If you’ve read my posts about how to become a teacher in Thailand and how to find the perfect TEFL course, you might wonder now what you should do next and how to find that perfect teaching position in the Land of Smiles.
The process of finding a job in Thailand is not that complicated. In fact, it is easier than you think. Despite the recent government policy to reduce the number of foreign teachers in Thailand and give more hours to Thai teachers, teaching positions are still easy to find.
Here are a couple of resources to make your job search a little easier.
Knock on some doors
One of the best things you can do when searching for jobs in Thailand is to go and visit schools. Put some professional clothes on – a shirt and trousers for men and a shirt with a skirt for women – take your resumé and knock on some doors.
When you arrive at a school, ask for a director or a “pou yai”. You will most certainly see one of the administrators, but if the school needs a teacher urgently, you might see the person in charge straight away. Don’t forget to respectfully “wai” to everyone you see, smile and behave in a friendly and respectful way.
Quite often you will be asked to fill in an application form that includes strange questions, such as “What’s your mother’s religion” or “How many brothers and sisters do you have”. Don’t get discouraged by them.
Chances are that you will get a job straight away, but you might also be asked to leave your CV and you will never hear back from the school.
It’s worth making friends in a town where you want to live. Other expats, who have worked at schools for a while, always have some good advice and very often they know where to go, or which school is hiring.
When you choose a TEFL course, think of doing it in Thailand as that will give you a good chance to meet people and get a professional advice from the TEFL school before looking for a job.
When you start looking for a job in Thailand it might seem that there are plenty of sites you can use. From my experience however there are only 2 that are worth checking out: Dave’s Cafe and Ajarn.com.
On Ajarn.com you can also put your own resumé online and hope that some recruiters will find you.
Sign up for Facebook groups: Bangkok Expats, Farang Community Chiang Mai and Teachers in Thailand. There are also other groups that you can join. Very often people advertise jobs there and you can also post some information about yourself, too.
There are many companies on the market that advertise jobs and promise you placements. It might be tempting to use them as very often people don’t want to come to Thailand and then look for a job.
I would discourage you from using their services. Mostly because the jobs they have are at schools in very remote areas, where you might be the only foreigner and after a few months you will be bored to death. If you are person who likes to go to a cinema, meet people for drinks every week and likes entertainment after work, then living in small Thai town won’t be the best idea.
The agencies are also known for taking quite a bit out of your salary. If you want to earn decent money and not having your hard earned cash taken by others, then don’t use agencies.
Your TEFL school
I got my job through SEE TEFL , the agency I did my course with. Now, this might be a contradiction to what I said earlier as the TEFL schools, which find work for their teachers, also take some of the salary from you. However, SEE TEFL found me a job in Chiang Mai, where I wanted to stay. I also wanted to teach slightly older children and they helped me with that as well. They really kept my requirements in mind. They also processed my visa and work permit, which was a great relief for me and the whole process was stress free. Before I started working they took me to the school to introduce me to the teachers and to the director. As this was my first job the fact that I could talk to people working there before, put me at ease.
Other useful information:
- Don’t look for a job if you’re not in Thailand. Schools don’t want to hire teachers they can’t interview straight away.
- Prepare your resumé: Make it simple and short (2 pages maximum). Remember to attach a passport size photo- you need to look professional and friendly. Don’t attach a photo from your holidays, or with your beloved cat. You are a teacher and you need to look like one. Remember to have a Thai telephone number and an address in Thailand, which should be put on your resumé. If you live in a hotel then the hotel’s address is fine to use, but don’t mention that it is a temporary accommodation.
- Learn how to wai and smile all the time. Your TEFL school should teach you how to wai properly and how to talk to Thai people, who are older or of higher rank than you.
- Have your phone with you at all times. If a school calls you and you don’t pick up, they won’t call again.
- If you are applying by email, write a short cover letter, explaining why you want to work there and why you are a good teacher.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience. As my teacher from SEE TEFL once said: ‘everyone can teach’ and I am convinced that it is true.
I am a member of the SEE TEFL affiliate programme, but my opinions are objective. On this blog I always recommend products I have used myself and which I like. SEE TEFL is a great school and I can’t be more happy with the service they provided. I have done the course in January 2014 and it was of the best experiences I’ve had in Thailand. If you liked this article and find it helpful, please mention the name of my blog during the booking, or book your course through this site.