Sunday, January 24, 2010

The ESL Job Search Part I

So you've completed your TEFL Certification, what's next? In the beginning of one of our TESOL courses, I often see that frightened look in the eyes of some TEFL trainees. "What's my next move when the course is completed? Where do I go?" The first move is NOT to wait until the program is finished to start looking for an ESL job. Even though a proper TEFL Certification course requires a lot of work, this is not the time to put things off.

1. Before taking the TESOL course have a recent CV/resume ready to show your course trainers for review/proofreading before sending it out.

2.If you are taking the certificate program in the country or region where you want to work, which is recommended, then ask your course provider for local contacts in the desired city or region.

3. When sending off the CV, be sure to note in the cover letter where you are currently and when exactly you'll be available for interviews. If you leave things too vague, you may not be contacted.

4. In the meantime, if you are not in the city where you want to work, plan the logistics for being there at the time period you specified on your cover letter. So, for example, if you are taking our TEFL course in Montpellier but you want to work in Aix en Provence, plan to spend 3-4 days there, lining up all interviews in that time frame you mentioned in the cover letter.

5. After about one week, its fine to do a follow-up phone call to confirm that your CV has been received but also ask if they are hiring presently, do they know of other companies that may be. It never hurts to ask questions to get a feel for the current market.

6. Its never too early to start thinking about housing. If you don't already have housing arranged, obviously do an internet search but know that in Europe, there are a lot of websites that are geared towards people just like yourself who are looking for a room. If you want a big city, I suggest sharing an apartment (with your own room) because once there, you'll have plenty of time to find you own place, one that's right for you, without being pressured into to taking something you really don't want.

A final thought, I know the idea of picking up roots and starting fresh in a new country can be scary...especially with limited income. However, my best advice would be to plan as if you will, without a doubt, find a job. So if you believe, without a doubt, that you'll find a job, plan accordingly. If you do this with conviction, the rest will follow. GG

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