3 Alarm Bells to Watch Out for When Applying for a TEFL Job

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I think it’s fair to say that people do a TEFL course to get a job. It makes sense, then, that as soon as you have the coveted certificate in your hand you would start looking for a job. Usually this would involve looking online for positions advertised in foreign countries. Once you’ve tackled TEFL.com and the various other online jobs boards, you’ll soon realise that there are loads of jobs out there.

How on earth do you know which ones you want to apply for?

There are a number of characteristics of a good TEFL job that you can look out for but, possibly more importantly, there are a few warning signs you should be on the lookout for of jobs that you want to avoid. The following situations should make you reconsider your application.

If the employer asks for money

If a school asks you to send them money to pay for your visa or for an application fee, think twice. You wouldn’t pay money to get any other job, would you? TEFL is no different.

If it sounds too good to be true

…it usually is. Again, we follow this reasoning in all other aspects of our lives, and so we should when it comes to our TEFL jobs. Job offers with unbelievable packages AND ridiculous salaries are probably not what they seem. As much as you may want to believe it’s true, be realistic and try to judge the offer objectively.

If the advertisement is written in dodgy English

This is not a dig against non-native speakers. Any school worth its salt will be able to have their job ad either written or proofread by a genuine English teacher or native speaker.

What can you do if you think a job advert is not legit?

The first thing to remember is that there is no need to rush into anything. If anyone pressures you to make a decision then you probably don’t want to work there anyway. Take some time and make sure you know what you are getting into. A simple Google search can help you find out if the school has a suspect reputation or if it even exists. Have a look at their website, Facebook page or Twitter account and see if anything looks amiss. Also examine their email account to make sure it is an official email account and not just a free one that anyone can sign up for.

As a further step, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask the school for a reference. There is no reason why they shouldn’t give you the details of a TEFL teacher who is working there or who has worked there. Then you can get in touch and find out for yourself what the deal is.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there in the TEFL world. No matter how savvy you think you are, it can be very easy to fall prey to scammers simply because you are desperate for a job and you want to believe what you read.

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