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Before You Go / Application Advice

CVYour C.V. (résumé)

When applying for a teaching position in South Korea, as with any other job application, care should be taken to ensure that your C.V.  is appropriate for the nature of the job. Korean employers will view your application in the same way as any Western business so it is important that your C.V. is professionally laid out.
Make sure that you list prior employment experiences which are relevant to teaching or working in a socially involved environment. If you do not have experience from this kind of employment, include past ventures which show a willingness to engage with others or elements of responsibility, such as volunteer work, coaching or monitoring, even baby sitting.

It is also likely that when you reach the interview stage your prospective employer will ask questions related to this aspect of prior experiences, so it is important to be ready to show that you are capable in this regard. As the Korean interviewer will not be able to speak to you in person the telephone interview is essentially a character interview. Use clear enunciation and be confident as well as enthusiastic about the prospect of living and working in Korea.

Your application photo

Re-iterating the advice regarding your C.V., submitted photos should be appropriate for someone who will potentially be in a position of responsibility, teaching young as well as older children. Photos of bright red faces with cans of lager held aloft, or rugby scrum-esque photos of friends gurning the camera, will not be looked upon favourably. Ensure that the photos show you in a genial light, as someone who is clean and professional.

ESL (English as a Second Language) certification

Oxford English requires that prospective teachers have prior experience of teaching or have completed a teaching course and have certification to that effect. If you do not have a teaching qualification, it is relatively inexpensive and straightforward to obtain one. Go to our TEFL courses page, where you can find out how to apply for an online course. Applying for work in Korea usually takes around 2 months between time of initial application and your starting work, so if you start the course at the beginning of the application process you will be able to comfortably complete it by the time you are ready to travel.

There are several benefits of achieving an ESL qualification before travelling to Korea to teach. Teachers with a qualification are able to command a higher salary than those without and are often able to work at more reputable institutions. A teaching certificate will increase the speed and likelihood of you receiving a job offer, as well as the more obvious benefit of helping to provide you with practical skills and material to prepare you for your future employment.

While most people find that they adapt quickly to teaching and soon find themselves enjoying the experience, our advice is that preparation prior to travel will help to aid the adaptation process and will ultimately aid both teacher and employer.

Next: Go to TEFL Courses, or see our General Advice page.