With there being a steady influx and outgoing of teachers in Vietnam, there is inevitably a lot of movement between schools for teachers – which means the need to apply, interview and get a job. This article will guide you as to some ways to navigate the complexities of the process and stand out in the crowd, making your application and future success more likely to be achieved.
CVs have come a long way from the days of the basic list of qualifications and previous employment history and they are the first impression that your future employee will have of you. As a result, it is essential that yours stands out.
Although it does cost more, it is highly suggested that you print your CV In colour – this makes it so much more attractive and in Vietnam people are very attuned to aesthetics ( think of all those wonderful selfie settings dotted around ) It is essential that you include a photograph – although this can be a contentious issue you have to face the fact that in Vietnam the look of the teacher is a vital aspect. There is a need for a teacher to look smart and friendly and so if your CV does not include a photograph then there is a high chance that your potential employee will not take your application any further.
Although it is super obvious but it really is vital that your CV has no spelling or grammar mistakes – you will be shocked by the number of CV’s I have seen with simple mistakes. Although you can use your computer’s own spell check, these can sometimes miss things ( especially grammar mistakes ) so it is suggested that you install a free programme – something like Grammarly – which will highlight all of the mistakes and enable you to find out more about the grammar points to make an informed decision.
Print your CV in colour so that it stands out
Interviews in Vietnam tend to be pretty basic ( when compared to some interviews in the West where there can be a panel / random questions to test your creativity and flexibility e.g. if you were a piece of furniture what would be etc ) Questions will be related to your experience and teaching knowledge – usually with an emphasis upon classroom management techniques ( as some classes in Vietnam can be very large )
A great emphasis will be put on your qualifications – where they were obtained and what exactly the course entailed – so if it is a while since you qualified it may be worth revising exactly what your course involved! This is due to the fact that qualification certificates can easily be purchased in Asia so it is very important for them to check that you are in fact legitimate!
One very popular part of an interview is a demonstration lesson – the organisation may have asked you previously to send in a video of you teaching or they may ask you to go to the class and carry out a lesson. It is important to be prepared for this and have a variety of easy to teach fun activities which can be adapted to all circumstances!
In a demonstration lesson, they are looking at your confidence in the classroom – making sure that you are in control and have a plan to move a lesson forwards. In addition, they are making sure that your voice is clear enough – that you are loud enough for all to hear and have a good understanding of the subject.
Demonstration lessons are a common part of job interviews in Vietnam
You will find that all schools need references and will not move forward in any way without having a full set. This can lead to a lot of delays so it is important for you to tell your references that you are applying for jobs so that they are able to respond in a timely manner.
Most of the schools you apply to will have their own reference form – so if you are applying for a variety of schools and they are all asking for references it can be overwhelming for your referee – so it may be best to let your referee know which ones you are most interested in so that they can complete those ones first.
Vietnam is not a country which is known for planning ahead and working quickly so be patient with the amount of time that it takes for a school to follow up after an interview. It is suggested that you write a thank you email immediately after the interview – reiterating how you enjoyed the interview, thought the school had a lovely environment / enthusiastic staff etc and how you can see yourself as a perfect fit.
It is fine to follow up with the school to see the process if you don’t hear from them after your references have been contacted ( remembering that nothing will happen until the school has completed references )
The contracts in Vietnam are typically excessively long and tedious so don’t be shocked to receive a 10 page contract! Take your time to read it through and ask questions about any parts you are unsure about as there is usually a lot of legal jargon.
You will be required to sign each and every page and then sign the end section as well as print your full name and date the document.
In addition to your contract, you will also be given a labour contract – this is a government requirement and ensures that you are following the rules and regulations of the country. There is a lot less flexibility with queries with this document as it is a standard document however do feel free to ask if there is anything that you don’t understand. As with the contract, each page needs to be signed.
Overall, getting a job in Vietnam is relatively easy – you simply need to make sure that you do your preparations, ensure that you are dressed smartly and act confidently when at your new prospective place of work and that you appear positive and enthusiastic! – best of luck!