Teaching English in Resorts and Hotels around the World

Do you have Skills in Food and Beverage or Hospitality Settings?

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 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!

That is a quote from a page I wrote for the Hotel TEFL English eBook page over at TEFLeBooks.com

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 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, let it go – 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.

The best reference around for this type of ESP is the HOTEL TEFL eBook, just as mentioned above.

TED’s Tips™ #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.

TED’s Tips™ #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 – they are worth researching and seeking out.

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Teach English in Resorts and Hotels

An Interesting ESP Niche

More people are becoming aware of this area of ESP and this is a good opportunity to address how to find those niche jobs. And, since many new TEFL Teachers are former restaurant and or hospitality workers, they are well qualified to teach in this area. Much more so than teachers who have never worked in the hospitality service industry and who are not familiar with what some people will call a “service mind”.

I taught and coordinated teacher training for a year in a resort hotel and though I didn’t have previous experience in the industry, I was lucky to have a GM that took a personal interest in the instruction of his employees and even sat in on the classes with some regularity. So, when we got off track – he was there to set us straight as he did from time to time. I had also previously spent time teaching at a hospitality training college – so I wasn’t a total newbie to service mind.

The most frequent questions I get about these jobs is how to find them. You won’t see them posted on job boards very often.

Here is why:

Most resorts don’t even advertise their English teacher positions as they are swamped with applicants from overseas – people who will never even show up for an interview – and they also get swamped with backpackers who are just “passing through” and won’t take the job seriously.

Fact: LeMeridien Resort on Phuket Island in Thailand advertised a position several years ago and got over 60 applicants. Less than twenty were willing to come to Phuket to interview.
Only three actually showed up . . . !

That is a quote from a page I wrote for the Hotel TEFL English eBook page over at TEFLeBooks.com

So, how do you find such a job especially if they aren’t usually advertised?

You need to apply directly to resorts and hotels: Anything five star is a start. Take you resume and if you can’t connect with the HR manager leave it at the front desk in a nice envelop addressed to the General Manager. If the GM gives it to the HR manager, you can be sure HR will follow up.

Focus on five star, but some international chains will hire even for four star settings – they KNOW how closely tied the good use of English and customer satisfaction are. Below four star don’t bother. Those places don’t generally care or will do their best to hire people with English skills rather than training them.

When you apply for a five star job, dress and groom at a five star level. That generally means no facial hair, no visible tattoos or piercings. It usually means a long-sleeve shirt and tie for men, even in hot tropical environments. While you may not have to dress so carefully on the job, you do need to dress carefully when making initial contact.

Approaching the initial contact confidently and pleasantly is critical. You are, after all, going to teach people how to greet and deal with people in English. how to be tactful using English in situations where guests (and they ARE guests – they are not “customers”) may be unhappy or have a problem created by the hotel/resort.

The best reference around for this type of ESP is the HOTEL TEFL eBook, as mentioned above.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Dress and present yourself professionally, it is critical for these type jobs. You’ll likely not land that job if you dress casually or approach your contact casually.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Resort and Hotel teaching jobs can be some of the best jobs overseas and for obvious reasons in some of the best locations in the world – they are worth researching and seeking.