Now is the perfect time to find a job teaching English in Thailand

The academic year starts in May and administrators will be scrambling to fill last-minute vacancies. Here are six job search strategies tailored to finding TEFL jobs in Phuket.

Be proactive

The best teaching jobs aren’t advertised—they’re found through personal connections or sheer diligence. Network by volunteering, joining social clubs and using social media—Facebook alone has three groups where teaching jobs in Phuket are listed. It’s best to compile a list of TEFL schools in Phuket and proactively contact them. Don’t wait for replies either. Calling the employer or providing a CV in person can do wonders for getting an interview.

Find an editor

A TEFL job is based upon the English language, being able to use it and being able to teach it. Incorrect grammar and typos can stop a TEFL job search dead in its tracks. Proofread everything multiple times and avoid having to self edit—a fresh set of eyes is more likely to spot mistakes.

Build professional knowledge

Unfortunately, this isn’t always necessary for teaching English in Thailand but it’s critical for landing the best TEFL jobs in Phuket. Applicants need to have good knowledge of TEFL jargon, teaching methods and classroom management. A successful applicant will have ideas for avoiding L1 in the classroom; they can spot a gerund when they see one, and they should be able to offer intelligent answers to hypothetical situations posed during an interview.

Look the part

Talk to TEFL employers in Phuket and they’ll tell you about the applicants who looked like they were on the way to the beach before stopping by a school to ask for directions. Teaching in Thailand means looking the part and those who don’t are often turned away. A quick internet search will yield plenty of sites offering advice about how to dress for interviews in Thailand.

Know the culture

Speaking fluent Thai, mastering the wai and being able to eat spicy food are not necessary—though the first two will help. Foreigners aren’t expected to know everything about Thai culture and most Thais are very understanding of foreigners’ faux pas. Just don’t forget these three rules: look the part, expect the unexpected, and no matter the situation, never appear impatient or boastful.

Hit the road

Almost everyone will submit a CV by email and if the job was advertised online, you can assume the school received close to 100 emails in the first 48 hours. Even if you don’t know if a school is hiring, drop in and submit your documents face-to-face. No appointments are need and you’d be surprised how willing Thai teachers are to drop everything in order to speak with you for a few minutes. Finally, if the start of the school year passes without a job offer, don’t fret. Early June usually brings another push once those who can’t hack the job run for the hills or admin finally realize they need more foreign teachers.