12 Job Tips for Teaching English Online

By Bridge
April 27, 2020
Online English teaching interview

For experienced teachers and newbies alike, the process of getting an online teaching job can be full of unknowns. Teachers may wonder where to find jobs with legitimate companies, what to expect during the application process, or how to prepare for a teaching demo during the interview  These job tips for teaching English online will help you start your new career off on the right foot.

Tips for Preparing for Your Online Teaching Job Search

1. Understand your job options for teaching English online

Starting out, it’s helpful to know that there are many different ways to teach English online! You can work for a company, market yourself on a teacher marketplace platform, or start your own freelance online tutoring business. Which option is right for you depends on where you are in your career, your qualifications, the level of autonomy you would like as a teacher, and your future goals.

If you’re interested in learning how to start your own freelance tutoring business, check out Bridge’s newest Specialized Certification Course: Teaching English Online as a Freelancer.

Carla, Freelance English Tutor

Carla is a freelance English tutor in Brazil. Read her story. 

2. Do your research – compare online teaching jobs

Should you decide to work for a company, or even a teacher marketplace, TEFL/TESOL job boards, such as the Bridge Job Board, are the perfect place to start your research into where to teach. Job boards are the ideal place to compare the requirements, pay range, minimum hours per week (if any), location of the students (as their time zone will affect your work schedule), and other details for a variety of companies.

Online Teaching Jobs on the Bridge Job Board

Online Teaching Jobs on the Bridge Job Board

3. Claim and showcase your Bridge digital badges

Hiring managers see a lot of resumes! Make yours stand out with the addition of a 21st-century credential – digital badges. If you’re a graduate of one of our Bridge TEFL/TESOL courses, you’ll get a free digital badge (in addition to your certificate) to showcase every achievement you earn. Share your badges on your resume, as well as other places employers will see them, such as your LinkedIn profile or email signature. You can also add your digital badges to your teacher marketplace profile or freelance website, to attract more students.

Read more about how to use your digital badges to get TEFL jobs.

Resume with BridgeTEFL digital badge

4. Highlight any ESL professional development

Beyond your TEFL/TESOL certification, English language teaching companies love to see that you’re someone who prioritizes learning throughout your career. Whether you’re new to teaching or have many years of experience, make sure your resume includes any recent courses you’ve taken, conferences you’ve attended, or teaching memberships you have.

Learn about professional development for ESL teachers.

5. Showcase your language skills, especially if English isn’t your first language

If you’ve learned (or are learning) a language, you’ll likely be better at teaching one, so make sure and highlight your experience as a student of any second language. And, if you’re a non-native English speaker, your first language can be an advantage as an online English teacher since you can market yourself to beginner students in your home country or anywhere your first language is spoken.

Sheyla, an independent English teacher in the US

Sheyla, from Brazil, started her own online tutoring business in the States catering to Brazilian students in the US, Canada, and her home country. 

6. Specialize your TEFL/TESOL training to increase job prospects and earning potential

Most online teaching jobs offer a range of hourly pay. How can you fall on the high end of that range? Earning a specialization certificate in your teaching area of interest, whether it’s teaching kids, adults, professionals, a specialized certification in teaching online or a Bridge Micro-credential course certificate is a great way to maximize your earning potential.

What are teaching online salaries like? How much can you make?

Tips for Applying to Online Teaching Jobs

7. No experience? No problem. Get experience before you apply

If you don’t have previous teaching experience, you can still get a job teaching English online, but experience is an advantage and it may lead to higher pay. Some ways to add teaching experience to your resume are:

  • Widen your definition of experience. Include past jobs or volunteer positions in which you’ve worked with kids, such as coaching or babysitting, as well as any experience training coworkers or employees on the job.
  • Add a 60-hour virtual Practicum in Teaching English Online to your TEFL/TESOL certification.
  • First, get online tutoring experience with a company that doesn’t require teaching experience, such as Cambly, and later you can apply to higher-paid jobs.

8. Create a resume specifically for teaching online

Don’t worry, your teaching English online resume won’t be drastically different from your standard resume; however, there are some small changes you can make to fit this type of job.

Get more tips on how to make a stand-out online teacher resume.

9. Use the Bridge Common Application to apply for multiple online jobs at once

If you prefer some assistance from a job advisor in connecting with trusted employers, tell us more about yourself here, and we may be able to match you with an online teaching job even before you finish your TEFL /TESOL course! Bridge works closely with a network of Preferred Employment Partners, which are full-vetted, trusted companies that hire our graduates. Our common application streamlines the application process with these Partners by giving you the option to apply to as many as you like with a single application!

Tips for the Online Teaching Job Interview

10. Ask the right questions during the interview

When interviewing for an online English teaching job, just like any job, it’s important to ask well thought out questions to show you’ve done your research on the company and the job.  For example, ask a specific question about the online teaching platform or about opportunities for professional development offered by the company. Avoid asking questions that could be easily answered via the information on the company’s website.

11. Focus on students when answering questions during your interview

Unlike other job interviews, which focus a lot on you, ESL teaching interviews should focus on how you interact with students. When the interviewer asks you a question, see if you can put your answer in the context of working with a student in the virtual classroom. Highlight how your teaching methods lead to the best possible outcome for your online English students and their learning goals.

12. Be prepared for the demo teaching lesson during your interview.

During your interview, you may be required to provide a short demo ESL teaching lesson so that the employer can see your teaching skills in action. This is your chance to show the different methods you’ve learned in your Teaching English Online TEFL/TESOL course, such as communicative language teaching, minimizing Teacher Talk Time, applying teaching methods like Total Physical Response (TPR), and demonstrating effective error correction.

Online English teaching is booming as teachers transition from the classroom online or people seek flexible jobs they can do from home. Find out what to expect in the Bridge Teaching English Online Certification Courses.