Monday, December 9, 2013

After the Immersion course (Teaching English in Korea) by Alicia

Finding a job as a teacher in Korea is not difficult - especially if you are already a teacher, have experience working in the industry and have an ESL (TESOL, TEFL, TESL, CELTA, Other) certificate. If you have all of these, you can apply for positions that are above average salary and with exceptional working/ living conditions. As I have just signed a 12 month contract for such a position, I will outline the requirements, process etc. and my 'tips' below.

Minimum Qualifications

Generally, the minimum qualifications to apply for a teaching position in Korea are as follows:
 - Completed degree in any field (usually 4 years) - a teaching degree or something to do with English or Education is best but not essential
 - ESL (TESOL, TEFL, TESL, CELTA, Other) certificate - more and more positions are asking for at least 120 hours
 - Native English speaker

Applying for Jobs

There are a few options when it comes to getting your resume out there - you can either a) sign up with an agency (usually free) that will look for positions fitting your qualifications and hand your resume through, or b) you can apply to positions privately.

If you are applying privately, some good job boards are:

Either way, you will need an updated resume (always date with at least the month and year) with a recent photograph in the right hand corner. I have been told that for some employers in Korea, if there is no photograph, they will not even look at your resume.
 - Cover letters are not always essential but I would recommend having one which you can update for every new position you apply for (if you are applying privately)
 - References - have TWO written references with one from a current employer - this is always a step in the right direction

It is also a good idea to attach as many documents needed for the Visa/ Immigration process as possible - this shows you are organised and understand the process. The documents are as follows:
 - Scan of the first two pages of your passport (picture and signature pages)
 - Scan of your National Criminal History Check Certificate
 - Scan of your Diploma/s
 - Scan of your ESL (TESOL, TEFL, TESL, CELTA, Other) certificate
 - Scan of your University transcripts
 - Health Check/ Declaration please find here

 For your Visa application, copies of the following documents will need to be taken to a Notary Public (to be notarised) and then to theDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade to be apostillised:
-          National Criminal History Check Certificate
-          Diploma/s
-          University transcripts
It is also a good idea to have a copy of your ESL (TESOL, TEFL, TESL, CELTA, Other) certificate notarised and apostillised.
General Benefits

Many positions offer similar benefits, which I will outline below. However, be careful to read the benefits of each position as these are not guaranteed.
-          Airplane ticket to Korea – generally the return ticket is also covered if you see out the terms of your contract
-          A contract which outlines salary, vacation etc.
-          A housing allowance OR housing provided – this is usually a single room apartment close to the institution but be sure to check what is included – it may not be furnished and you may have to pay amenities etc.
-          Visa sponsorship (E2)
-          Severance pay (1 month salary)

Most positions require at least one (sometimes 2) skype or phone interviews. It is best to make a skype account just in case. When doing a skype interview, make sure you are somewhere with a good internet connection to avoid difficulties.

It is always good to mention that you speak Korea. Thanks to teacher Ebony Bae and the immersion course, I feel confident that I will be able to live comfortably in Korea. J

Once you are offered a position, your employer will help you through the Visa application process.

Good luck and see you in Korea!!
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