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Landing the job

September 27, 2007

Hello again,

Having given some tips about how to spot unscrupulous employers, I’d like to outline a strategy for getting the job you really want.

First research the region...

...that interests you. Find out if there is a good demand for teachers and what visa and work permit regulations exist. There is little point in setting your sights on a job if you will be unable to meet the country’s visa requirements. Once you have pinpointed an area, search not just for job adverts but for the addresses of schools. It is worth sending out speculative letters of enquiry as well as responding to adverts.

Make sure your background corresponds to what is required. If an experienced teacher is needed, then a newly qualified person is unlikely to be selected. Narrow your application to those ads that look like a good match between you and the school. Send a brief covering letter stating why you wish to apply and enclose a two-page CV in which you focus on points that are relevant to your application.

When you are shortlisted, prepare to be interviewed. This might be face-to-face or by telephone, even through an Internet link such as Messenger. You should be ready to talk about your training, why you want to teach, what you can offer the school. You should also expect some questions that test your knowledge of the language and your teaching techniques. Try not to be flustered if you are asked something you don’t feel sure about. It is more important to handle the situation than to be a walking textbook.
Say that you have not yet thought too much about that point but that you would look for advice from the coursebook, the Director of Studies and a grammar reference work. Ask if you can explain instead how to handle a point you feel confident about as an example of how you work.

Make a note of questions you wish to ask about the school. Make sure you have read the brochure or web pages so that you know something about the organisation. Don’t be afraid to look ahead and ask about professional development and promotion prospects.

If you don’t succeed at your first interview use it as a learning experience. Try to think how you would improve on your interview handling. If you have the right profile and are looking in an area which has a good demand for teachers, you will find a post without too much trouble.

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  1. Eric Roth Says:

    Smart, sensible, and sane suggestions. Thank you for sharing those insights. As someone who ran an adult school in Los Angeles that primarily served immigrants from Russia and Eastern Europe and had to hire teachers, I would also add find out the age, educational background, and needs of the students. Adult immigrants, business professionals, and international graduate students have many common, but also some quite distinct educational needs and desires.

  1. minhaaj Says:

    I just got scammed by a school in dubai. I have three years of experience and i have been very active online in ESL community. that was really excruciating after i was so excited.

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