Whether you are already in Thailand looking for an English teaching position or outside the country, most schools and agencies require you to send an e-mail with a resume attached before they will interview you.
With sometimes hundreds of English teachers in Thailand applying for the same job, you want your application and resume to stand out.
That is why you should follow these tips, and getting that interview will be easier than you think.
Set up Your E-Mail Correctly – Whenever I sent an e-mail for a teaching job, I would attach two things to it – a) a professional cover letter, and b) a perfect resume.
With these two things being sent as attachments to your e-mail, the only thing you have to write in the e-mail body itself is this:
I am applying for the available English teaching position at Such-and-Such School advertised on Blahblah-website.com.
My cover letter and resume are attached. I look forward to hearing from you regarding an interview.
Thank you for your time.
Your Cover Letter – The cover letter you attach to your e-mail should be short and professional.
Simply mention who you are, how long you have lived in Thailand, what your background and teaching qualifications are and why you feel you would be perfect for the job.
Thank the person reading the letter for their time (again) and finish with “I believe I could be a very good fit for the position you have available, and am available at any time for an interview. I can be reached at 06-555-555. I look forward to hearing from you.”
Make sure you proofread your cover letter several times and also run it through a spell check and grammar check.
Remember, you are applying for an English teaching position. If your grammar or spelling is atrocious in your cover letter, why on earth would a school hire you? It should be perfect.
Always Send Your Resume as an Attachment – Some people will tell you not to send your resume as an attachment as it will be deleted un-read. Absolutely not true.
I always send my resume as an attachment, and have been offered an interview for every job I have applied for in Thailand. After the school or agent read my resume from the attachment.
If you type your resume into the body of the e-mail, formatting can get really messed up when it is sent, and no employer wants to struggle to read your resume when everything is higgledy-piggledy on your e-mail.
Format it correctly in a MSWord document and send as an attachment. Always.
Your Resume – Some people recommend keeping a resume to one page, but I have always sent a two-page resume and have been offered every teaching job I have applied for in Thailand.
The length of the resume isn’t as important as the content so, if you have a lot of experience like I do, mention it. If you don’t, keep your resume to one page so you are not trying to stuff it with pointless information.
Make sure you include your name, address and phone number, as well as a recent photograph showing you smiling (important in Thailand as appearance is the thing Thais value the most, so you should look both professional and friendly).
Put down any teaching experience you have in Thailand or overseas, making sure you remember to state which grades you taught, which subjects and what your job responsibilities were.
If you do not have teaching experience, include your last two or three jobs trying to highlight any responsibilities that might also be useful for teaching eg: training staff, computer experience etc.
Include your education (high school, university and any additional teaching certifications or any other certification relevant to teaching English). Do not lie. If you don’t have a university degree, don’t say you do. Most schools in Thailand are now checking that degrees are genuine. If they don’t, the Thai Ministry of Education most certainly is.
If you lie about having one and they check with the university you named on your resume, only to find out you didn’t go there, not only will you not get the job, they can report you to the Labour Department and to the police.
It is illegal to claim to have a university degree in Thailand for a teaching job, if you don’t. You can be fined, jailed and deported for doing so.
Add any other relevant experience (eg: any volunteering you have done), add a section for your hobbies or interests (and put active ones like running, traveling and scuba diving, and not sat-on-your-duff interests like watching movies or playing computer games.Thai schools often worry about their foreign English teachers being healthy. If you sound like a couch potato, you are probably not).
Proofread your resume several times before you attach it to your e-mail.
Where to Send It – Only send an email for a teaching job to a school or agency in Thailand that is advertising for teachers. Wasting your time emailing your resume to agencies that aren’t advertising, or schools that aren’t looking is just that — a waste of your time.
Getting a job interview for a teaching position in Thailand is as easy as writing a professional cover letter and resume, including a happy-looking photograph, and making sure your contact information is correct (I have lost track of how many teachers I have tried to call for interviews who didn’t even list their phone number correctly on their resume).
If you can do all of the above, and it’s easy, you are 90% likely to be called for a job interview.
**If you would like more information about teaching in Thailand, we have over 200 articles covering just about every subject here.