Job hunting is never fun, but especially so in the ESL industry where you can be halfway around the world from your potential employer. To make the process less stressful, we've compiled 11 insider tips for English teachers who are seeking jobs abroad.
1. Perfect your email introduction, resume & cover letter
You should attach a copy of your resume and cover letter if applicable. Your resume is of vital importance, so triple check it with multiple friends before you start the application process. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
See more: Resume tips & tricks.
See more: Writing a cover letter.
2. Take advantage of paid teach abroad programs
Think of it this way: if you're paying for a TESOL course anyway, why not take one that can lead you directly to a job in the country where you want to work?
For more, check out our article on choosing a TEFL course.
3. Don't get lost in a sea of information.
4. Pay attention to hiring seasons
5. Look for jobs in the right places
If you are new to teaching, making friends at your TESOL training course can be equally beneficial. Failing this, there are a number of forums and facebook pages where you can make acquaintances to add to your network of English teachers.
Be sure also to join local TESOL groups in your area, such as KOTESOL in Korea. These are a gold-mine for professional networking, as aside from meeting teachers like yourself, you also have the chance to mingle with industry heavyweights and potential future employers.
7. Know what you're worth
The bottom line is to know what you're worth and not accept any offer that you're not comfortable with.
Don't be afraid to negotiate when it comes to your salary. Some job offers will be inflexible regarding salary but it doesn't hurt to ask. A good strategy is to accept the salary but negotiate better benefits such as a higher housing allowance, more paid vacation time, paid utilities or free cell phone plan. Be careful of accepting performance bonuses as many employers have been known to find ways of sneakily avoiding paying these.
For more information, check out our infographic about what English teachers earn.and save in South East Asia.
8. Be professional.
From the first stage of contact to the last, maintain a level of professionalism that would be expected of you in any other job.
9. Be wary of scams
I almost didn't include this one as I didn't want to scare away inexperienced teachers, but I figured it's better for them to know the truth. While scams are out there, they are not incredibly common and are generally easy to spot from a mile away. Be vigilant and don't let greed overtake your commonsense. Stick to the saying, 'If it's too good to be true, it probably is.’.
10. Speak to current teachers
11. Search Blacklists
Do you have any tips we left out? Leave a comment below.