After completing TEFL their teacher training at TEFLPlus, many start the job hunt for their first teaching job in Thailand. Writing the perfect resume will help you to get an interview to give you the chance to show off your teaching skills, and hopefully secure that dream teaching job you’ve always wanted. The term resume or CV is used rather interchangeably in Thailand, but whatever you call it, there are some distinct differences from its Western counterparts.
One of the first things that you notice is that resumes should have a scanned photo placed at the top. The passport-sized photo should be professional, clear, and in color.
You’ll also want to include personal details such as age, sex and nationality. Schools need to know your nationality because they will be, or should be, furnishing the documents to apply for your work permit. While ageism and sexism are most likely frowned upon in your home country, it is common for Thai schools to want teachers of a certain age or to have a certain accent. Just as some schools may prefer a female teacher for kindergarten.
Contact information should include your name, address, email and your Thai mobile number. If you don’t have a Thai telephone number, now is the time to get one. Be sure to double check all of your contact info, as it is probably the most important information on there.
When you get to the body, remember the KISS rule: “keep it simple and short.” Your resume or CV should be no longer than 1-2 pages.
If your work experience is in a different field, you’ll want to write a transferable skills resume, also known as a functional resume. There are a couple of great resources on how to write a functional resume on tastythailand.com and tefl.net. Highlight any teaching experience that you may have, and please do not forget to proofread all spelling, grammar and punctuation. These are huge red flags to any potential employer. Those without previous teaching experience will also want to craft a cover letter to further distinguish themselves from others.
Once you have your resume in hand you can start sending them off to schools, recruiters and companies in Thailand. If there are some schools in your area it may be a good idea to drop them off in person and have a look around.
No matter where you teach or who you teach, your resume will only improve as you get more experience. Your TEFL certificate, a professional functional resume, a clean photo and a personalized cover will be your first step to getting your first teaching job in Thailand.