A lot of you reach out to us about job opportunities as early as a year prior to your planned arrival date. And while we respect your OCD-driven need for planning out your long-term goals, there are a couple things you need to understand, one of them includes writing your ESL resume. One of the most important traits schools are looking for is someone who is ready to come within 2-3 months of applying/interviewing. The reason for this is simple, if there is a shorter span between applying and your planned arrival date, you’re more like to actually come to China.
Personally, we don’t like to present you with schools that are always in need of teachers, anyway. If a school says they’re always hiring, it’s because they have a high turnover rate. If a school or agent has you signing contracts a whole year before you plan to come, there’s definitely a red flag to be lifted in the near future.
We get it, though. It’s hard to imagine what your life in China will be like without knowing how much money you’ll make, what the school is like, what city you’ll be in, and what ages you’ll be teaching. We try to paint that picture for you by updating our Facebook and Instagram with job openings so you can have a taste of what the quality positions we seek offer.
So what can you do in between now and then to make your ESL resume stand out? Here are a few ideas:
How To Make Your ESL Resume Stand Out
Before I moved to China, I worked with AmeriCorps as an apprentice. AmeriCorps introduced me to the many different ways I could give back. One of which I took to was working with children. Opportunities include working with at-risk youth or teaching kids how to play sports, make crafts, or even just taking on after-school programs for parents that can’t afford a babysitter.
The bottom line is, most of you will be working with kids, as that is the target market of teaching English as a second language in China. Even if you dedicate one hour a week, every week (or even every two weeks), for the next six months months to volunteering with youth, that gives you six months of experience for schools to see that you’re comfortable working with children. This could result in higher pay or just outdoing the next unexperienced applicant. Either way, you’ll be thanking yourself in the end.
Take a TEFL Course
I’ve said it a million times; I should not have paid $1500 for a TEFL course. For teaching careers in some countries, it’s required. Not in China. If you can take an online course for $200 and commit to some volunteering, as mentioned above, you’ll be in great shape before you get in the classroom Again, find something that is affordable and meets your time restrictions. You do not want to burn yourself out and resent teaching before you even start. Have fun, take your time, and find an understanding of what teaching is all about in China.
Read Blogs. Or Don’t
I write a lot of articles about China. But I write about my China, not your China. While this may sound confusing, I don’t know a single soul that has had the same experience in any country they’ve traveled to. Every scenario is completely individualized and no two stories will ever be the same. Blogs do help, YouTube videos help, hash tagging the city you want to live in on Instagram is a big help too. But as stated here, you will never know until you actually get to where you want to go.
Learn About the Education System
The way the Chinese learn in school is 100% different from how we learn in the west. Some of the world’s most renowned inventions come from America and Sweden because of the importance of teaching critical and creative thinking is in school. At public schools in China, you’re seated with up to 70 students in a classroom and you’re told to listen, write, and pass the test. Unfortunately, it has created the ugliest snowball for inventiveness, hence so many students now going overseas to finish their studies. This is why we need to have fun in on our classrooms and “trick” our students into learning.
Our goal is to help you be as prepared as possible for China. Set up a call with one of us on Skype, ask a million questions, and feel at ease. Apply today.