> Job Search Techniques

Teach English Worldwide strives to provide clear, comprehensive, and objective advice to anyone interested in teaching English overseas.

The man who can make hard things easy is the educator

R.W. Emerson (American poet and essayist)

Distance Job Searches

Conducted when you are not physically in the city or country where you intend to teach. Ways to conduct a Distance Searches include:

  • Reply to Job Vacancy Listings - You can find many job vacancies listed on various TEFL-TESOL Employment Web sites (see Teach English Worldwide’s “Helpful TESOL Links” section)
  • Post Your Own “Job-Wanted” Ads – Many online TEFL-TESOL job boards not only allow you to respond to job vacancies, but to upload your CV and allow potential employers to find YOU (see Teach English Worldwide’s “Helpful TESOL Links” section)
  • Contact Schools Directly About Potential Job Openings – You can also take a more proactive approach and contact schools directly. Find lists of schools in your intended city or country using the international yellow pages TEFL-TESOL Web sites, and TEFL-TESOL-related publications (see Teach English Worldwide’s “Helpful TESOL Links” section for some useful sites to help you with your search). Once you have a list of potential employers mail, fax, or email a Resume/CV and Cover Letter to each one.

Make sure that any correspondence you conduct with potential employers is professional, free of spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes, and written in a clear, straightforward style that will be easily understood by non-native English speakers.

WARNING: Be wary of disreputable schools or recruiting scams when applying for jobs or recruiting services online. To protect yourself, ask as many questions as you can, and do not send anyone money or personal information unless you are completely comfortable with the other party. You can also visit online TEFL-TESOL message boards to find warnings about schools or recruiters that are known to have poor standards or a history of unethical behavior. (Dave’s ESL Café – – is a good site for this. See Teach English Worldwide’s “Helpful TESOL Links” section for other popular discussion boards).

On-the-Scene Job Searches

Conducted while you are living in or visiting your intended destination. Ways to conduct an "On-the-Scene" job search include:

  • Visit Schools In-Person – In more competitive TEFL-TESOL job markets, you stand out in the crowd by personally visiting schools. Find the list of schools in the local yellow pages, local newspapers and magazines, or by doing online searches. Dress professionally and bring along your Teaching Résumé/CV, your TEFL-TESOL certificate, a copy of your University diploma, a copy of your passport and birth certificate, and maybe even a sample lesson plan. Politely inquire about job vacancies at the school, leave them your CV, and try to arrange an interview with the school director.
  • Network with Fellow TEFL-TESOL professionals – Another good way to find employment is to network with current English teachers in the area. Many cities have certain spots (including shops, cafes, bookstores, cultural centers, bars/pubs, English-speaking churches, etc.) where English teachers and other ex-pats tend to congregate. In addition to the opportunity to networking and getting advice, these places also often have notice boards with job openings and other useful information for foreigners.

Your TEFL-TESOL Certificate Course could be another important resource in your job search – no matter how you conduct it. Good TEFL-TESOL Courses often provide job guidance programs for their graduates. They should be able to put you in contact with various schools in their region, provide you with school lists, and give you job search tips.