Top Online Job Hunting Resources

Finding The Perfect Job:

In our opinion, the best thing to do when it comes to job hunting is to get some recommendations from reading around, and contact the company directly. Aside from the highest-level jobs, very few companies in Korea require experience (though they do invariably require a degree), so if you simply go to the company you want to work for and make a positive enquiry stating why you’ll be good for the job, you’ll probably come out of it with a decent offer and the kind of job you really want.

It’s worth noting that the jobs advertized online invariably pay less than those that you can move into over time, or found in country, but then again sometimes there’s no option. If you take that option, always ask to talk to a few people who already work for the company, and get some feedback – some companies, such as the Sogang University Language Program (SLP) appear much better on the surface than they actually are. What we’d certainly say is find a job for yourself, not through an agent, as the agents invariably receive a cut of your salary and provide you with jobs with companies who others don’t want to work with. There are dozens of TEFL employment websites on offer these days, but here are a few good places to start:

Dave’s ESL Café: A popular and long running site for all things English as a Second Language, which includes everything from tips on teaching to an extremely extensive job board. The Korean job board is particularly extensive, which gives and idea of just how many jobs there are on offer in the South – don’t necessarily settle for the first offer you get, if it’s not quite right you will get another before too long! You can also post up your resume and pick up plenty of teaching tips both through the resources and the forums.

ESL Lists: An incredibly clever (if not quite complete enough just yet) resource which allows teachers and former teachers to give feedback on the schools they’ve taught at, and potential new teachers to get some great feedback. If you’re thinking of joining a school, it’s definitely worth checking their name on here first, just to see if anyone has anything to say that you might want to be made aware of. It’s also a great place to hunt down some really good schools that you might want to apply directly to.

Berlitz/ Wall Street Institute: Two of the biggest and most international language schools in Korea, both are located in dozens of countries across the world, and so have better curriculums than most. They also teach mainly adults, which most teachers see as a benefit, and are more likely to honor your contract than other places, simply because their international reputation is at stake. Berlitz are also currently the only language school in Korea to have a union, and have been able to look after the occasional badly treated staff member in this way, as well as negotiating pay rises for long hours and for increased experience. We’d recommend both of these (rival) schools as a good place to start. Perhaps the web’s largest database of jobs available all over the world, including, unsurprisingly, a huge number in South Korea. A great starting point for anyone who wants something a little out of the ordinary (for example jobs in the much sought-after tropical island of Jeju (which has its cons, being relatively inaccessible, but is a great place to be). Always worth a look.

Note: It’s extremely important to get your job selection right the first time. Some of the smaller schools can be particularly vindictive towards teachers who choose to leave, even if they have not provided exactly what they say they will. This is because workers don’t have the same rights in Korea as we’re used to, and a teacher leaving presents a serious problem for the school. If you do decide to leave, you could find yourself on a teaching ‘black list’ and unable to work in Korea, or get another visa, very easily. Make the effort to get it right first time, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle!