At Say Kimchi Recruiting we have helped 100’s of people land great teaching jobs in South Korea. We’ve worked with schools across the country for years and we know exactly what they look for when they are hiring teachers.
An outgoing, vibrant personality is the one thing most schools in Korea value over anything else. It’s important that you are able to have fun with the students, many of whom are young children. Any ideas of emulating the iron fist used by your old Math teacher needs to go out the window before going any further! You’ll need to be full of energy with a positive outlook to thrive in a Korean classroom.
Follow these tips to ensure you make a great impression on schools and increase your chances of securing a job!
1. Your Documents
Schools don’t like waiting around for applicants who are slow to gather their documents. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why they will pass on you and hire another teacher. The documents you should focus on getting are your Criminal Background Check and Degree Certificate. If you have those in hand more schools will be interested in interviewing you and will be more likely to offer you the job because they don’t have to worry about you not getting your documents in time.
2. Your Picture
In Korea, a picture ALWAYS goes hand in hand with a resume. Schools in Korea aren’t looking for the serious, strict old school teacher of your grandparent’s era.They are looking for someone who is professional in their approach but also outgoing, fun and happy. Make sure you are dressed for work but also smiling, happy and welcoming.
3. Your Video Introduction
This is not mandatory but try to place yourself in the position of a school’s hiring manager. They come to Say Kimchi Recruiting looking for candidates to fill a job. We send them 4 applicants who we think would be a great match. Only 1 applicant has a video introduction whilst the others just have a resume and photo. Who has the best chance of making a great impression?
We highly advise you to submit a video with your application. Ensure you are dressed appropriately and are in a quiet room with plain backgrounds. Schools don’t need to see your dirty laundry on your bed! Smile, tell them a bit about yourself and why you’d be a great teacher. We guarantee it will greatly improve your chances of landing a great job!
4. Understand The System
You must understand that schools are hiring you from across the world without never having met you so they have choose who they hire very carefully. They also want their teachers to be outgoing, happy and a great match for their school. One thing to keep in mind is that once a school offers you the position they expect you to take it so please only interview if you are keen on the job.
5. Your Resume
It sounds obvious but a well written resume is vital, with no spelling or grammatical errors – you are applying to be an English teacher! Your resume is the first contact you have with a potential school: make sure it gives the right impression. Get someone else to read it through before sending – they might pick up something you have missed. Try to detail relevant experience such as working with children or actual teaching experience.
6. Maintain a Smart Online Profile
All that stupid stuff you put on Facebook — take it off or at least make your profile private. Be mindful of your social media profile online. It’s not uncommon for employers to check Facebook pages and other forms of social media, so keep it clean. Your Skype name is also important – don’t have schools call you up on crazychick8940, for example!
7. Take A Class Or Get A Certificate
This is especially helpful if it teaches you a skill you don’t have or don’t feel confident in. Teaching in a different country can be challenging and obtaining a TEFL certificate will equip you with skills and confidence to make you great ESL instructor. It will also make you stand out to schools against applicants who don’t have one!
Say Kimchi Recruiting is proud to be associated with TEFL Online, one of the world’s leading online TEFL Course providers.
This is especially important for first time teachers. You might think you like kids, but actually you don’t. While at home, volunteer at a local school to get a feel of a ‘teaching’ environment. There is still, for some reason, some ridiculous stigma related to volunteering that many people cannot seem to get over. In a similar vein to updating your skills, taking on some volunteering work will show a desire and self-motivation to get involved and make a difference within a project, again desirable attributes that will make you attractive to a potential employer.
9. Be Flexible
The more flexible you are with regards to location the easier it will be to land a job in Korea. Applicants who request things like “Seoul, in Mapo Gu, on the first intersection next to Baskin Robbins” wonder why they can’t land a job after months of searching. Whilst Seoul is a great city, every other city and province outside of it has all the comforts from home and great expat communities too!