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HomeHuman ResourcesCareersHow to find your first online English teaching job

How to find your first online English teaching job

The online English teaching industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Many students are turning to online teaching companies to find the support they require to excel in learning English. The flexibility of online teaching/learning for both teachers and students really is great.

Because of this, it’s unsurprising that there are so many people aiming to teach English online. Working to your own schedule from any location is definitely appealing. With such a continued increase in demand for online teachers, there’s a lot of work going out there.

You will, however, need to be suitably qualified to teach English with a TEFL qualification. While you can go freelance, it’s recommended that you start out finding work with one of the many online teaching companies. This way it’s much easier to establish yourself as an EFL teacher and gain the necessary experience and knowledge to work independently in the future.

Teaching English online with an online teaching company is definitely an easier option – especially for first-time EFL teachers. Often lesson plans are provided, and you get to decide your own availability. However, your fees will be fixed and the company will take a cut of what students are paying.

Online teaching companies tend to have their own requirements, which may include having a degree in any discipline or having a passport from an English speaking country. The recruitment process can vary, so it’s important to be aware of this. This article will guide you through the basic steps to find your first online teaching job.

Get TEFL qualified with a quality provider

Getting your TEFL qualification from an accredited provider cannot be recommended enough. There might be ‘bargains’ out there that are considerably cheaper than you’d expect a course giving you a qualification to be. But if your TEFL course provider isn’t accredited (which most of these budget providers aren’t), you can’t be sure that it’ll be recognised by employers, meaning that your teaching options could be very limited.

It’s usually standard practice for TEFL jobs online and abroad to require you to complete a 120-hour TEFL qualification. TEFL courses can be taken online or in a classroom, across a range of locations in Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland, as well as further afield. Accredited providers will typically offer these courses as a minimum. During this time, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start and progress in the TEFL industry. To be sufficiently prepared for a career in teaching, you need to invest in a quality course, which will ultimately pay off.

If you’re wanting to stand out in the popular world of online teaching, additional TEFL qualifications will help boost your chances of being recognised and asked to interview by employers.

Research your options

There are so many online teaching companies you can apply to work for, even if you don’t have a degree and/or aren’t a native English speaker.

Requirements will vary from one company to the next, so the best thing to do is first work out where you’re eligible to apply, and then submit your applications to multiple. This way you’ll put yourself in the best position to get an interview with at least one company.

Design a great CV

With the TEFL industry developing at the pace it is, you can expect the demand for English teachers online to continue growing. As it grows, and more people qualify to teach, that also means more competition for the best jobs. 

Your CV is your chance to make a good first impression with possible employers. Don’t be modest – show off all your achievements! Competition is out there, so you want to stand out from the crowd with a CV that shows your employer that you are the right fit for the job.

You’ll find that any relevant teaching experience will be a bonus (if not a requirement). As mentioned, if teaching online is going to be your first TEFL job, taking an advanced TEFL qualification is also worth considering. Online teaching is a specific type of TEFL teaching, and if you’ve completed a course specifically tailored to working in this way online teaching companies will appreciate this.

Start applying and get hired!

We’ve already mentioned that you should apply to multiple online platforms to secure your best chances of being taken on. 

Some employers might ask you to conduct a demo lesson video as part of the recruitment process. You might have to send off your demo lesson as part of the application or for your interview. In this case do thorough research about the company you’re applying to. Check out some example demo lessons on YouTube for inspiration and be sure to practice plenty! Make sure that your lesson considers the age and level of students you would be teaching,

You’ll need to conduct your demo lesson (and in fact, any future lessons) from a quiet space and avoid any clutter in the background, as this can be distracting. And don’t forget to present yourself smartly, as you would for any job interview. 

The more prepared you are, the better chance you’ll have of demonstrating to the employer that you’re the right fit for the job. You want to show you’re serious about the job, so the effort you make to prepare should reflect this. It really will go a long way in the world of EFL teaching, so show from the get-go that you’re up to it!

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