Yes, while there are a lot more teaching jobs in Thailand than there are candidates, that doesn’t mean they will hire anyone. The better jobs still go to the most qualified and to the most prepared.
If you follow these simple steps your transition from a TEFL trainee to a full-time teacher should be more or less seamless. Here are some of the key things to do—before you come to Thailand, soon after you arrive and just after your TEFL graduation.
Almost all of Vantage’s TEFL graduates find good positions within two weeks of completing our course
Those that take longer typically have often already received a job offer, but are still exploring the market. It's also not uncommon for Vantage trainees to receive offers during their TEFL training from our partner education groups.
Don’t leave home without them
Before coming to Thailand, prepare your qualifications beforehand—that is, originals of degrees or diplomas and certificates of your highest level of education. These may be harder to get after you’re arrived in Thailand.
If you went to college, bring a copy of your transcript too as some employers
may want to see this.
Here’s your shortlist for documents to bring:
Degree or Diplomas
Police Background Check/Clearance
Not essential as increasingly these can be obtained online anywhere for some nationalities. But some schools and agencies do require these. It’s also possible to get one from the Thai police if you've been in Thailand for at least one year, but if you can easily get one from home, you may wish to do so.
Your Home Country's Driving License
Your Smartphone (see Key #2)
You can use your home driving license to get a Thai driving license without taking a Thai driving test. This applies to whatever class of license you bring, i.e. car or motorcycle.
Even if you don’t plan to drive in Thailand, you may wish to consider getting a Thai Driving License as it can be used as ID for many situations where you’re asked for your passport. I’ve even used mine to buy Thai entrance price tickets as a ‘Thai resident’. And because it's credit card-sized, it’s super easy to carry in a purse or wallet so it’s always with you. (You can leave your passport safely at your Thai residence.)
One more benefit: your Thai Driver's License also has your passport number on it. They're good for 5 years and relatively cheap to get.
Become Thai contactable
Potential employers need to be able to reach you. They will almost never use the ‘snail mail’ address or a foreign telephone number that’s posted at the top of your resume.
That leaves two, maybe three, key ways they’ll contact you. Your Thai mobile number or your email address. And increasingly a messaging app like Line or WhatsApp.
Soon after your arrival, we recommend that you get Thai “e-access.” This is easily done.
No need to buy a new phone. You simply buy a local SIM card for your existing smartphone. You only need to present a photocopy of your passport ID page and pay 50 baht. They’ll ask you how much credit you want to put on it—200 to 300 baht is more than enough to get started. Now you have a new Thai mobile number—with nationwide coverage—and importantly internet access when you’re not within a free Wi-Fi zone.
When your credit gets low, you can simply top-up your account at any of the ubiquitous 7/11s or other convenience stores throughout the Kingdom. Or you can switch to one of the many prepaid monthly plans that may have attractive promotions.
But the bottom line is those future employers can now easily reach you—and you them.
Note: If your phone is ‘locked’ when you bought it back home to discourage you from changing carriers, don’t worry. It can be ‘unlocked’ for as little as $5 to $10 at many cell phone shops or stalls in Thailand. In Bangkok, the easiest way to do this is on the cell phone floor at MBK Mall next to the National Stadium Sky Train BTS station.
For more detailed information, check out How To Use a Cell Phone in Thailand.
Develop your Power Resume (and Cover Letter)
The terms “CV” and “resume” are often used interchangeably but they’re really very different beasts.
A resume is a brief summary of your select skills and experience and shouldn’t exceed two pages. A CV can be far detailed and can stretch into half a dozen pages or more.
In all but very select applications, you will want to submit a resume. Many recruiters and job hiring authorities typically spend somewhere around 6 to 16 seconds on your resume. No one can read a resume in that timeframe; resumes are scanned.
We’ll teach you how to formulate your own Power Resume at Vantage TEFL and show you how you can survive the first-pass scans so you can achieve the goal of any resume: to get an interview.
We’ll also craft a Cover Letter template for you so you’re ready to tackle Thailand’s educational market segments.
Think about what you want to teach—and to whom.
There are two broad categories of teachers.
Most TEFL graduates teach English as a second language. These are general English classes that aim to develop students to achieve a basic competence in the language. This is the largest segment of English teachers.
There is also a demand for content teachers. Increasingly a number of schools offer a more immersive English experience and teach “content” subjects like math, science, geography, literature, and IT in the medium of English.
This is called CLIL—Content Language Integrated Learning. You typically need a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate major to teach content English.
Take a quick look at that infograph on our The World of English Teaching webpage. Here you see the different types of teaching jobs you’ll qualify for with your TEFL certification. They may be more roles available to you than you previously thought.
We also provide an approximate breakdown of the average salaries per school type,
Work the Definitive Job Lists
Then work the Definitive Jobs Lists.webpage.
These lists segment the education market. You can target the ones that meet your requirements to send your resume and cover letter. The “lists” are divided into these key categories:
The Top Thai 100 Public & Private Schools,
170 Thai Universities,
Teacher Employment Agencies
Private Language Schools throughout the Kingdom
The 64 “Satit” (Demonstration) Schools
Thailand Teacher Focused Facebook Groups
Online Teaching Recruiting
Our China Guaranteed Job Program.
…and much more
Some Old Fashion Common Sense
First Impressions Count
While you don’t need a three-piece suit to work as a teacher in Thailand, a ‘smart dress’ style and a ‘well-groomed’ appearance are essential. During interviews, this is particularly important.
At Vantage, you’ll also need to dress smartly for your observed practice teaching sessions and we'll guide you to what’s acceptable within Thai culture. We’ll also teach you the do’s and don’ts of Thai schools as part of our Thai cultural awareness training.
You can either bring some smart clothes from home or you can easily buy them here as all the many major malls have both boutique shops and department stores. In Bangkok in particular, there are a number of ‘second hand’ markets selling most everything under the sun—like Dockers, business shirts/blouses, and shoes—often from leading brands in surprisingly good condition. Being ‘smart’ doesn’t have to be expensive.
And please make sure your clothes are clean. Thailand is a hot and humid country…you can’t avoid sweating. Don’t wear the same shirt or blouse for two days in a row.
Thais are incredibly conscience of body odor and if your wardrobe is carrying yesterday’s work, it’s the kiss of death in an interview. I’ve literately seen Thais get up and leave the room if someone enters wearing clothes that reek of lack of personal hygiene.
A Few Final Thoughts
Send your resume and other job supporting documents in pdf format. Pdf is an image format and like any photograph in will look the same on any device and on any platform. If you send your resume out in MS Word, other versions of Word can change your formatting making your tidy and professional format looking all mangled on their computer.
Create your resume in Word and send it and other job supporting documentation in a pdf format.
Your name is a brand
Don’t forget to put your name in the resume file title. A filename of “Sally Douglas Resume” is much better than just “resume.” The latter could get saved over thus losing your resume to a more recent download.
Importantly, your name on your resume also helps keep you ‘top of mind’ among the clutter of other candidates applying for the same position.
Teaching English can be a career…not just a Job. (for those thinking long-term)
It all starts here. Teaching is the essential foundational skill you'll need for many positions in the English Language Teaching (ELT) industry.
A TEFL Certification is your key to the world of English teaching. But what are your lifelong career prospects in this growing and dynamic industry?
The experience you'll get in the classroom facing real non-English speaking students will build the foundational skillset that you can draw upon whether you eventually pursue a more business role or academic-related position within the ELT industry.
In our Careers in EFL webpage, we take a look at some of the roads your teaching background and TEFL certification could bring you to. As well as some paths that could be in education’s future.
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1873/15-16 Sena Center, Phaholyothin Rd,
Ladyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900