Jan 13 2012
My previous post on teaching English in Hanoi focused on how you should prepare yourself in terms of qualifications and expectations. But what about actually finding a job?
Most of the teachers I know in Hanoi found work once they arrived, rather than setting up a job in advance. As long as you have a bit of cash to keep you going while you job hunt, this approach offers you the benefits of being able to properly check out the school or teaching centre. You can visit, meet the staff and other teachers, ask around and so on.
Finding a job in advance, however, could reap rewards in terms of an overall package. Some places will only offer a local contract to people applying from within the country, with no re-location benefits, but these are likely to be full-time jobs with a minimum contract so are for the committed, rather than someone just wanting a few months of temporary teaching work.
Whether you apply in advance or when you arrive, online is of course the place to start. A search for ‘EFL jobs in Hanoi’ will bring up a host of relevant sites, either portals for jobs or with information to help you through the process.
Cactus is an example of the former and one that I came across before I left the UK. It offers language courses around the globe and also runs TEFL courses and advertises jobs. Its job list is bare at the moment — just one EFL instructor job in Riyadh for anyone who’s interested — but it’s worth keeping an eye on as there has been a more extensive list in the past.
Other online job sites that cover Vietnam include tefl.com, ESLemployment.com and jobstefl.com (which is currently dominated by Apollo). Organisations such as TEFL International provide careers support to people who book their courses.
The New Hanoian is a good online resource for teaching jobs, with a lengthy section dedicated to ESL teaching positions at schools as well as for private tuition, and for kids and adults. It also lists reviews of many of the schools in the city so check those out as well — but bear in mind that often people will only write a review if they’re dissatisfied.
Alternatively you can try contacting schools directly. Some of the main schools in Hanoi are Apollo English, Language Link and C&R. Visit their websites for more information on the schools and for application details.
Finally, once in Hanoi, it’s also worth networking. Rumour has it that teachers spend a lot of time at bia hoi corner, so if you perch yourself there you’ll no doubt find the opportunity for an informal chat, which may lead to a job.
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