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Saturday, September 8, 2012

10 Reasons Why You Should Never Use An Agent...

 "There will always be more hands than pockets"
- Confucius

1.  They will put 20%-50% of your wages in their pockets for making 2-3 calls and interviewing you for 30 minutes to make sure you understand and speak English, have 2 arms and legs and do not smell like beer.

2.  They will lie to you about the employer, and to the employer about your qualifications, experience, requirements, and plans.  In short, most will say anything to collect their fee.

3.  If they cannot find you a placement, they will sell your information to other agents who begin shopping you around like a used bicycle. You will be posted all over the internet without your knowledge nor consent.

4.  They will ask you for other teacher's contact info supposedly as your "references" but actually to become new client prospects that they will solicit within 3-5 days later.

5.  They are neither licensed nor regulated. They are just street hustlers and their hefty fee is more important than ANYTHING you tell them.

6.  Because of number 5 above, most do not use their real names and they will usually just give you their English names so if you have a dispute later, you will not be able to find them since they change their mobile phone numbers approximately once a month.

7.  Some agents will actually have then nerve to ask you for an "application" or "processing" fee in which case you should politely tell them "that is not convenient".

8.  Most agents will falsely advertise as a "direct employer" just to get you to come in for an interview. Later they will insist that YOU simply "misunderstood".

9.  They will NEVER tell you the whole truth, only what you want to hear in order to accept the job - so they can collect their fee. This is why there is a 40% turn-over rate of teachers in China at present.

10. The "guanxi" they claim to have can be found at the same places you yourself can find it - at these web sites:


To see actual photos and names of over 100 fake/scam agents visit:  www.ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org

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  1. Don't ever use an agent! Although its very difficult to separate the agents from direct employers in China. The saturate the market here.

  2. You have a point Kiln, agents will claim to be "direct employers" in the ads but if you ask them thre questions on the phone or email before you agree to an interview, you will save yourself taxi fare and three hours of your life...

    1) What is the web site address and exact street address of your school?
    2) What is complete Chinese name and are you registered with the China Foreign Teachers Union?
    3) Can you email me a job description before the interview please (then see if their email is from a real school or a free email)

  3. WOW, I literally just read this post to my girlfriend before she had a skype interview for an english teaching job, set up for her by an agent. The interview went great until the end, when she asked, "Is it ok that I don't have a TEFL for this job?" "But you sent me a TEFL, it's here in your documents!" said the interviewer. The agent sent a fake TEFL on her behalf! How was that agent's plan going to work, we would just assume he lied on our behalf and go along with it? "Oh yeah, I DO have a TEFL, I forgot!" What a waste of time.