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What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in South Korea?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in South Korea? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in South Korea? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Hey Priscilla,

Well I am still a student, so I have been trying to find a part-time job for the past two week. With the help of a Korean friend we combed a website called albamon.com. There were available jobs but when asked if a foreigner can work they immediately denied us, no matter how skilled the person is. Besides that, it is vacation time, so all of the jobs are taken. When we had finally found jobs,  they required you to work from morning to night! So instead we decided to look for an English tutoring job.

For all English tutoring jobs they require a resume. You must provide a photo, your personal information, where you studied throughout your entire life, family,etc,. It was the first time I had ever applied for a job so I took notes. It was my first job so I had no experience. But i filled out all necessary documents. They also require a copy of your passport and foreign registration card.

After your resume is sent by email, they will give you a call or send you and email, to have an interview or to just simple deny you.

So I got a call and took the interview. They were not worried about my age (19 but 21 in Korean), they were more concerned about me finding my way to the language school. So nice of them, but after i demonstrated how well I would teach English they immediately accepted me. I was very animated and i followed now customs. By the next week i was teaching.

For other non-English teaching jobs they do not require a resume, but they will ask you for a face-to-face interview. If you show how much you want the job and that you will work hard in the future they will accepts you.

Hi~

Here is my very personal experience.

When I was on working holiday visa (2015), I was looking for a part-time job that could give me some free time to spend with my friends and bf, or traveling. I went on every little website as albamon or craigslist to find anything suitable. But, surprisingly, I found the perfect job on the "Non-teaching job seekers in Korea" Facebook page.

So here is my advice : become a member of all job seeking pages on social medias, it is where companies looking for foreigners will go first. I got a job in an IT company, with flexible work hours, free weekends and nicer pay than in usual foreign restaurants in Itaewon or Hongdae. I assume I was quite lucky to find this one, but you can actually see many good offers on Facebook.

Concerning the skills, I had to speak at least intermediate Korean (I was level 3 at that time) to be able to talk with the Korean staff. They also looked at my personality during the interview as they wanted someone sociable. And, last but not least, they were interested in my university history as the job was related to linguistics and required a diploma in the field.

But to give hope to people who can't speak Korean, the other part-timers who where hired after me weren't even a level 1... and the Korean staff was asking me or other Korean speakers, to be interpreter when needed.

It was a great opportunity to work in a Korean company and improve my Korean language skills. I also experienced the famous 회식 (company diner) and met various nice people. And I wasn't working the typical part-time job every foreigner has (like teaching, which is forbidden on a HW visa, or waitress in a restaurant, club or so).

Tips for jobs as the one I got : about the resume and CV, it is important to describe the old jobs or university degrees you got related to the job you want. And in Korea, a picture is still asked, but things are changing... Don't forget to precise your languages skills.
During the interview, wear something simple and clean, do not make up too much, smile and be natural. Always be respectful of your interviewer, and if you speak Korean you should know how to use -합니다 at all times. Being polite is really important, say hello, thank you for your time, If they offer water or coffee, accept politely even if you don't drink eat afterwards. I think the rest would be the same as other countries.

I think that's all I can say. If I think about something else, I will edit this post.

frgirlinseoul

thank you very much for your precious information , i really liked it . :cheers:

hi every one i deeply think that if i want to get a job i must know Korean language at least how to communicate , i think it is going to make it easier to find a job if i can speak the language and i would feel more comfortable i don't know but i am looking for a teacher now to teach me Korean here i will try to find one nice Korean person here in Ethiopia to teach me before i go there .please if you have any other advice for me tell me.

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