Find a Job in Bangkok


How to look for work in Bangkok


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Thailand Job Market

Thailand operates very strict requirements for foreigners who wish to work in Thailand. Every foreign worker in Thailand requires a Thai work permit. In addition, a job must be one that a Thai national cannot undertake. The company must also satisfy certain other requirements, such as they should employ four Thai nationals for every foreigner employed.

Jobs teaching English will always be available for native speakers. The oil and gas field are also a popular. Given the large expat community, there are a number of magazines and newspaper which cater for them which require native speakers.

However - please be aware that it is extremely difficult to obtain employment in Thailand if you do not hold a university degree. This is even a usual requirement for teachers.

Resume / CV

  • Resume- Brief overview of work and educational experience. Prominent in the US when applying for employment. Typically one page.
  • CV (curriculum vitae) - More in depth look at work and educational experience. Prominent in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Typically two or more pages.

For further information read our article, "CV versus Résumé?".

CV Layout for Thailand

The CV should contain:

  • Contact Information: Relevant personal contact information at the top of the page including: name, phone number, fax number, address, and email address. It is common in Thailand to include a professional head shot. A passport style photograph with conservative dress should be suitable.
  • Professional Experience: Usually this information is listed chronologically. List your work experience with your title, name of the company you worked for, the dates of your employment, and a brief description of your achievements in that job
  • Education: This section should come before work experience if you are in school or have been out of school for one to three years, depending on your level of work experience and how relevant your education is to your career.
  • Certificates & Diplomas: Courses, seminars, congresses or conferences that are relevant in relation to the position. Note if you received any special honours. This is particularly important in Thailand as many jobs are only open to holders of a university degree. This is something that should be especially highlighted on your application.
  • Languages: This is extremely relevant to an international job. List which languages you speak and your level: advanced, intermediate or beginner. Point out if you can translate, speak, or write in each language and list any associated degrees. If you are submitting your resume in English or Thai and it is not your first language, be sure to have a native speaker read it first. Punctuation and grammar are extremely important.
  • Computer Skills: Programs, applications, word processing, database, Internet experience, etc.
  • Interests: You may include personal interests such as hobbies, sports, activities.

Tips for Submitting a CV in Thailand

  • Style should be straightforward. Use standard paper and a simple font, such as Times New Roman (12 font) or Arial (10) font
  • Print original copies on high quality paper - don't send photocopies.
  • Be neat. Take care with the presentation, design, spaces, and spelling of your resume. Don't use abbreviations. Emphasize sections and things that are important with underlines or bold type.
  • Make sure your CV is as organized as possible, so the information can be found easily.
  • You do not need to date or sign your resume.
  • Have a base CV that you can adjust to each job you are applying for.

Cover Letters in Thailand

A cover letter usually accompanies a CV in a job application. In the format of a letter, it establishes your tone and intent.

Format

  • Header - Standard business letter style, with the sender's address and other information, the recipient's contact information, and the date sent after either the sender's or the recipient's address. The final part of the header is a salutation (e.g., "Dear Hiring Managers").
  • Introduction - The introduction briefly states the specific position desired, and should be designed to catch the employer's immediate interest.
  • Body - Highlights material in the resume or job application, and explains why the job seeker is interested in the job and would be of value to the employer. Also, matters discussed typically include skills, qualifications, and past experience. If there are any special things to note such as availability date, they may be included as well.
  • Closing - Sums up the letter and indicates the next step the applicant expects to take. It may indicate that the applicant intends to contact the employer; although many favour the more indirect approach of simply saying that the applicant will look forward to hearing from or speaking with the employer. After the closing is a valediction ("Sincerely"), and then a signature line. Optionally, the abbreviation "ENCL" may be used to indicate that there are enclosures.

Job Search in Thailand

Note that in addition to employment and labour laws that are very different from that of the Western world, job adverts can also be very different in Thailand. They are often gender and age specific, and your picture may be used as a basis for hiring. Don't be surprised to find many adverts specify they are only seeking male candidates under the age of 25.

Job Search Websites for Thailand

Search engines allow you to scan a great variety of jobs, and narrow down your search on certain criteria. It is also a good idea to post your CV online so hiring managers can find you. They may also allow you to sign-up for e-mail alerts of when new jobs become available.

You may also peruse jobs on EasyExpat's Job Listings in Thailand and post your resume. Search by industry and browse the latest jobs.

Forums

Expat and social forums are another resource for job seekers. Easy Expat's Thailand forum is a great resource for connecting with expats and opportunities in your area.

Newspaper

Several papers have a helpful classifieds section. There are job offers for executives and professionals, as well as sections dedicated to specific professions, like teaching, computers, and media. These include the Bangkok Post: Job and The Nation: Jobs.

Bangkok also offers many free magazines which can be found in cafes and bars across the city. These magazines may contain contacts of organizations which may meet your skill set. They include:

Recruitment Agencies for Thailand

Most agencies specialize in a particular field, such as computers, nursing, secretarial work, accounting, catering, or construction. There are also "head hunting" agencies that are hired by large companies to recruit executives, managers or professionals.

To find an appropriate agency, search for "employment agencies" or go to a directory of agencies.

The most well-known recruitment agency in Thailand is www.jobsdb.com. Once signed up with this agency, a daily email containing new job vacancies will be sent based on suitable criteria as selected by the job seeker. Helpfully, all of the job adverts specifically state if they are available for a Thai national only or a native English speaker in addition.

Career Fairs in Thailand

Career fairs are an excellent way to find out about available jobs and opportunities. There are usually a large variety of employers you can visit in one day and apply. Entrance is usually free, but registering online might be encouraged. Bring your resume and dress to impress as there may be interviews on the spot.

You can also try going to career fairs in your home country that specialize in jobs abroad.

Careers fairs are often advertised in the Bangkok BTS sky train stations or in The Bangkok Post, so keep your eyes open.

Networking in Thailand

Sometimes getting a job is about knowing the right people and this is certainly true in Bangkok. It is evident from talking to expats who live in the city who are not teachers and who did not arrive with a job that many manage to secure employment through a contact rather than a job advertisement. Talk to friends, family, and business contacts to see if they have connections in the area you would like to work.

The great news about Bangkok, and indeed the whole of Thailand, is that it could not be easier to make friends and contacts. Expat events can also be a great way to find out how other expats found work and see if their company has any openings. Use social media such as Facebook, (check out Bangkok specific groups Desperately Seeking Bangkok & Find Your Way in Bangkok) Twitter, Chicky Net, Linkedln or expat forums.

You can also network specifically with expats on EasyExpat's Thailand forum, expat network in Thailand, and through expat blogs in Thailand.

Interviewing for a Job in Thailand

Great news! You have submitted your application and you get the call to come in for an interview. Interviews are a chance for a company to get to know you before hiring you and vice versa.

Having got to this stage, the real work begins. You need to thoroughly research the company before the interview to discover their missions, values and direction. This is really important to ensure their aims and values mesh with your own. This is particularly pertinent when getting a job in a country that you might be new to such as Thailand where things might be done differently than what you find familiar.

It is common for there to be a series of interviews, with the first lasting 30-60 minutes and perhaps some psychometric and personality tests. Further interviews and wider group work may take place the following depending on the level of the job. All this should be made clear to you prior to the interview(s) so that you know what to expect. It is also not uncommon for there to be a meeting to discuss the actual terms of the contract itself, so be prepared to discuss pay, holidays, child care needs, health care, etc.

Think about how you are going to arrive at the interview. This may sound a somewhat odd suggestion, but it is difficult to fully appreciate the humidity in Bangkok or how quickly a rainstorm can occur in rainy season. You do not want to feel uncomfortable by arriving at the interview hot and sticky or drenched through! The traffic in Bangkok also needs to be fully appreciated. For no rhyme or reason it is not uncommon for a taxi journey which should only take ten minutes to take one hour.

Depending on which company you are interviewing with, it is highly likely that at least one of the interviewers will be Thai. Take the time to learn how to say "hello" and "thank you" in Thai if you don't already know. This small gesture will be really appreciated, as is a reverent bow.

Other points to consider:

  • Dress neatly and conservatively.
  • Arrive early to freshen up.
  • Bring your CV, business card, and copies of any educational or visa type certificates.
  • Ask questions. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest.
  • Thank the interviewer for their time.

Hopefully you are successful, but if not - ask for feedback for next time.

Temporary Agencies for Work in Thailand

Due to the strict visa and work permit requirements, temporary work is not really an option in Bangkok (at least legally). That it not to say it is not available, but there are no temping agencies to register with as you would find in the UK. The types of work usually offered by temping agencies such as office work, gardening and bar work are all jobs that can be undertaken by a Thai National and as such would not be offered to a foreigner.

Work Visas & Permits in Thailand

Thailand does not provide a work visa that serves as both a visa granting permission to stay in the Kingdom and permission to work while staying in Thailand. The visa process and work permit are two separate endeavours. In order to apply for a work permit, an applicant must already be in possession of a valid Non-immigrant B visa or other applicable visa or residence permit.

If you wish to work, conduct business or undertake investment activities in Thailand you must apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies or Royal Thai Consulates-General.

Various categories of the Non-Immigrant Visa are currently provided to meet the needs and qualifications of individual business persons. These include business visa Category "B", business-approved visa Category "B-A" and investment and business visa Category "IB".

A work permit can be valid for up to 2 years.

An initial application costs 100 baht, and then the cost of the permit itself. The price depends on the length of stay and starts from 750 baht. The visa fee in 2013 is 2,000 Baht for single-entry with three-month validity and 5,000 Baht for multiple entries with one-year validity.

Required Documents for Work Visa in Thailand

A number of documents must be supplied by your company in support of your work permit application. Among the restrictions, the job must not be restricted to Thai nationals and you must not have been imprisoned for violating Immigration Law or the Working of the Foreign Act for at least a year prior to the date you make your application.

The documents required to accompany an application for a Non-Immigrant Visa vary depending upon which embassy or consulate the application is made. They usually include:

  • Passport or travel document with a validity of not less than 6 months
  • Completed application form
  • Recent passport-sized photograph (4 x 6 cm) photograph of the applicant taken within the past 6 months
  • Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family) for the duration of stay in Thailand and your salary must be in compliance with the Department of Labor's regulations OR Evidence of financial status in the case where the applicant is self-employed
  • Letter from the applicant's company indicating the applicant's position, length of employment, salary and purpose of visit(s) to Thailand.
  • Documents showing correspondence with business partners in Thailand.
  • Health certificate confirming that you do not suffer from leprosy, tuberculosis, drug addiction, alcoholism, elephantitis, stage 3 syphilis or HIV. The blood test and certificate can be obtained at all hospitals and clinics - time frame for obtaining the certificate ranges from 10 minutes to 3 days depending on where you go.
  • Letter of invitation from trading or associated partners/companies in Thailand.
  • Original copy of your highest education qualification i.e. university degree
  • Corporate documents of associated partners/companies in Thailand such as:
    1) business registration and business license
    2) list of shareholders
    3) company profile
    4) details of business operation
    5) map indicating location of the company
    6)balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and Business Tax (Por Ngor Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30) of the latest year
    7) value-added tax registration (Por Por 20)

It is a sensible idea to telephone the embassy you intend the make your application at ahead of visiting to check which documents they will require. For more information, go to the Ministry of Labour website or visit their office on the 2nd Floor, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour, Mitr-maitri Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok and collect a booklet from them which sets out the precise process and all of the documents required.

Nationals of certain countries are required to apply for a visa only at the Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General in their home/residence country. Individuals are advised to contact the nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate-General to find out where they may apply for a visa to Thailand before departure.

Consult our section on "Passport, Visa, and Permits" for more information on your visa options.

Teaching English in Thailand

This is the most common profession for expats who want to live and work in Thailand. English-speaking expats are in high demand.

Although some schools will conduct interviews via email and Skype, it is much easier to find a job when you are actually in Thailand. It is advisable to make a list of schools suitable to your location and then go in with your CV - a face to face first meeting makes a better impression than a letter. The hardest times of year to find a teaching job are December, January and the first half of April - teachers are usually in high demand throughout the rest of the year.

The best situations are companies that pay adequately and aid in getting visa paperwork completed. These positions may be difficult to come by and there is fierce competition for the best. Care does need to be taken in Thailand as some schools are run just for profit. If a school is profit based, find out who the backers are as this can have major implications for the way the school is run.

Applicants usually submit their resume and application, and if the school approves, the applicant will be asked for an interview. The interview may consist of a sample lesson or a grammar test. Some schools will throw teachers right in for a 90 minute class where the school observes and either offers the job, or does not.

It is common for new teachers to only receive a few classes at first. If they are able to prove themselves reliable and are able to handle a class, they will gradually be given more classes. Some teachers work at two schools or also give private lessons.

A helpful website with plenty of resources about schools and generally teaching in Thailand is www.ajarn.com.

Qualifications for Teaching English in Thailand

Although there are always plenty of vacancies, competition for the well-paid jobs is always fierce. Those without a bachelor's degree (preferably in education) will struggle to find work here.

Language schools will usually require applicants to have TEFL course certificates and a college degree. A TEFL certificate is not actually a legal requirement, but if there are two candidates and only one has one, they are pretty much guaranteed the job.

TESOL (also known as TEFL) is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A TESOL certificate is the most common qualification required to teach English abroad. Interestingly, the TEFL certificate is not a legal requirement in Thailand. However, many employers still want to see one, and if there are two candidates available for one position, and only one holds a TEFL, it is inevitable they will end up being the successful candidate.

There are a wide variety of TESOL courses available, ranging from 4-week intensive, classroom based TESOL courses with TEFL International, to TESOL courses studied online. It is even possible to combine a period of online study with a shorter classroom based course. In addition to standard TESOL certificate courses there are also more specialized courses such as courses for teaching business English, or teaching English to young learners. There is also the more advanced TESOL diploma course.

Courses are offered in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and Phuket.

Salaries for Teaching English in Bangkok

Teaching in an international school is the most lucrative strain of teaching. These jobs are hard to come by without experience and the best qualifications. These positions offer the paid holidays, excellent salary, and a good pension. Bangkok salaries at international schools range from between 40-50,000 baht a month (depending on experience) which will allow you a comfortable standard of living. Salaries will reduce the further you head out of the city.

International schools are grouped into three tiers according to their fees/reputation. As a teacher, a career can be made or broken by the reputation of the school. A tier 1 (i.e. the "best") generally will not hire anyone who doesn't already work for another tier 1 school.

It is possible to teach in public Thai schools, but the salary will be much lower.

Visa Requirements for Teaching English in Bangkok

You must have adequate visa clearance and registration to work legally in Bangkok. Most schools will supply you with a letter showing they have intent to employ you to enable you to secure a non-immigrant category B visa, which means you can apply for a work permit. This is the only way you can legally work in Thailand.

Due to the visa requirements for work permits it is difficult to find legal short-term positions. Most schools expect candidates to sign 6-12 month contracts. It would be rare to find a position for shorter than 6 months.

There are, unfortunately, a number of schools which try and employ foreigners whilst avoiding the visa requirements. There are also some teachers who work on a tourist visa, which is strictly forbidden (as can be seen on the visa as "employment is prohibited" is written right on it). We do not advise that you accept employment without holding the correct visa or work permit. This is illegal in Thailand, and if caught you will be punished with either a fine or imprisonment and it is likely you will be deported.

Consult our section on "Passport, Visa, and Permits" or in our subsection on "Work Visas & Permits in Thailand" for full info.

Teaching Private English Classes in Thailand

It is also an option to give private English lessons. These are usually more profitable per hour, but require a lot more work finding customers.

Another issue is that it would be difficult to receive a work visa for these freelance positions thus the work is illegal


Update 15/09/2013



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