Just one year ago after making the decision to leave my teaching position in Yongin I was offered a full-time job as a content writer/ marketer with a small Korean company in the Seocho-gu area of Seoul, Korea. However, unfortunately the head manager at this company revoked my employment offer during the first week I was set to start because of his own presumptuous views on work ethics rather than capability.
I tend not to think about negative events such as this non-fond memory unless it has helped me grow into a better and stronger person. Once in a while I sometimes reflect on this employment event because it really set the pace for me in deciding what type of future job positions I would apply for while still in Korea, and back home in the U.S.
For any new job-seekers, early career folk, or mid-career individuals with an interest in looking into job prospects abroad, or specifically in Korea I advise you to review a list of tips that I made as a sample piece for the marketing position I never received. I hope that these tips will be useful to you and wish you all the best of luck in your job search!
FINDING A JOB IN KOREA
For many international students who are attending graduate school in Korea finding a place of employment after graduation may not be so easy. One of the most important assets for international students entering the Korean job market is to make good friendships with fellow Korean peers and meet with employed staff inside Korean companies.
As a former international student who has graduated and started searching for work I would like to provide a few helpful tips that can benefit international students and jobseekers whom would like to find a job in Korea.
Tip 1: University Programs:
At many universities there are numerous career-related events, seminars, and clubs open to both Korean and international students. These programs are beneficial for future graduates who would like to gain first-hand networking experience prior to graduating. In these programs students can network with peers, alumni, and university professors who can provide many resources to help students gain an idea on what type of work they can explore based on their background studies and skills.
Tip 2: Global Job Fairs:
Every year across the country a number of global job fairs are held in Korea. One of the largest global job fair is the International Students Career Fair (외국인 유학생 채용박람회) sponsored by KOTRA and NIIED. This job fair is held in the Spring and Fall. The International Students Career Fair is catered for international students and global jobseekers. Its primary focus is connecting foreigners with Korean companies. A large number of Korean companies attend this job fair and offer on-site interviews for open positions in their offices. This is a great opportunity for jobseekers looking to gain experience in networking and interviewing with Korean companies.
Tip 3: Online Job Search:
Presently many Korean companies now advertise job openings online. All jobseekers can conduct their own online job search for open positions at Korean companies. However, knowing were to start searching online may be a little difficult. For international students who have just started searching for work visiting their school’s career development center is high recommended. Current students and alumni can visit their school’s career center office or visit the career center website to review posted job listings.
If looking to explore other online websites with job postings international students or jobseekers should check out the job positing section of the Seoul Global Center website (global.seoul.co.kr). The Seoul Global Center’s main function is to provide service and support to all foreigners in Korea.
Depending on what profession, field, or career you might be searching for there are many websites you can explore. A few Korea job-focused websites include: worknplay.co.kr, eslcafe.com, jobsee.kr, seoulprofessionals.com, saramin.co.kr, jobkorea.co.kr. While all of these websites post job listings based in Korea, some post jobs related specific areas and fields (for example: English teaching jobs).
The majority of these websites listed are available in English language. Other websites, however, are only in Korean.
Tip 4: Attending Expat Events/ Joining Online Forums:
Over the last few years the foreign expat community in Korea has remarkably grown. Creating a strong network of organizations many expat events are held throughout the year. These events include: social get-togethers, dinners, and less-formal networking events. International students and jobseekers are encouraged to attend these events to meet other fellow expats whom they can connect with on a non-professional level. Additionally, international students and jobseekers can join online forums that discuss job-hunting, networking, and working in Korea. These online forums provide very useful information and were started by past jobseekers whom have found jobs in Korea.
One website recommended for connecting with the foreign expat community and joining an online forum in Korea is: internations.org/seoul-expats.
Tip 5: Networking with Contacts:
Lastly, the final tip for international students and jobseekers is networking with contacts. Contacts include friends, family, relatives, professors, classmates, and new acquaintances that can help international students and jobseekers in their job search. Contacts are one of the best sources for sharing information on current job openings and positions. Contacts can be very helpful in lending assistance to jobseekers looking to find a job in Korea.