Tips & Recommendations
For Preparing A Great Application
Your resume, photo and interviews are all equally important
Although other documents can help, such as cover letters, credentials and references, the most important factors – by far – when applying for overseas jobs are your resume, photo and interview results. You need a professional resume and quality photo to ‘sell yourself’ to respective schools but it’s ultimately your interview results that determine whether or not an employer makes an offer.
Resume Tips & Advice
Your resume is the very first thing a recruiter and school looks at
Here’s what a recruiter or school hiring manager will think about you based on the quality of your resume. If you offer a lousy resume with poor formatting, or shoddy descriptions, they’ll seriously doubt whether you have the ability to create proper lesson plans (something you’ll need to do everyday!) for your classes. Basically, if you can’t put a proper resume together for a job application then how will you create lesson plans for your students day in and day out? It’s a legitimate concern.
Alternatively, if your resume shows that you put effort into it (great formatting, clear work history descriptions, related work experience is in a prominent location, etc.) then recruiters and hiring managers will assume you’re serious about the job and competent in drafting written materials. It’s a no brainer really.
An easy way to spice up your resume
Don’t have any formal teaching experience to include on your resume? No problem (most applicants don’t), however, be sure to include any relevant experiences in a ‘Work-Related’ section of your resume. Coaching, volunteer work, mentoring, counselling and even baby sitting are valid experiences that you should include. Another easy way to add a little flare to your resume is including a brief summary at the very top of your resume. Let employers know what you’re trying to accomplish (i.e. secure a teaching post in Korea) and why you’re a suitable candidate (i.e. I’m great with people, genuinely interested in the teaching field, etc.). Keep the summary short and to the point, 2-3 sentences is best.
Photo Tips & Advice
Offering a quality photo is necessary with Korean employers
The photos you submit are also rather important. Schools ask recruiters for the candidates’ photo when presenting them with new applicants. It seems like a simple document to arrange but many people submit the wrong types of photos (i.e. too casual, with a group of people, blurry, holding a beer, the list goes on).
It’s sounds superficial to say this, because it is, but Koreans will judge you based on the photos you provide. Therefore, it’s important to submit the right type of photo; something that says I’m professional, friendly and teacher-ish. Here’s some tips for preparing your photo.
- Smile (show them how friendly you are!)
- Only you (no group photos, it’s not a group job)
- Good clarity (blurry photos say I’m too lazy to prepare a good crisp image)
- Don’t use your passport photo (everyone looks like a convict in their passport photos!)
FYI: Your photos don’t have to be professional pics from a photo developer. A couple of qualify selfies from your android or iphone phone will do the trick.
Cover Letter Tips & Advice
Cover letters sometimes help with certain schools
Cover letters aren’t mandatory but they sometimes help in the following ways:
- Showing hiring managers that you’re serious about working abroad.
- They’re an easy way to informally ‘introduce yourself’ to prospective employers.
- They can highlight your key reasons for wanting to teach overseas.
- Plus you get to show off you excellent writing skills (a useful skill in the teaching field!)
Remember, covers letters will probably be read by a native Korean hiring manager, therefore, keep it short, sweet and to the point (1-2 paragraphs is perfect).
Is being TEFL certified really necessary? It is for most schools in the big cities such as Seoul, and the greater Seoul Metropolitan Area. You don’t need to have a related major or formal classroom teaching experience in order to land a great job, but schools want teachers who – at the bare minimum – understand English teaching basics and fundamentals. We recommend the TEFL Source site for those of you who need to get certified. They have lots of courses for the best price.
Why stop now.
Learn more about teaching in Korea!
Ridiculously Thorough Guide
Everything you need to know about living and teaching English in Korea as a foreigner.
See The Application Process
See what the application process looks like, from start to finish!