to choose from a range of different positions. Other countries in the region, such as South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam all have a strong demand that makes finding a job relatively straightforward for most teachers.
In contrast, some parts of Western Europe are so popular with foreign teachers that the competition for every job can be tough. First-time teachers might find that well-paid jobs are hard to come by in the most popular parts of France, Italy and Spain for example. Essentially, if you want to find a teaching job and you are willing to be flexible about where you live and work you will have little trouble finding a suitable position in a short space of time. However, if you have one specific location in mind, you will probably need to be a bit more patient and be prepared to work a bit harder to find that ideal job.
Do hiring seasons have an impact on TEFL job recruitment?
As many countries have specific times of year when schools do the majority of their hiring, the timing of your job hunt is an important factor to consider. If you plan on joining government recruitment programs such as the EPIK Program in South Korea or the JET Program in Japan you need to get your application started via their website a long way in advance of the Autumn start date.
If you plan on heading to Western Europe it is well worth noting that somewhere around 50% of all foreign EFL teachers leave their jobs at the end of the school year, which is June to July in most countries. By arriving at your chosen destination before the start of the following term you should find yourself near the front of the queue for interviews at several different schools. In contrast, private language schools are less affected by hiring seasons and jobs can often be found in this sector year-round.
What can I do to boost my TEFL job prospects?
The actions of an individual teacher can impact on their employability in several ways. The biggest thing any teacher can do is to complete a TEFL qualification as this will show potential employers that you are serious about teaching and that you have been trained to fulfil the role. By taking your TEFL course with a leading provider you should also receive extensive help with your job hunt, including leads on potential jobs, assistance with CV/resume preparation, and advice on interviews techniques etc. Despite all this help, it is still the attitude of the individual teacher that will ultimately decide how quickly you secure the position you want. If you approach the whole process with a positive and professional attitude you should find the right jobs are not hard to find. Finally, if you do receive one or two knock backs, do not lose faith as a bit of persistence will usually get you to your goals.