TEFL Job Search Tips: #1

Job Search in TEFL

If you read the previous post about finding a TEFL position where you can use your special set of skills, knowledge and experience, you will understand that finding these types of positions puts you ahead of the job search game, ahead of the pack looking for any type of English teaching job.

Today I want to bring to your attention that you should not only apply to schools advertising jobs but also to apply to those schools not advertising – this might your best strategy. The last three of my four college/university teaching jobs I got at schools that were not advertising at the time.

I believe there are many reasons why it is better to apply using this strategy, but I will highlight the two most important reasons:

Schools often prefer not to advertise and interview candidates.

It is more than common that schools don’t have a human resources team to advertise jobs and interview potential teachers. The time-consuming task of interviewing, sifting through applications and asking questions is usually done by a teacher that is already busy with teaching, their own responsibilities and daily tasks.

Taking part in the hiring process can be a tiring process for these teachers, something that will not make them jump for joy. If a qualified candidate presents themselves in person or sends a CV/resume with a photo via mail – for a current job opening, or an opening coming soon – this will lift the weight from their shoulders.

The Numbers Game

My friend once looked for a job in a language school in a city with about ten major schools. Most of these schools had four to eight teachers, they were looking for a native-speaking foreigner but they rarely advertised and had no clue how to get someone for the position without using a recruiter.

My friend was hesitant to apply for unadvertised positions.

But if you have a look at the numbers, you’ll figure that there are ten schools with about six teachers each. If you do the math that means sixty teachers rotating in and out….so on average, one opening every week.

There is a 40% opportunity that any one of those schools will have an opening or an opening coming up. Usually people will give a month’s notice (toward the end of their one-year contract) at those schools which means there will be at least four openings that schools know about at any one time.

If they don’t have to go through all the time-consuming interviews their workload will surely be less!

Ted’s Tips™ #1: Time is what you make of it, don’t wait for the advertisement, go out and get the job.

Ted’s Tips™ #2:  If you are polite, friendly and searching for a job in an appropriate manner, you may well be lucky enough to hear about an opening at a school through another school, college or university.

Get ahead of the game, out think your competition.

Teaching Internships in China



Author: Ted

Semi-retired EFL teacher/teacher-trainer working and living abroad since 1989 in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.