An Effective EFL Job Search #1

I have mentioned before that I sometimes help place people in English teaching jobs in China. Today’s blog will be the first of many that talk about how to improve your job search.

We have to start first with people who want to go and teach English abroad just for a year and sometimes even a shorter period of time. Let me correct that, they don’t really want to teach English, they want to go abroad and teaching English is the way they hope will provide that experience.

Because these people don’t take the idea of teaching English seriously, they often fail in their job search.


Because their job search clearly indicates their lack of sincere interest in helping students learn English. How do I know that? Because their email often begins with “Yo!” I wanna go teach english somewhere – can I? You can do for me?”

Does that indicate a sincere interest in providing some quality instruction for students on the other side of the world, who often have paid a lot of money to sit in your classroom? Sadly, no.

When asked for a photograph – the very photograph that will introduce you to your new employer – they send photos of them dancing drunk with friends in a bar. And recently a very nice guy, with some quite special skills, sent me a photo of him with his family, his beer belly was sticking out and his shirt had stains on it.

What can I say to that?

Take your job search seriously

Your future employer does. They want a responsible professional who will help give their students an advantage in the hard tough ultra-competitive world of developing countries (where most TEFL jobs are). If you present yourself asking for a two-week contract, send photos of you drinking and dancing – what are they to think?

Education in most of the developing world is SERIOUS business. Education is seen as the only way out of a grinding cycle of poverty or difficult jobs with long hours and poor pay. Schools and students are looking to YOU to help them escape to a better world. Help them escape!

Take your job search seriously

Present yourself professionally. Send a professional resume/CV. Send a professional photograph with you in professional dress. Yes, guys in a tie. Ideally seek some training even if only a short online TEFL certification course – to show that you are interested in doing a good job.

While wages can seem very modest abroad, you will often be earning as much or more than someone with a Ph.D teaching at the same school! They take it seriously. So should you. That modest wage, often combined with free accommodation, reimbursed airfares, sometimes even subsidized utilities often means you can save more than you are saving right now.

Come on, get with and treat teaching English abroad – the occupation, the job – with the respect it deserves. No other occupation can provide you with so many options, so many possibilities for seeing and traveling the world and actually saving a few bucks while doing it.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Approach your overseas job search with the same diligence you would a promotion and/or better job in your home country. This is a job that will allow you to travel, work fewer hours, see the world and possibly even save more money than you are saving right now. THAT is worth some diligence!

TED’s Tips™ #2: Get some professional passport type photos taken. They will be worth their weight in gold. Dress professionally, put on a friendly smile (practice if you need to) and look like the sharp skilled person you really are.

What’s up in China? Learn about a great internship program on offer if would like to Teach English in China

How to Teach English Overseas and Secrets to Success Abroad
TEFL Boot Camp  is offering a free download of their new publication Seven Secrets of Success Abroad – and along with it comes a bi-weekly installment and revision of their eBook called How to Teach English Overseas.

Great reviews for the Secrets of Success eBook – in spite of the hokey name – and the How to Teach English eBook is being updated and rewritten and sent out in installments as it is ready.

Here they are – click on the eBooks to get your FREE copies! Great information and the price is right, from our friends at TEFL Boot Camp – CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE EBOOKS.



Please let me know what you think of the ebooks – use the comments section below.

I confess both eBooks are written by yours truly – hoping to inspire others to head overseas and live life BIG out in the real world. I would value your feedback!