Ajarn Street

Why you aren't getting any replies

Why applying for jobs in Thailand by e-mail can be such a minefield

Applying for teaching jobs in Thailand by e-mail can be a frustrating process at the best of times.

I remember years ago, Ajarn used to post job ads for a school where the contact person checked her e-mail once a week, between 9.00 and 10.00 am on a Monday morning. If you sent her an e-mail at 10.30, tough luck, you would then wait a whole week for a reply. And the school contact person saw nothing wrong with this.

While this extremely odd approach is probably an exception to the rule, Thai schools are still notoriously poor when it comes to communicating by e-mail. To compound matters, using email is becoming far less popular. 

Thailand, like many other countries, relies almost totally on messaging apps such as LINE and Facebook Messenger these days. 

This short blog is mostly aimed at Filipino teachers, who seem to be the main nationality looking for teaching jobs right now. At the time of writing, Ajarn has almost a thousand resumes (from all nationalities) in its online database. However, if you use the filter function, barely 300 of those teachers looking for work are currently living in Thailand. 

The harsh reality is that if a teacher is not in Thailand and available for an interview immediately, schools, employers and recruiters simply aren't interested in you.

Employers are not interested in going back and forth, answering numerous questions, to a teacher whose plans may change at the last minute and may or may not take them up on the job offer. Employers have been bitten too many times. They simply view it as a waste of time and effort. It's far better for them to recruit a teacher who is already here and has some experience of Thai culture and Thai students, and is used to the environment and how things work. 

Even top-paying international schools get bitten.     

I remember an international school recruiter telling me a while back, 'many teachers do a staggering lack of research before they arrive from halfway across the world to take up their 150,000 Baht a month position with benefits'

"After a couple of months, they are complaining the weather is too hot, the food is too spicy and they can't seem to make friends. The list goes on. Then they leave a couple of months into the term and we're scrambling around to find a new teacher. It's far easier and far less of a gamble to take on a teacher who already knows the ropes"

Want to get a teaching job in Thailand? Do your research and move here first*. 

*This may not apply to high-level international schools who sometimes still recruit directly from abroad, but it will certainly apply to the vast majority of the more 'regular' teaching jobs.


150,000 baht? are you in la la land? I have a Masters and am lucky to get 70-80k.

By Robert, Thailand (30th March 2024)

Furthermore, lets not forget that folks are forced to use these social media outlets, simply to acquire employment. Does anyone else NOT find it depressing that nobody seems to question this eager and willing submission?

I know opinion and perspective come into play here but I find Thailand far from being a paradise. Perhaps, a pair of dice for a nefarious gamble...but certainly not the former.

People are lazy...some nationalities more than others. A nexus of social media accounts, an industrious worker makes not one be.

Anyway, I digress.

By Knox, Bunker Hill (1st December 2023)

My 5 months experience in Thailand

Agencies are unprofessional and unreliable. I am saying this because i had interviews with two agencies that promised to give me jobs, i sent my friend who had no experience of teaching at all while i had 2 years experience. They gave her the very same job they promise to give to me just because she accepted lesser salary.

Secondly they will ask you to send them your documents and introduction video, everything will sound promising and they will tell you that they are going to call you back and they never call. When you try to get in touch with them they will ignore you until you give up. Why don’t they just tell you if they have changed their mind. BAD COMMUNICATION SKILLS.

Lastly, i now have 7 replies that i actually saved on my device, that says “we are looking for a white teacher” that is racism at it best. I don’t know about Thailand but from where i am from we don’t talk like that, that statement alone describes racism. Being good at what you do can not be identified by your skin color.

In my country we actually don’t even care about the skin color. I grew up with white people, they are not different from me and we live in peace with them. That is why i am so surprised when i hear this here in Thailand.

Thank you

By Sebe, Bangkok (23rd November 2023)

In my experience, things look like this:

1) Agencies mainly collect resumes to find naive native speakers who will accept their embarrassing job offers. This can be seen especially on Facebook groups and sometimes on Ajarn. The goal of the agency is to find naive, inexperienced native speakers ready to accept the worst conditions.

"You live in a paradise, mate, so accept 30k and 10 months".

2) If a Thai teacher is in charge of recruiting, most often we will not get any response and if we do, it is 1-2 sentences long. Thai English teachers are afraid to write in English.

3) If a Filipino is in charge of recruitment (because a Thai teacher had the ad placed on the Internet), we will get answers to all possible questions, in a very short time.

By Jason, World (23rd February 2023)

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