This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from trainees before, during and after every TEFL certification course, it is also one of the hardest to answer. There are many factors that influence how long it takes to secure an English language teaching job, but the good news is that the vast majority of our graduates do land a teaching position after successfully completing their course.
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One of the biggest factors is where you choose to work, as the demand for teachers varies greatly from region to region and country to country. China has such a huge demand that there are often not enough candidates to fill the available positions. This is particularly good news for newly qualified teachers as you will have little trouble securing a job at any time of the year. Other Asian countries such as South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam also have a strong demand and offer good opportunities for finding employment quickly. In contrast, popular European destinations such as France, Italy and Spain generally have a lot of competition for every available position, making it much harder for inexperienced teachers. The bottom line is if you are flexible and happy to go where the demand is you will probably find a job quite quickly, however, if you are set on one particular country or city, you may need to be a bit more patient.
Timing is also important as many countries have specific hiring seasons that are dependent on term schedules. If you are thinking of applying for a government program such as the EPIK Program in South Korea or the JET Program in Japan, you should check their websites as soon as possible as they require applications way in advance of the Autumn term. If you are heading to Western Europe you should also be aware that as many as half of all English teachers leave their jobs at the end of the school year, around June or July. If you are in the country ready for a face-to-face interview at the start of the new term, you will find you have a considerable advantage. Whilst it is good to be aware of the term times of government run schools, it is also worth remembering that most private language schools around the world hire at any time of the year.
Another huge factor is the attitude of the individual looking for work. If you have completed a TEFL course you have taken a big step because you can show employers that you have received some formal training. Most TEFL course providers will also help out by providing assistance with CV/resume preparation, interview techniques and even potential job leads. However, it is down to each individual to prove that they are the right person for the job. A positive and professional approach to applications and interviews will go a long way towards securing any teaching position, and if you do miss out, don't give up as persistence usual prevails. Ultimately there is a job out there for anyone who is serious about teaching English abroad, so what are you waiting for?