Recruiter In Korea

The Honest Truth About Recruiting in Korea

Archive for November 1st, 2009

More on the Economy…

with 4 comments

HT to Jim for leaving a comment regarding the post on the economy and the effects on recruiting/the ESL industry in Korea.  He left a link from ESL Daily that substantiates the hardships of landing a decent teaching gig these days.  Check out the cool study they did using an ideal applicant.

Which leads me to this:  We know that not everyone is a supermodel but when sending in your pic, use good judgement.  Extreme close-ups are a definite no-no.  A friendly looking smile is always a huge plus, and photos with children (nephews, nieces, younger siblings) show that you work well with children.  Since you’re being hired before the employer meets you, the photo is extremely important.

Sending in a random, bad photo shows that the applicant has poor judgement.  Some of the poor examples over the past years:

– photos with a cigarette in mouth or hand

– photos at a club/party obviously shitfaced

– photos with the applicant wearing sunglasses

– photo with a bong clearly in the background

– photo topless (it was a guy at the beach…)

What were they thinking?!?!  It only takes a couple of minutes to snap a decent photo.  Put some time and effort into it and it will definitely help your application.

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 1, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

E-2 vs. F-visas

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I’ll give you the lowdown.  I’m stating the obvious perhaps but from my experience, the vast majority of employers prefer newbies (from overseas) on E-2 visas.  Of course there are also a handful of schools (mostly in Seoul) who do prefer F-4 teachers.  F-4 teachers though (whether newbie/experienced, overseas/in-country) tend to be the most pickiest in terms of location.  Not only do they want Seoul, they want to be in Gangnam.  If a school in Daegu is looking for an F-4 instructor, I tell them to forget it unless they’re willing to pay the big bucks.  F-2s?  Pretty much the same.  Since they are married, it would be very unlikely they would go far from their residence.  No matter how good your pitch is, you ain’t moving a teacher who is 100% set on location.

Life use to be easier back in the day before the whole visa overhaul bullshit that immigration created with rules that don’t even make sense.  The toughest of the bunch to place however, would be in-country E-2 holders.  Once you have a year’s experience under your belt, you pretty much know where you want to go.  Not only that, E-2s usually want to start a new contract as soon as their current one is finished so the timing has to be perfect.   Also, if you want to change jobs in the middle of your contract, expect to have suspicions arise on why you’re cutting loose before one year.  Regardless if you finished your contract or not, expect your recruiter or potential employer to do a reference check on you.  We take the feedback we receive from reference checks with a grain of salt.  We understand that lots of teachers have not-so-perfect relationships with their managers/directors.  However, it’s always best to at least try to leave on a somewhat good note so that they could give you a decent reference.

Some of you may think that schools prefer to have you on an E-2 so that they could have you by the balls in case you want to leave.  I guess this is somewhat true but always keep in mind that regardless of what visa you’re on, there’s always an opportunity to leave if your employer tries to pull funny shit.  Don’t ever feel that you’re tied into a contract if your employer isn’t living up to the basic standards of the contract.  You could always pack up, get a new job, get  a new visa, go on a quick run, then come back to a (hopefully) better job.

I always laugh at schools who complain that we send them shitty teachers who want to quit 2 months into their contracts.  It’s not the shitty teachers we send, it’s the shitty work environment that you make them work in.

The visa laws here in Korea are unfortunately very discriminatory.  Having an E-2 visa is very restrictive; hard to get a cell phone or sign up for anything on the internet for example.  I had an E-2 when I first came to Korea in 2004 then switched to an F-series visa a little over a year later.  Man, it opened up a lot of doors.  I was able to get a cell phone under my own name rather than having a co-signer, apply for a credit card (sans deposit and co-signer), and my ID number actually works on some sites (albeit not on all).  If you’re gyopo and on an E-2, then get the F-4!!  I know that there are a few that don’t qualify for it but if you do, then having the E-2 is a total waste IMHO. 

If you’re not a gyopo, then just marry your Korean boyfriend/girlfriend:)

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

ESL Cafe Thread on this Blog

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Thanks to ‘IS-F’ for giving me a shout out on ESL Cafe.  I went out to go party last night so I haven’t checked out what’s going on here until now.  Got about 280 hits since I started this yesterday.  I’m new to the blogging world so I don’t know if that’s good or not.  Anyways, I’ll tell you guys the truth on why I started this.  Pretty much I was bored.  Lots of great blogs here in Korea written by instructors but have yet to see one by a recruiter (not as plentiful but still a lot of us).

Most importantly though, I wanted to improve my writing.  Yes I am a westerner; I have an F-series visa (guess which one) and I was born in a western country.  However, I WRITE THE SAME FUCKING SHIT EVERYDAY!!!  For the past 4 years.  It’s driving me nuts.  Here’s what docs you need to send off, No, the visa code takes more than a day to be issued, You have to fly into ICN not Gimpo, The work hours are from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Cheonan is about 2 hours from Seoul but only 15 minutes by KTX, blah blah blah.  I swear I have hundreds of templates.  I work with other foreigners (and an equal amount of Koreans too) so I guess my conversation skills are up to par but it’s like being in the same play everyday for years.  Any foreigner who lived here for a long time knows that you tend to forget words here and there after some time.

I understand though.  If you’re going to teach in Korea, you better ask your recruiter every single question that you can think of.  Just don’t ask stupid questions, like if you could attend your best friend’s wedding and get 2 weeks off 3 months into your contract (the answer is NO).  Ask about the hours, the apartment, what’s included.  Ask for an email address of a current instructor.  If your recruiter isn’t playing games, he/she will be more than happy to ask for one.  If your recruiter stutters and doesn’t seem to know jack shit about the school it’s probably because they don’t.  Move on.

Since I’m anonymous, I’m going to always state my honest opinion whether it’s popular or not.  I’m also going to swear like a fucking sailor.  This is not a professional blog by any means and I’m in no way trying to shamelessly support the recruiting industry or my agency or myself.  I’m just telling you the way it is from my side.  Funny thing is, I probably already met a bunch of you guys or talked to you on the phone.  But the day you guys find out who this is, that’s the end of this blog.

Yes, the recruiting industry is slimy, yes I believe that a good portion of hagwon directors are the scum of the earth, and yes, I also believe that Korea attracts more than a handful of freaky foreigners.

Written by recruiterinkorea

November 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized