How to Get Hired to Teach English Abroad: 5 Quick Tips

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Job searching can be an overwhelming task, especially in a foreign country. Those of you who have are currently taking or have just finished your TEFL certification course may wonder: How is job searching different abroad? What are TEFL schools looking for in prospective teachers? What can I do to set myself apart from the competition? In short, what can I do to teach English abroad?

Well get ready, because I’ve got 5 quick tips to help you get your dream job to teach English abroad:

1. Teach English Abroad: It’s never too early to put out feelers!

English schools get lots of applicants, but you want them to remember you. To make sure they do, start your search early— contact schools during or even before your TEFL course. Send inquiry emails to school directors (by name!), briefly introducing yourself and asking about openings. Follow up with a phone call asking for an interview. This will help you stand out when you apply for a job to teach English abroad.

2. Teach English Abroad: Write a rockin’ resume.

Once you’ve completed your course, you’re ready to send your shiny new resume to employers to teach English abroad. Here are some points in mind:

  • Give your TEFL credentials top billing! This is a teaching resume, so the first thing employers should see is that you are certified to teach English abroad. If you earned your TEFL onsite, (not online), make that distinction. You’ve earned it!
  • Include a Skype or MSN chat ID in your contact info. This makes you more accessible and also shows you are technology-savvy.
  • Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to include a photo. This is standard practice for many schools looking for qualified people to teach English abroad. Choose a professional-looking headshot with a friendly smile.

3. Teach English Abroad: Knock on doors.

In many countries, face-to-face inquiries are the best way to get hired. If you can schedule an interview, great. But if not, don’t hesitate to stop by the school, resume in-hand, and ask to speak to the director! Often they’ll interview you (or hire you!) on-the-spot.

4. Teach English Abroad: Make a professional first impression.

Whether pounding the pavement in Prague, or interviewing at a school on the beaches of Costa Rica, use your appearance as a chance to impress. Skip the jeans, sandals and t-shirts! Imagine yourself teaching corporate English to CEOs— and dress the part.

5. Teach English Abroad: Let your personality shine through.

Is your resume a bit skimpy? Don’t worry, what you lack in experience, you can make up for in charisma. So much of teaching English as a second language is about engaging students in a fun way. Show the employer that you’re outgoing and energetic, and you’ll be someone they can imagine inspiring students to learn!

Following these steps will help you fulfill your dream to teach English abroad.

Read on for more tips on how to land a TEFL job.

Does your prospective employer want to interview you online? Check out these tips for acing a TEFL skype interview.

October 3, 2011