ESL Saigon logo

ESL Saigon


Tip on getting an ESL/EFL job before arriving in Vietnam

Many prospective ESL teachers would like to find an English teaching job before arriving in Vietnam. This is understandable because getting a job before arriving here means security. Once you are in Vietnam you can start working; you don’t have to loose your time walking on the streets to find a teaching job.

Unfortunately, very few teachers are able to get a job before getting here and there are many reasons for that. One thing I can tell you for sure is that most of the schools from Vietnam won’t offer you an English teaching job if you are not in Vietnam and they don’t have a “proper” face-to-face interview.

Yesterday I spoke to one of my friends who owns a language school here in Saigon and I asked him to tell me the reasons why most of the language schools here in Vietnam don’t hire teachers if they are not in Vietnam. Here are the main reasons:

Reason no. 1

Vietnamese don’t like to have an interview online with a prospective ESL teacher because they find speaking English over the internet to be far more difficult than speaking face to face in real world.

Reason no. 2

They want to see how you look like. Appearance matters when it comes to finding an English teaching job in Vietnam. They want to hire teachers who look good, have “European look” (which means Caucasian), and are presentable.

Reason no. 3

They want to hear your voice. They want to hear your voice before even the interview. They want to make sure your voice (or your accent) is easily understandable. They have an inferiority complex when it comes to listening skills.

Reason no. 4

An online interview is not considered as a serious interview in Vietnam. In Vietnamese eyes an online interview is still considered as superficial and gives people impression that the school is desperate to hire teachers. The school hires teachers online because it is not serious enough to find teachers who are already located in Vietnam.

Reason no. 5

After you got the job you won’t come to work. They offered you the job and they need you here in maximum three days but you are in America or Europe and you can be here just after three months because you still have to arrange a few things and you weren’t sure you get the job so soon. It happened so many times and they (the language centers in Vietnam) know that.

These are the main reasons why a language center from Vietnam won’t offer you a job through an online job application.

However, your chances to find a job, if you want to apply for it online, might be higher if you follow the tips presented below.

Tip no. 1

Create a video CV and post it online. You can present everything you think is important about you in a short video. There are many benefits of having a video CV and the most important one is that at a click distance the school that might hire you can see who you really are. The person who might hire you can see your appearance and hear your voice, and the most important thing is that you can control what the person sees and hears.

Tip no. 2

Create a video demo class. You are the teacher and few of your friends are the students. Create a 30 minute demo class video where you show your teaching skills. Place the links to these two videos (the demo class and the video CV) in the email so the person who receives the email can learn everything about you as a teacher.

You are in control of what is shown in these two videos so you should do your best to make perfect videos because you do it once but you use it multiple times. Here are few tips on how to create these two videos:

These are my tips for those who want to find a teaching job in Vietnam prior to their arrival here. It isn’t a proven method but following these tips increases you chances of finding a teaching job, might move away the doubts related to online teaching English job application, and definitely it looks professional.


Back to index