“How do I apply for TEFL jobs abroad?”
This has to be one of the most common questions we’ve encountered since we began supplying TEFL graduates with the skills and knowledge to teach English overseas.
Once you have your qualification, teaching English abroad can be a life-changing experience. However, your first step could well be to find, apply for, and land a job, whilst navigating other potential issues related to moving to another country.
You are not alone! The TEFL Academy has compiled this ultimate guide to help you find and apply for English teaching jobs abroad!
Finding TEFL jobs abroad
Before you start applying for ESL jobs abroad, you first have to find them!
The easiest and most popular way of finding jobs abroad is to look online. Trusted international jobs boards like the one we have here at The TEFL Academy can be a great place to start. We’ve collected the best open opportunities in one place and aim to give you a better insight into what sort of salaries and expectations different countries can have when it comes to applications.
Government-sponsored programmes and third-party recruitment companies are also great options when it comes to sourcing potential placements. However, in the case of recruiters especially, whilst these options save you time in finding and applying for positions, it’s always a good idea to carefully scan through the contracts they put forward and know exactly what kind of deal they’re offering.
There’s no real ‘first level’ or ‘easy mode’ when it comes to the best countries to teach English, though different parts of the world have different benefits for those looking for positions. For example, South Korea might offer the best paid English teaching jobs, however, the work-life balance of a destination like Spain might be more of a priority for you.
Know your destination
Once you have your desired destination in mind, it’s all about standing out from the crowd. A TEFL qualification from The TEFL Academy is a sure way to do that. Accredited and internationally recognised, a TEFL certificate from The TEFL Academy is respected by employers all over the world.
Read more: TEFL Accreditation Explained
Another way of ensuring your application remains away from the bottom of the pile is to research the local language or dialect that people use where you want to go. For example, knowing which countries prefer the word resume compared to CV.
Free tools like Grammarly are great at localising language and ironing out any minor tweaks in spelling and grammar to ensure you’re speaking like a local from the get-go.
It’s also worth taking the time to research the sorts of things employers abroad look for when it comes to applicants. Should you send a cover letter along with your CV? Attach a photo of yourself?
Make sure you have all your personal information updated and all contactable handles (including Whatsapp, Skype etc.) referenced on your application – employers aren’t going to try to hunt you down for an interview if they can’t get in touch!
Top tips for nailing your CV
Once you’ve obtained your TEFL certificate, you’re ready to find English teaching jobs abroad. Your next goal is ensuring you convince an employer you’re worth the investment of being sponsored by an overseas company. Shout about your passion for all things involved with teaching English, put your TEFL accreditation on show and emphasise how ready you are for this opportunity.
Again, a bit of research goes a long way in creating CVs. Take the time to look up what formats and guidelines are enforced by different countries around the world, and make sure you personalise as much as possible to ensure recruiters and employers aren’t just receiving a generic document each time. Obviously, your TEFL qualifications and experience aren’t going to change, but every job has unique skills required that pose an opportunity for you to highlight yourself as the best candidate for the position. For example, if the job involves teaching young learners, highlight any relevant experience, such as coaching a soccer team or au pairing.
Keep things concise, and ensure you do some market research on the core values and missions a company has so you’re as aligned as closely as possible.
Check before you travel
Now you know how to stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs abroad, there’s just one more thing to be mindful of when it comes to the application process. Overseas visas and work permits can take a hefty chunk of both time and money to sort out, and companies will often ask for everything from medical to police records before they let you jet off.
Whilst the employer will more than likely give you a good indication of what they need from you, it’s always a good idea to stay on top of what restrictions, laws and visas exist where you will be going. Check your government’s advice for citizens travelling abroad e.g. the U.S. Department of State or the U.K. Foreign Office for the most up-to-date travel advice, alerts and warnings.
Pounding the pavements
Another option is to find a job by pounding the pavements. If you can travel to your preferred TEFL destination, you will be able to do your research locally, in newspapers, Facebook groups and local community groups. With your well-researched CV in hand, you can set up appointments with Directors of Studies and principals and introduce yourself.
It’s common practice to start off by working as a cover teacher until a position becomes available. If you’re lucky, you might find a job is available immediately – and you’ll save the school the trouble of looking for a teacher!
And that’s it! Your certificate from The TEFL Academy and a custom approach have just bagged your dream job teaching English overseas.
If you’re still in need of that qualification so that you can take the first step towards TEFL, check out our courses now. Take a look at The TEFL Academy learning centre too, for hundreds of resources for making your teaching career a success!