Young woman searching for the perfect TEFL job on a laptop, with a map and a stack of resumes on the desk

Top Tips for Finding the Best TEFL Jobs: A Comprehensive Guide for English Teachers

TEFL stands for “Teaching English as a Foreign Language,” and it refers to the practice of teaching English to non-native speakers in a country where English is not the primary language. Finding a TEFL job can be a rewarding and exciting experience, as it allows you to travel and live in a new country while also making a difference in the lives of your students. However, it can also be a challenging process, as there are many factors to consider and a range of different job opportunities available. In this blog post, we will cover some tips and strategies for finding a TEFL job, including:

  • Researching potential countries and regions
  • Gaining relevant qualifications and experience
  • Applying for TEFL jobs and creating a strong application
  • Networking and seeking out job leads
  • Considering the pros and cons of different types of TEFL jobs
  • Researching potential countries and regions

One of the first steps in finding a TEFL job is to consider where you would like to work. There are many different countries and regions around the world that offer TEFL job opportunities, and each one has its own unique culture, climate, and way of life. Some popular destinations for TEFL jobs include countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

When deciding where to look for a TEFL job, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Language and cultural barriers: If you are not fluent in the local language or familiar with the culture, it may be more challenging to find a job and adapt to living in that country.
  • Cost of living: Some countries have a higher cost of living than others, so you should consider your budget and whether you will be able to afford to live comfortably in a particular location.
  • Demand for English teachers: In some countries, there is a higher demand for English teachers than in others. For example, countries in Asia, such as China and Japan, often have a high demand for English teachers due to the large number of students who are interested in learning the language.

Once you have identified a few potential countries or regions that you are interested in, it is a good idea to do some research to learn more about the job market and living conditions in those places. You can start by searching online for information about teaching English in specific countries, or by contacting teaching agencies or organizations that have experience placing teachers in those locations. You might also consider reaching out to other teachers who have worked in the country you are interested in to get their insights and advice.

Teaching Online

Man teaching a group of students through a virtual platform, using a laptop and a whiteboard in an online TEFL classroom

Teaching English online is a growing trend in the TEFL industry, and it can be a flexible and convenient way to earn income while teaching from the comfort of your own home. Here are a few things to consider if you are interested in teaching English online:

  • Platforms: There are a variety of platforms that offer online teaching opportunities, such as iTutorGroup, VIPKid, and EF Education First. Each platform has its own requirements, pay rate, and teaching schedule, so it is important to research and compare different options to find one that fits your needs and goals.
  • Requirements: To teach English online, you will typically need to have a bachelor’s degree, a TEFL certification, and strong English language skills. Some platforms may also require you to have previous teaching experience or a teaching-related degree.
  • Teaching style: Online teaching can be different from teaching in a traditional classroom setting, as you will be teaching students through a virtual platform rather than in person. You may need to adapt your teaching style and use different teaching techniques to engage and motivate your students online.
  • Technical skills: Teaching online may require some technical skills, such as the ability to use video conferencing software and other online tools. If you are not comfortable with technology, you may want to consider taking a course or getting some practice before starting an online teaching job.
  • Schedule: One of the benefits of teaching English online is the flexibility to set your own schedule. However, keep in mind that you may need to be available for classes at different times of the day or night, depending on the time zone of your students.

Overall, teaching English online can be a flexible and convenient way to earn income as a TEFL teacher, but it does require some adjustments and technical skills. By considering the requirements and challenges of online teaching, you can decide whether it is the right fit for you and your career goals.

Gaining relevant qualifications and experience

To be eligible for most TEFL jobs, you will often need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in any field. In addition, you will need to have a TEFL certification, which is a qualification that demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills to teach English as a foreign language. There are many different types of TEFL certification programs available, ranging from online courses to in-person intensive training programs.

When choosing a TEFL certification program, it is important to choose one that is accredited by a recognized organization. Accredited programs are more likely to be respected by employers and provide you with the training and skills you need to be successful as a teacher.

In addition to a TEFL certification, having previous teaching experience can also be beneficial when looking for a TEFL job. Even if you have not taught English as a foreign language before, any experience you have teaching or working with children or adults can be valuable. If you have not yet gained any teaching experience, you might consider

volunteering in education or tutoring as a way to gain some valuable experience and build your resume.

Applying for TEFL jobs and creating a strong application

There are many different ways to find TEFL job openings, including through online job boards, teaching agencies, and local schools or universities. When applying for a job, it is important to have a strong application that stands out from the competition. Here are a few things to consider when applying for a TEFL job:

  • Tailor your application to the specific job: Make sure to read the job description and requirements carefully, and tailor your application to demonstrate that you meet those requirements. Include specific examples of your experience and skills that are relevant to the job.
  • Write a clear and concise cover letter: Your cover letter is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the employer and explain why you are the best candidate for the job. Keep it brief and to the point, and highlight your most relevant qualifications and experience.
  • Create a professional resume: Your resume should be well-organized and easy to read, with a clear focus on your education and experience as a teacher. Include any relevant certifications or qualifications, as well as any experience you have teaching or working with children or adults.
  • Prepare for the interview: If you are invited to an interview, be sure to prepare by researching the school or organization, practicing your responses to common interview questions, and dressing appropriately.
  • Networking and seeking out job leads

In addition to applying for jobs through traditional channels, networking and seeking out job leads can be a valuable way to find a TEFL job. Here are a few strategies for networking and finding job leads:

  • Join professional organizations: Consider joining organizations such as IATEFL or the British Council, which can provide access to job listings, resources, and networking opportunities.
  • Attend conferences and events: Attending conferences and events related to teaching English as a foreign language can be a great way to meet other teachers, learn about new job opportunities, and get advice from experienced professionals.
  • Reach out to schools or organizations directly: If you have a specific school or organization in mind that you would like to work for, consider reaching out to them directly to inquire about job openings or to express your interest in working for them.
  • Utilize your personal network: Don’t be afraid to reach out to your personal network of friends, family, and professional contacts to ask if they know of any job openings or can provide any leads. You never know who might have connections or be able to help you find a job

Considering the pros and cons of different types of TEFL jobs

There are many different types of TEFL jobs available, ranging from teaching in a traditional classroom setting to online teaching, and each one has its own set of pros and cons. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which type of TEFL job is right for you:

  • Classroom teaching: Teaching in a traditional classroom setting can be a rewarding experience, as you get to work with students in person and see the impact of your teaching firsthand. However, it can also be challenging, as you may be required to work long hours and may have limited resources or support.
  • Online teaching: Online teaching allows you to work from anywhere with a reliable internet connection and can be a flexible way to earn income. However, it can be more difficult to build relationships with students and may require additional technical skills.
  • Private tutoring: Private tutoring can be a flexible and potentially lucrative option, as you can set your own schedule and rates.

TEFL Job Interview

Two people shaking hands at a successful TEFL job interview

Interviewing for a TEFL job can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it is also an important opportunity to showcase your skills and qualifications to potential employers. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a TEFL job interview:

  • Research the school or organization: Before the interview, make sure to research the school or organization you are applying to, including its mission, values, and teaching philosophy. This will help you understand the culture of the school and tailor your responses to fit their needs.
  • Review the job description: Carefully review the job description and requirements, and be prepared to talk about how your experience and qualifications meet those needs.
  • Practice common interview questions: There are a few common interview questions that are often asked in TEFL job interviews, such as “Why do you want to teach English as a foreign language?” and “How would you handle a difficult student?” Practice your responses to these questions and be prepared to provide specific examples from your experience.
  • Prepare a lesson plan: Some TEFL job interviews may require you to prepare and present a lesson plan, so be sure to brush up on your lesson planning skills and have a lesson ready to go.
  • Dress appropriately: Make sure to dress in business casual attire for the interview, as this shows professionalism and respect for the employer.
  • Be positive and confident: During the interview, try to stay positive and confident, even if you are feeling nervous. Remember to smile and make eye contact, and be sure to listen carefully to the interviewer’s questions.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success in a TEFL job interview and impress potential employers.

Navigating Your First Days as a TEFL Teacher

Starting a new TEFL job can be an exciting but also intimidating experience, especially if you are moving to a new country or teaching in a new environment. Here are a few tips to help you get off to a successful start in your new TEFL job:

  • Prepare for your new environment: Before you start your new job, try to learn as much as you can about the country and culture where you will be living and teaching. This might include researching the local customs, language, and way of life, and learning about the school or organization where you will be working.
  • Pack wisely: When packing for your new job, consider the climate and culture of your destination, and bring items that will be useful and appropriate for your new environment. Make sure to bring any teaching materials and resources you will need, as well as personal items that will make you feel comfortable and at home.
  • Be open and flexible: Be prepared to be open and flexible as you adapt to your new job and environment. Things may not always go according to plan, and you may need to be adaptable and open to new challenges and experiences.
  • Build relationships: Building relationships with your coworkers, students, and local community can be an important part of your success as a TEFL teacher. Take the time to get to know people and be friendly and approachable.
  • Seek out support and resources: If you are feeling overwhelmed or have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to seek out support and resources. Your employer or school may have resources available to help you adjust to your new job and environment, or you can seek out support from other teachers or expats in your community.


We hope that these tips and strategies have been helpful as you search for a TEFL job. Finding a TEFL job can be a challenging process, but it can also be a rewarding and exciting experience, as it allows you to travel, live in a new country, and make a difference in the lives of your students.

Remember to do your research, gain relevant qualifications and experience, create a strong application, network and seek out job leads, and consider the pros and cons of different types of TEFL jobs. And don’t forget to prepare for the interview and be open and flexible as you start your new job.

Good luck in your search for a TEFL job, and I hope that you have a rewarding and enjoyable experience teaching abroad!