Keeping your job application out of the bin

How to stand out from the job application crowd

Applying for jobs is always tedious and can take up copious amounts of time especially if you are tailoring each application for specific positions. I can't speak for all employers but for anyone applying for jobs I can offer advice based around what I look for when filling any position. Some of the points may seem obvious to most of us, but you would be surprised by some of the applications that get sent in. Getting the basics right is absolutely essential in order to land your ideal position.

Use a standard photo

I have seen many bizarre photos on job applications; from people in rugby scrums claiming "I'm the one with the spotty socks", to people in pharmacies with sanitary pads sitting on shelves behind them. Your photo is the first thing a potential employer will look at so make sure it sets the right impression.

Use a standard email is not really giving the right impression. Employers want employees to be thorough so if you don't even change your email when you apply, don't expect a call. If you just didn't think it would matter, then that is probably worse.

Be realistic

Writing cover letters and tailoring applications takes time. We all want that dream job, but be realistic about which jobs are suitable. An employer has hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications per position to get through, so unless you have the skills and experience necessary on your CV, they won't even get onto your cover letter. If it is a position that you really want and you think your skills are relevant, that is the time to be thorough.

Do your research

When tailoring your letter, take time to research the company that you are applying for and tailor your application accordingly. Find out about the history of the company and how you could link skills and experiences. Find out who you are writing the application to and use their name. If the information is difficult to find it doesn't hurt to call up, introduce yourself and ask who to address the application to.

Check spelling and grammar

This doesn't need much explanation. One typo won't cost you a job but if there are more typos than a Year 6 student's homework, your potential employer is not likely to take you seriously.

Keep everything short and sweet

We do not need to know what qualifications you earned when you were sixteen or about that football trophy you earned as a child. All information should be relevant and job related. Keep your application and letter to one page each. Remember that you want to stand out amongst the hundreds of other applicants and that small relevant letters are much easier to read.

Make sure you attach files

Spending hours and hours writing out the perfect application can be painstaking, so don't mess it up at the last hurdle. Check that you have attached the correct files, they are named appropriately and they are all correct.

Try to stand out

This is never easy but if you get it right, it can mean everything to your application.

Set up a personal website with an online portfolio, showing examples of your work, or even make an electronic portfolio to send to your potential employer. I can guarantee people will look out of curiosity more than anything else. It is something different and for an employer an escape from all those boring letters.

Be creative and show off your skills in your application. Our current Art teacher stood out by making a colourful portfolio, that not only showcased her art skills but also her effort and professionalism. Without even looking at her cover letter we could make a decision and she got an interview.

David Walters

Head of British Early Years Centre



It depends on the position you're applying for. If you're applying for a teaching position, it is really logical to put seminars and job experience related to teaching only. However, if you're applying for say managerial position, listing down not-so-related seminars and jobs would help because it would show how hardworking you are and that you know, aside from the main function, a little of almost everything. :)

By Normina, metro (3 years ago)

I have a few comments for would-be teacher applicants when sending in your application e-mails or in person applications.

KISS... Keep It Simple and Succinct.

The majority of potential employers in Thailand are not going to understand the finesse of a finely tuned resume written in politically correct and flowery context for your home country :
Stick to the points (relevant education and employment).

Anything else should be in the cover letter.

Every potential employer hiring teachers is looking for the same things:

Scan of your Passport (citizenship and validity)
Scan of your Degree (makes you legal to become a teacher).
Scan of your transcript of records (TOR) or other proof of program from your Uni - a KSP requirement.
Scan of a recent police clearance (you want to work with kids - employers and parents want to know.)

If you are NOT a Native Speaker (not one of the 6 "correct" passports) then you NEED to have a valid TOEIC score certificate and the scan should be attached.

Although not a "requirement" if you have a TEFL certificate it would also be appropriate to add a scan to your application.

Leave the rest of the "certificates" off of it.
For entry level EFL work they don't matter.
If you are looking for something higher up the food chain then list them as an appendix to your resume. The employer doesn't want 25 megabytes of scans of your 1-day seminars clogging up his inbox.


By Dave, Thailand (3 years ago)

Is it really necessary to attach a photo to a resume? I know they prefer that in the appearance obsessed land of smiles, but putting a photo on a resume in the US would get one's resume thrown in the trash (unless it were a modeling job of some sort, etc.).

It's also important to note than resumes should only be ~1 page for most people. In Thailand, many people seem to think that a longer resume is better for some reason. Even college kids with no experience start listing random experiences from middle school, etc.

By Will, Bangkok (3 years ago)

Post your comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear instantly.

Featured Jobs

Primary & Secondary Teachers (48K - 50K)

15 hours ago

฿40,000+ /month


English Conversation Teachers

1 day, 7 hours ago

฿35,000+ /month


MEP Teachers for Chaiyaphum City

1 day, 10 hours ago

฿30,000+ /month

Various locations

Positions in the Provinces for May Start

1 day, 12 hours ago

฿30,000+ /month


Qualified Filipino and Chinese Teachers (20-25K)

2 days, 8 hours ago

฿20,000+ /month


Corporate Trainers

2 days, 8 hours ago

฿600+ /hour


TEFL Courses & Training

Get off to a good start...

Take your course
in Thailand!

Training Directory

Featured Teachers

  • Meherr


    Cypriot, 34 years old. Currently living in Spain

  • Chakchai


    Swiss, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Chaky


    Swiss, 38 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • April


    American, 27 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Eugenia


    Russian, 33 years old. Currently living in Russian Federation

  • Jonathan


    American, 53 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • Ben


    Canadian, 24 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • Luke


    British, 47 years old. Currently living in Thailand

  • John


    Canadian, 38 years old. Currently living in Canada

  • wayne


    British, 40 years old. Currently living in Thailand


Sine Education

No TEFL required.

Mediakids Academy

Top TEFL job placement provider with competitive benefits and an unforgettable experience.

English Planet

To be internationally recognized as the leader in quality English language training.


Vacancies for in-house and corporate teachers at the finest schools in Suphanburi City


We get you a job! Options for school placements all over Thailand

BSI Broker

Brokers for ajarn health insurance and for all your Thailand insurance needs.

Siam Computer & Language

Competitive teacher packages with benefits and bonus incentives

Kajonkietsuksa School

First bilingual school in Phuket. Vacancies for kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers.

Kasintorn St Peter School

Progressive English program school near Bangkok employing NES and Filipino teachers

Inlingua Thailand

Premier language school with many branches and corporate training.

The Hot Spot

Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.

The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?

Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.

Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!

Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?

Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.

Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?