With over 40 dive centers on Koh Tao, you might think that it would be very easy to get work. However, it’s important to remember that these centres are also producing professionals. This is why it’s extremely rare to see dive jobs advertised on Koh Tao; there simply is no need. On the whole, speculative CVs mailed to dive centres are either ignored or replied to with a polite thanks, but no thanks. If you want to work on Koh Tao you have to take the leap, come here and start out as a freelancer. You will find it is tougher if you haven’t trained on the island but it’s by no means impossible.
If you trained here its possible that your training dive centre will have work for you but this is by no means a guarantee. Whether you trained here or you just arrived, make no mistake you have some pavement, well beach, pounding to do to get your foot in the door.
If you have the right attitude, a little tenacity and are well presented then you will go along way.
First, you will need a simple one page CV, not endless reams of information. Dive centre managers want to know who you are which means name and a photo. Make your phone number large so it’s easy to find and stands out. List your qualifications, languages, any relevant dive experience and make it short and concise. These end up in a pile or folder and get flicked through it all has to be in one place.
Next, you need to get off your butt and take your CV around every dive centre on the island. DO NOT EMAIL IT! This is simply lazy and means that you don’t get the opportunity to have a look around each dive centre, talk to people and see what you like. Try and talk to the manager, if they are not there, get their name and find out when is a good time to see them. Write it down so when you go back you can ask for them by name. Leave your CV even if they are not in. Move on to the next one and repeat. This will take a few days for sure.
Do note that trying to talk to the manager at a very busy time will not endear you. Boat change over time is one such time so avoid 11.00-1pm and 4.30-5.30pm. Otherwise take a look around and gauge if it looks hectic or if people look like they have time to chat.
Once you have completed your whole island circuit, pop back to the centres where you didn’t meet the manager and keep trying. Once you have done that, hit the beat again and wander around, saying hi and making sure your CV comes back up to the top of the pile and that they know you are still here.
By now your phone should start ringing…… Good Luck!