Maximizing your Options when Looking for a Job Teaching English
Just a few ideas here as I often see people using inefficient strategies in looking for their next job. Don’t put yourself in the back of a big queue like the one to the right, get yourself in the front of a very short line for more opportunity.
If you look only at current job openings on TEFL websites for your next job, you are missing out on huge opportunities.
Go to any jobs website, particularly the ones where they don’t scroll the older jobs off the list and start researching the schools that are NOT advertising now, but were advertising three months, six months or even a one year ago.
Build yourself a nice database of schools and send them your resume/CV and a letter of interest. The odds are that when they ran their advertisement (depending on which website where it posted) they may have been swamped with applicants. Websites like Dave’s ESL have so many people reading them that you can face pretty intense competition even for simple entry-level jobs right at the time they are advertised, but that is not true perhaps a few months later.
Those busy websites like Dave’s ESL are great for the school that is advertising but not so great for you. Ideally you want minimal competition so that you can have your choice of several jobs and take the one that most suits you. The best way to do that is to contact those schools that advertised in the past but are not now advertising.
Because many schools have ten, twenty and sometimes as many as a hundred or more English teachers. Any school that has about 10-12 teachers is, on average, going to have an opening about once per month. Wouldn’t it be nice if your information showed up in their inbox? Just when they needed it? Large schools often have multiple vacancies and know they are coming, but don’t want to advertise until they have to (advertising can be expensive). In some cases they are waiting for you to send your information in.
I’ve never worked at a school that enjoyed looking for new teachers. This task is always piled on top of other duties and is really time consuming. Given the option of contacting a teacher who just sent their information and is appropriate for the job versus running an advertisement and having to sort through many potential candidates, most schools will opt for contacting YOU first. And if you fit the bill, the job will be yours.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Schools are often waiting for you to contact them. Don’t wait for them to advertise.
TED’s Tips™ #2: Apply when there is minimal competition, not right after a school advertises on a major website.