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» Cactus TEFL Jobs Advice Shop

Welcome to the Cactus TEFL Jobs Advice Shop, where we hope to answer all your questions before apply for a TEFL Job.

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» Searching for Work

Whilst Job recruitment sites such as ours can be extremely useful when it comes to looking for work, sometimes the best methods are the oldest. If you are already living in the country where you would like to work why not try the following:

  1. Prepare your CV so that it contains all necessary information. It might be an idea to translate it into the local language if you speak it/have a native speaker to help you.
  2. Collect the addresses of all the language schools in the area (‘yellow pages’ equivalents are always a good source of information).
  3. Pick an area of your target region and visit all the schools there.
  4. Keep a record of schools you visit and their responses.
  5. Ask to speak to someone specific – the Director of Studies is usually best.
  6. Leave your CV.
  7. Phone back some time later, remind them they have your CV.
  8. Once you get a job, tell schools you are no longer available.

» Things to consider before you accept a post

Professional Factors

  • How much support do you want when you start your job? Would you prefer to be left to your own devices or do you need to be in a small team of teachers with a DOS on-hand to advise you?

  • Would you feel comfortable teaching English to children/business English? If not, would you consider a training course to prepare you?

  • Would you be happy to work in a school that may not have an extensive resource library? This can often be the case in smaller schools, or those situated in remote locations.

  • If your prospective job is available mid-academic year do you know if this because the school has gained extra work, or because teachers have left half way through their contract? If it is the latter, do you know why the teacher/s left without finishing their contract?

  • Is the school the kind of place that will offer you career advancements, should you wish them? Do they offer any diploma qualification courses?

Socio / Economic Factors

  • Are you hoping to save any money whilst you are away? If so, will the pay/cost of living enable you to do this?

  • Would you be happy to be the only native English teacher in a school, or town, or would you rather have others in the vicinity to socialise with?

  • Does the school offer any kind of financial reimbursement of flights etc? If so, what are the conditions? Are you happy with these?

Cultural / Political Factors

  • How much do you know about the country that your prospective job is in?

  • Is it politically stable? If not, is spending time there a risk that you are willing to take?

  • Does it have the type of climate that you can cope with?

  • Is it a country where you may encounter discrimination on the grounds of your gender/race/colour/age? If so, are you prepared to deal with this?

  • Can you speak any of the local language? This is obviously not essential, but getting a basic grasp of it before you go will help you tremendously. See www.cactuslanguage.com, www.languagecoursesuk.co.uk, www.cactuslanguagetraining.com for further information.

  • What is the health service in that country like? Do you have any medical conditions that may be affected by this?

  • If it is far away, have you been this far a-field before? Are you likely to suffer from homesickness?

  • Are you eligible for a full working visa in this place, or are you willing to go on a tourist visa and work on a more informal basis? If you are unsure of this, you should always check with your local embassy.

»CV Example

Peter Smith - Curriculum Vitae

Email address: psmith70012349@yahoo.co.uk
Address: 34 Cactus Way, Brighton, BN1 1EB
Telephone number: 0044 1273725 200
Nationality: British
Date of Birth: 23rd June 1983

Foreign languages: Fluent in Spanish, basic ability in French and German.

Education

Teacher Training UK, London Cambridge CELTA, “Pass B” grade March 2006

University of Bristol BA (Hons) English Literature and Spanish (2:1) 2001 – 2005

ABC Grammar School Sixth Form A’ Levels (Spanish- A, English Literature -A, History- B, General Studies-C) 1999-2001

ABC Grammar School 10 GCSE’s (A* -Spanish, English Literature, A-History, Mathematics, English Language, B- Chemistry, Phsyics, C- Physical Education, Geography 1992-1999

Employment to date

Wessex English College, Calle San Pedro, Madrid, Spain (September 2006-June 2007) I worked as an EFL teacher at this private language school for one academic year. My role included the teaching of group and individual classes, to a wide range of age-groups, including Young Learners.

Summer Schools International, Coast Road, Brighton, BN1 3AB (June 2006- September 2006) I worked as an EFL teacher at summer schools held at this centre in Brighton. My responsibilities also included the supervision of extra curricular activities and excursions.

Flyaway Holidays, Pier Drive, Brighton, BN12 1AB (August 2005-March 2006) I worked as a customer services manager for this large travel company specializing in long haul holidays. The position involved managing a small team within the company’s customer services division and ensuring the smooth-running of the department. This relied heavily on my communication skills, which I feel were particularly developed during my time in the role.

Camp Europe, Nice, France (June 2004- September 2004) My main role during this temporary summer post involved the supervising of outdoor activities for groups of 8-12 year olds. It gave me very good experience of working with young learners, and an insight into their wants and needs.

Useful Information

Interests: I am a very active person and enjoy many outdoor pursuits, including mountain biking and hiking. I am also a talented drummer and play in a local band.

IT Literacy: Word, Excel, Front Page and Office

Driving licence: I have a full licence and have been driving for 5 years.

Referees

John Smith: Director of Studies, Wessex English College, j.smith@wessexenglish.sp
Jane Jones: Managing Director, Flyway Holidays, jjones@flyaway.com

» Other Hints and Tips

  • Be sure to check that your CV contains no spelling / punctuation / grammatical errors.

  • Make sure that there is no missing information e.g. missing employment dates.

  • Don't send the same CV to everyone as soon as you have it perfect. It needs to be relevant to each job you are applying for. You should read applications carefully and adapt your CV to reflect any particular features of the job or the location that you feel are well suited to you. It shouldn't take long, but will make a big difference to prospective employers.

  • If you're keen on finding a job in a specific country you could get your CV translated into the local language. You must remember to ensure, however, that employers are aware if this has been done on your behalf and you can't actually speak the language.

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