As soon as you acquire your TEFL certifications, you start moving the earth and the sun for a lucrative job. And it's understandable as well, given that there's an ultra competitive environment out there and time is money.
However, in the unfortunate event that your TEFL academy does not offer job placement or you prefer to go through the whole job search process independently a few years after graduation, there will always linger around the unceasing fear of the legitimacy of the job opening/employer.
Always look for legitimate TEFL Academies
This is not just paranoia though, but a valid concern. Just take a look at any TEFL portal or online forum and you'll find 500 vacancies in China, 300 vacancies in Spain and thousands more in Africa, Asia and the rest. Now the problem is not all of them are what they claim to be and with TEFL jobs in high demand, scamsters set their trap quite intricately.
How to make sure that your TEFL Employer is reliable?
So it's necessary to be wary of scams and ensure you only go for TEFL legitimate positions. With that said, here are a few ways to save yourself from scams and find the dream job of yours.
• Get a hold of your predecessors
When you're being interviewed by schools/employers/recruiters, request them to share your predecessor's contact information. Most people would be fine with it and you can get yourself a second hand experience on everything related to the job. Be aware though that new schools may not have a long enough payroll of employees, so getting hold of previous teachers might be difficult. This doesn't mean it's a scam, but it does signal that you've got to proceed cautiously and keep your head up for red flags along the way.
• Search for reviews online
When it comes to TEFL jobs, online forums and blogs are a terrific resource of information. They help you navigate the TEFL career journey, go through the visa process and relocation hassles and in our case, offer first hand reviews of schools/employers. Dave's EFL is one such resourceful forum among many others. Do keep in mind though that there's a lot of subjective, personal opinion on view and it doesn't reflect the true situation of the TEFL School/employer.
• Ask around
Networking is a big part of a successful TEFL career and it's equally vital during your job search. If you're pursuing a TEFL course in a classroom setting, your classmates are best sources of information. Your TEFL academy would also have a wide alumini base, even if you pursued an online course. So it's best to tap into that and get information about your prospective employer.
• When in doubt, Trust your intuitions
It's always a good idea to trust your gut and if something feels too good to be true, it probably is. No one is going to pay you $2500 with free accommodation and transportation on Madrid beaches. Likewise do not share your bank account numbers or personal information. More importantly, never pay an advance or deposit fee regardless of how promising the offer seems. Ask a number of questions about your job, location and the history of the academy. Get every query of yours clarified and if you have doubts about the answers, bring them up. Like they say, prevention is better than the cure.
With all said and done, scams aren't necessarily the norm, but it always pays better to be vigilant and do a double check. Good luck and start your ESL / TEFL Journey with TEFL Madrid Academy in Spain.