This article is for the foreigners that are going to teach english in China as an ESL teacher. According to my several years of relevant working experience, I summed up the following points which might have guiding significance for you.
First, as a foreign job seeker, the ways of looking for an ESL job is very specific, that’s online communication. In order to find a job as smoothly as possible, keeping internet connection open is very crucial and important during the whole process. Since that’s almost the only available way for all the schools and agents. Keeping phone open is also needed. That’s the most basic attitude a job seeker should have. Maybe you think so many agents or schools contact you about ESL jobs, you have enough jobs to choose, but you never know which could help you get the most suitable job finally. Never put all your effort on one school or one agent, give other agents a chance as well. Maybe they have better positions for you. Especially for those who have taken an interview with a school through an agent, you should pay more attention to the offer. Now that you have spent time to discuss with the school or the agent about the job details, there is no reason refusing to reply to them about your feedback your final decision about their offer. You can decline them with a reason or just accept them. Keeping silent is not a right attitude. When agents request a self-introduction video, they must have their reasons to do so, no one needs to ask for many documents if schools don’t need. The more documents you provide, the more opportunities you will have. You can provide only a cv, but that won’t interest many schools. When you are not clear about Chinese visa policy, agents are happy to explain everything they know to you. Sometimes you trust what your friend said but don’t believe what an experienced agent said. No agents don’t want to find an ESL job for you since they will get paid if they did it. So why do they lie to you about visa things or other things? Their aim is helping you get a job you like and get their commission. What your friend said is one-sided obviously. He or she is not a Chinese, he or she won’t have more experience than an agent. Agents deal with schools every day and know visa things clearly. All policies change will reach to agents at the first time. Foreigners always know the policy from the agents and maybe schools.
If you are late for a scheduled interview or miss an interview without any reason, and often don’t reply to schools or agents after receiving offers, they will think you are not serious looking to teach in China. That won’t leave any good impression to them. You might probably miss a good job opportunity. We have many examples like this. There was a British male teacher looking for an international school to teach english in China. We scheduled an interview for him for three times with a Shanghai international kindergarten that pays 20-30k per month. However, every time he didn’t appear online, and always told us to reschedule. Finally the Shanghai school thinks this person doesn’t have a right attitude towards job searching. They requested to cancel the interview, and we did so. That foreign teacher came to contact me about jobs days later, I refused to help him. We are not confident to help those who are not proactive in their job job searching. That takes too much time and effort and finally gain nothing.
Besides, schools and agents have group chat to reveal foreigners that have criminal records or are not reliable. If a foreign teacher interview with a lot of schools and don’t give a proper reason for declining and keep looking and interviewing or say some dirty words, they will be exposed to all schools and agents in that group. Therefore, no agents are happy to help them. They don’t want to get in trouble. A foreigner that has a very unreasonable salary request or other bad comments from some agents will be refused by most schools. Agents often exchange ideas about those job seekers so as to avoid some unnecessary trouble and introduce real well-qualified foreign teachers to schools. Dishonest schools can be exposed as well.
In conclusion, my suggestion is correcting your attitude towards looking for English teaching positions in China and other countries. Be proactive, be punctual, and be patient!