As TEFL related jobs can be found in almost every part of the world, there is no one best way of finding the right position for you. Recruitment strategies vary depending on the region, country, and individual employer. To give you a broad idea of your choices we take a look at the main recruitment options below:
Should I apply for TEFL Jobs online?
Finding a TEFL job online is increasingly the most popular option, particularly if you are looking for a position outside of the country where you are living. By searching online you will find a number of different job boards dedicated to international teaching jobs. Often, these jobs will be located in regions where the local demand is so high that schools are happy to take on teachers without meeting them in person. This is most common in parts of Asia, the Middle East region, and to a less extent Europe. Simply put together a list of the jobs that you like the look of, fill out an application, send a CV/resume with a cover letter and then wait for a reply. If any of your applications are successful you can then expect an interview via webcam or phone.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying for TEFL jobs online?
The big advantage of this approach to employment is you can arrange a job overseas without having to leave home first. On the downside, you do not get the opportunity to get a feel for the location, school premises, or the employer before making a decision. If you go down this route it is vital that you are very clear on the main details of the contract, including salary, working hours, and any penalties you might incur if the job is not as advertised and you choose to break the contract. However, if the worst case scenario happens and you are not happy with the job once you arrive you will be in a good position to find an alternative from within the country.
Should I apply for jobs with a TEFL recruitment company?
Another popular method of finding a TEFL related job before leaving home is through a recruitment company. These companies are hired by schools and other employers to take care of their recruitment for them, particularly in the Middle East region. Once again, the main benefit of this approach is the security of knowing you have a job in place before getting on a plane. Recruitment companies also have the added bonus of taking care of things such as visas and work permits which can often be a time consuming and complicated business. One word of warning is that there are often stories online of bogus recruitment companies so it is best to research their credentials before signing up with them.
Are national TEFL recruitment programs a good option?
Similar to standard recruitment companies, there are several countries that have government organized recruitment schemes that employ foreign teachers for their national school systems. Two particularly large and well-known examples are the JET Program in Japan and the EPIK Program in South Korea. These are both highly respected programs that have been in operation for many years, offering positions to thousands of teachers every year. However, as these schemes generally offer a very good package they are often oversubscribed and you will need to meet certain criteria to qualify.
Should I apply for TEFL jobs locally?
The old-school approach to job hunting has many advantages in the TEFL environment. You will often have a wider choice of jobs and crucially you get to visit them all in person to see if they are of interest to you. Wherever you are in the world you should be able to follow this method and gain success, and in some areas such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, and parts of Europe it is the only realistic option in many cases. The one drawback here is you will need to arrive with enough cash to last until you receive your first paycheck, and it is not easy to say how long that might take.
Is it a good idea to use more than one method when TEFL job hunting?
Absolutely. By using multiple approaches you will increase your chances of finding the perfect job to suit your plans. If you know the area where you want to be in you can apply to all the jobs you like the look of online, sign up with a recruitment company that operates in that region, and apply for a government program if there is one available.