Ninety Days to a Job Teaching English in Korea, Part 3 — Your Application Documents

Posted by on May 2, 2011 in EFL in Korea, Teaching English in Korea, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Kimchi Pots and Water Jugs

(Click on any of the photos to view a larger version.)

If you’re still reading this series, then you are probably giving serious consideration to teaching English in Korea. Then again, maybe you’re just bored. 🙂 If you have made the decision to teach in Korea, hopefully, you have started the process for your Criminal Records Check.

Before you actually start applying for jobs you should scan all of your documents and have them in one folder on your computer. Here is what most employers will request when you apply for a position…

Cover Letter: I have created a standard letter that I customize with the school’s name and the position I’m applying for. If you create a standard letter always double check it before sending. You don’t want to send a letter addressed to ABC School when you’re really applying to MNO School. (Trust me, I did this once…so embarrassing!) Your cover letter should include information about your skills and experience, and why you think you would be an asset to the school. Remember, keep it simple. There is a very good chance that the person reading your cover letter is not a native English speaker. Keep your letter upbeat. Be sure to run it through a spell and grammar checker before you send it out.

Resume: You’ll need an up-to-date resume. Include your current address and contact information, education. and experience. You must include a recent photo, and your date of birth. I know this sounds weird to many people. However, in Asia it is required information. Your photograph should be a head shot, and you should be well groomed. Guys, Koreans are not big on facial hair. Until you get the job you might want to show a clean face. Be sure to highlight any teaching experience. This could be paid or volunteer. References should be included. The chances of them being called are slim. However, if you are applying for a public school position there is a chance. Also, if you are using a recruiter, they may call.

Yes, Older teachers are hired here. I know teachers in their 60’s. Sometimes it takes longer to secure a position, but persistence will pay off.

Sometimes its Good to Look Back

Passport: You will be asked for a scan of your passport information page. If your passport is within a year of expiry, get it renewed. Passports can be renewed in Korea at your embassy, but it is much more expensive.

University degree/transcripts: A scanned copy of your degree is required. You may also be asked for your transcripts. A reader has mentioned that transcripts are no longer required by Immigration. However, employers are slow to change here. I was talking to a friend this past weekend, who is looking for a new position. He told me that all of the ads he’s read continue to ask for transcripts. Be on the safe side, and have them available. Many universities provide at least one copy free of charge.

TEFL/TESL certificate: If you’ve completed your certificate, include a copy with your application. Competition for good jobs has heated up over the last couple of years, and this will show prospective employers that you are serious. This is particularly true for public school positions.

Criminal Records Check: You need to apply for your CRC as early in the process as possible. Korean Immigration will only accept CRC’s from a national source. In Canada it’s the RCMP and can take up to six months. In the United States it’s the FBI, and also takes a while to process. Check with the issuing source in your country to find out how to get your CRC, and how long you can expect to wait. Your Visa will not be issued without a Criminal Records Check. If you’ve applied for your CRC, be sure to tell your potential employer that it’s in the works.

Morning Reflection

Initially, this is the information most potential employers will ask for. If you are going through a recruiter for a public school job, you may be asked to complete a medical evaluation form This is a self evaluation. You will still be required to have a medical once you arrive in country.

The more complete and professional looking your application is the better chance you have of securing a good position quickly.

Once an employer makes you an offer, and you accept, you’ll have to courier all originals to your prospective employer.


If you missed Part 1 or 2 of this series, here are the links….

Ninety Days to a Job Teaching English in Korea — Part 1

Ninety Days to a Job Teaching English in Korea — Part 2

Korean Fan Dance

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  1. More excellent advice here, and wonderful images, too.

  2. Don’t know if I’d fancy working here. Lots of fellow teachers I met in Thailand always had some very harsh words about Korea. However, the money’s supposed to be alright!

    • Hi Steve, Korea is not always the easiest place to live and work. That being said, it’s not all bad.
      If you find a good position, it can be a great life style. The money is pretty good, and I have a position with lots of vacation time. That makes it all worthwhile.

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