Are you running around trying to bag the perfect ESL teaching job?
Well, stop running and plop yourself down behind your computer for a while.
The whole ESL game has changed!
Our classrooms are making a transition to the digital world, most commonly referred to as “the Internet.”
Ever heard of it?
Online ESL teaching jobs are sprawling as rapidly as the schools that offer them, and they’re easier to find than you may think!
I can’t tell you how many times I tell people what I do (including other teachers) and they ask me “Hey, Chris, where do you find this kind of work?”
I usually just give them a simple, yet vague answer of “oh ,they’re out there, everywhere!” unless they pry for more information—but here I’m going to give you some real, in-depth answers.
These are the answers that just might convince you to cruise around the Internet for a little more of your time to see what’s out there. It just may be your new future source of income!
As a teacher who has been employed by various online learning schools, I can tell you the three best places to find these jobs and how.
Before I begin, I should explain some differences between looking for a job online as opposed to looking for a school. Since all the work is remote, the hiring process is much simpler and there’s none of that technical paperwork you’d run into if you were applying overseas.
Since the process is so simple, most places just want your CV and perhaps to fill out some information which means you could apply to a handful of places in just a short amount of time!
And you should always keep in mind that there’s one more great direction you can go—you can be your own boss.
You’ll still need the job boards and schools to network, get inspired and find job leads, but you won’t be dependent on them if you build your own teaching website and strike out on your own.
The most successful online teachers will tell you it’s both freeing and lucrative.
Just look at Jack Askew of Teaching ESL Online. Not only has he had brilliant success with teaching ESL online, he even offers the affordable Teaching English Online Course, which is designed to get you up and running with your very own online ESL teaching business.
It guides you through finding students, growing your professional reputation online, marketing yourself and filling your schedule with high-paying teaching sessions.
It’s worth a little consideration, right? Either way, you’ll still need the following resources to succeed.
Now, on to where you can find an ESL job online!
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The 3 Best Places to Find ESL Teaching Jobs Online
1. ESL Job Boards
If you’re like most teachers, you must pay respects to the ESL job boards online for they’ve probably hooked you up with a job or two.
These boards are frequently visited by hopeful teachers and by schools looking to hire teachers with a plethora of postings. I remember five years ago when I started out in the ESL game and these online jobs didn’t exist. Well, times have changed and these boards usually have a good supply of online job postings these days.
Some of the best ones include:
- TEFL.com: The holy land of finding teaching jobs! The job list updated daily, so keep coming back here.
- Dave’s ESL Cafe: More low-budget but still offers quality work and is pretty well-known for the low posting prices offered to employers, making for more postings than other sites.
- ESL Jobs: Smaller than the others with less selection, but at certain times could have a good array of available jobs since the site is updated quite regularly.
- ESL Jobs World: A great site with a great selection and a very simple application process where you just upload your CV and fill out simple information. You could apply to multiple jobs in no time.
- Teachlingo: The newest site on this list, this job board lets you upload your resume and a video to your profile, which then allows you to apply directly to job postings with a single click.
There are even sites like Cafetalk and SkimaTalk where you can apply and set your own rates, lessons and scheduling!
Some of the jobs you’ll find on these boards are from all over the world and depending on where you’re located, you could have some advantages. For example, I’m in South America and my students are in Europe, so it works out because their afternoon is my morning, so the schedule is as aligned as the stars in the sky.
You could find Eastern time zone jobs based in Korea, Japan, China or Singapore, Middle Eastern time zone jobs around Saudi Arabia and Russia as well as companies based in European time zones. They’re everywhere!
You’re guaranteed to find a big group of fish to try to hook if you frequent these sites time after time. I’ve noticed a trend where opportunities turn up randomly on different sites every few days, so give these a try for they’re your best bet.
But if that doesn’t work, you can try…..
2. Online School Websites
Okay, so true story, I tried this and it worked! I decided to go from the outside in. I looked for schools online by using a simple google search like “online English school” or “English online course” and I was introduced to a vast array of online schools offering their services.
The magic about these online schools is that nearly all of them somewhere on their page have a link around the top or bottom either labeled as “careers,” “jobs,” “opportunities,” “work for us” or something along those lines. They aren’t advertising their jobs per se, but they may have some actual job opportunities.
But back to my story, I sent a cold application (an email expressing interest along with my CV) to a school, had an interview and I actually got the job!
This method has various advantages because it shows the employer that you went out of your way to find a school that intrigued you enough to apply, rather than respond to a job posting. The company will appreciate that.
On top of that, you have a mountain of schools to try out thanks to the magic Google search. Schools will hope that they turn up in Google searches and they will, leaving you a chance to see what jobs lie waiting to be applied to.
Some big schools include:
- ISUS (I Speak U Speak): An online language learning platform that makes teaching extra easy by providing structures and programs for its employees—but doesn’t take away too much lesson planning freedom.
- Lingoda: Very international and more casual than other comparable sites, this one has a pretty decent flat rate for teaching.
- English Town: Polished, professional and poised. This broad-ranging and highly successful site employs only the cream of the crop, so you’ll need the right teaching certifications to land a job here—and you’ll also need to commit a decent chunk of your time (15 hours per week), whereas other sites may let you pick up an odd class here and there. However, highly worth your time to apply!
I suggest the cold application method if there is no link for job openings since it takes seconds to do and you could get some bites. But if the fish ain’t bitin’, there’s the last resort…
Yes, Craigslist. A name synonymous with sketchy postings and dodgy listings that make you reconsider visiting it. Forget what you think you know about Craigslist, at least for this job search.
Just to clear up some fog that may have set in your mind, Craigslist offers many legitimate employment opportunities. I’ve gotten actual teaching jobs, on-site and online, from Craigslist. So I can tell you, it’s for real.
Now, you may be bewildered. “But how, Chris? Craigslist is so big! It’s worldwide.” That’s quite true, yes. So where to search? The best cities to perform searches are the ones booming in the English learning market where the bigger the city, the better. Some good examples include:
…and there are, of course, various others. Schools are using Craigslist more and more since it reaches a pretty broad audience and it costs the employer nothing to post their opportunities for teachers.
Once on the right regional Craigslist page, search for “ESL teaching,” “English teachers,” “ESL teachers” or other related terms that will pull up those perfect jobs. When I’ve done this search, a little trick I like to do is to use the “Find” feature on my Internet browser (you know, such as using ctrl+F) and type the word “online.” This way I can easily search through the sea of jobs for the ones that are online teaching jobs.
I don’t advise that you search in English-speaking cities or countries in the US, UK, Canada or anywhere else. They’re usually less likely to post online teaching jobs, from my experience searching at least.
Craigslist may be seen as a last resort, but believe me, jobs are out there.
These are the three best places, and as far as I’m aware, probably the three most relevant places employers offer online ESL jobs. If your cover letter and resume are already done, and you give yourself half an hour, you could easily apply to at least five places.
And you never know, if you’re qualified enough you could very realistically bag a job teaching online!
If you’re looking for additional work to supplement that great teaching gig you’re about to bag, or would like to use your valuable language skills in a different way than teaching, FluentU might have a position for you!
FluentU hires paid freelancers to work on everything from writing blog posts (like the one you’re reading right now) to creating and voicing YouTube content (perfect for experienced teachers and tutors).
Joining our team is an amazing opportunity to maintain a completely flexible work schedule in a calm, supportive and collaborative environment.
Check out “Jobs at FluentU” page to see what positions we’re currently hiring for.
You know that jobs are out there and now you know where they are.
The time to go get them is now.
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