This area of ESP is becoming more and more popular, so this is a good opportunity to address how to find those niche jobs. A lot of newbie TEFL teachers are former restaurant and or hospitality workers.
They are much more qualified to teach in this area than the other teachers unfamiliar with the ‘service mind’ and those with no with experience in the hospitality service industry.
I taught and coordinated teacher training for a year in a resort hotel. I had no previous “hands-on” experience in the industry but luckily the GM took personal interest in the training of his employees. He even joined in on a few classes and when we got off track he would steer us back. Previously I had also done some teaching at a hospitality training college – so I wasn’t a total newbie to the ‘service mind’.
The question I get most often is “How do I get a job in a hotel or resort?”
You won’t see these jobs advertised on job boards often, because:
Most resorts do not bother advertising their English Teacher positions. The reason? They will get swamped with applicants from overseas, everyone eager, but no one willing to show up for an interview. Or backpackers will knock on their door, usually not serious about the job and just looking for a quick money fix as they are passing through.
Fact: LeMeridien Resort on Phuket Island in Thailand advertised a position some years ago. They got over 60 applicants and less than twenty were willing to go to Phuket for the interview. In the end only three showed up!
So, I bet you are wondering how to find such a job if they are usually not advertised?
Take your resume and go to any five star hotel or resort and apply directly. If you can’t get into contact with the HR manager, leave your resume at the front desk in a nice envelop addressed to the General Manager. If the GM gives it to the HR manager, it is in the right hands and the HR manager will follow up.
Focus on five star hotels and resorts, some four star international chains might hire too because they know the importance of the use of good English and customer satisfaction. If it’s below four star, don’t bother as those places generally don’t care or will hire someone with English skills rather than training them.
When you are applying for a five star job, you need to look ‘five star’ – be dressed and groomed at their level. No facial hair, no visible tattoos or piercings. Men should be dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and a tie even when you are in a sweaty hot tropical environment. While you may not have to be all suited on the job, it is important to make a good impression with your first contact.
Be sure to approach the initial contact pleasantly and with confidence. After all, you will be teaching their staff how to greet and deal with people in English, how to be tactful and use English in situations where guests (they are guests, not customers) may be unhappy due to a problem caused by the hotel/resort.
Tip #1: Be professional – with your attitude and your clothes – it is critical for these type jobs. If you dress and approach your contact casually, you absolutely won’t get that job.
Tip #2: Teaching in a hotel or resort can be one of the best teaching jobs overseas and in some of the best locations in the world and they are worth researching and seeking out.