As a foreigner, you might have noticed that starting a career in Korea seems to be tough. You’re looking for a job, but apart from that, you might be an experienced professional who has brought the love of your life to Korea, or you could be a student who just graduated and is eager to test the waters in a foreign land.
Koreans know that foreigners at work is a pretty rare sight. Whenever I talk to my local friends about some pals trying to get a job in Korea, these were their typical reactions:
“Why would companies hire foreigners when they can just work with Koreans?"
"Don’t you think that South Korea is reluctant to hire foreign employees because of the language barrier?"
"Wouldn't Hong Kong or Singapore be better options for a good career in Asia?”
Which is why I wonder why Korea is economically/culturally booming but is still yet to see a considerable amount of foreign employment coming into the country.
Well, whatever your unique situation, looking for a new job in a new place is daunting. But If you know the right people, and tips, like knowing there are certain channels for that golden opportunity waiting for you in Korea like where to get a stable position, salary, and working VISA -- you will save so much time and effort and before you know it, will be all set for your new Korean adventure.
These "unmissable" eight websites will shed some light to your queries on the right channels to take...
Seoul Global Center is the most trustworthy resource so far for foreigners looking for a well-paid job in Korea, and is maintained by the government. From English editor to marketing consultant positions, you will find “exclusive opportunities for foreigners” that you would only be able to find in a few sites. Not a lot of foreign residents are aware of this website (well, until this post goes viral) unless they own a business. It is worth a look if you possess great qualifications, especially in marketing, sales, and have proficient communication skills. They post new job opportunities every week, so it’s pretty up-to-date.
Go right into: http://global.seoul.go.kr/user.do?menu_id=0304000000&site_code=0101
I recommend Seoul Professionals to anyone who wants work experience with Koreans, because what's interesting is you can find jobs based on your availability with categories like freelance, part-time, full-time, internship, temporary. Awesome! There are plenty of job categories ranging from arts to marketing and technology that are looking for native English speakers. So if that's you, you have a cornered market. You can completely personalize your search and apply online while browsing for your desired location, category, frequency, salary, and post dates.
Enjoy it here: http://seoulprofessionals.com/
Most of the companies in Jobseekr are looking for non-Koreans who are talented in their own field. You'll be able to see a fair amount of work in cities outside Seoul if you're not a fan of city life! The interface is modern and simple to look at given the amount of information, making it easy on the eyes. You can even leave comments in the post as needed.
*Note: Even if the title is in Korean, just click it and check out the language requirements! (I've seen some posts written in Korean looking for native Japanese speakers.)
Find yours! : http://jobsee.kr/jobs
PeopleJob is a big Korean job search portal for those wanting to work in foreign companies. The job postings are updated on a daily basis, so there are plenty of options to choose from. The default interface is in Korean, but don't fret, you will find some English postings from time to time. Be sure to check out their language requirements. If they didn't indicate anything in English in "Job Descrpition," or "Job Requirements," move on to other opportunities since it's very unlikely to be qualified for the job unless you speak or can read Korean.
Start searching: http://www.peoplenjob.com/home/
Okay, so the interface looks a bit too basic and clumsy... but check out all the possibilities! Broken down into 100+ categories from housing to stuff that's for sale, even dating posts. Click "jobs" and see what's out there. Everything from the very detailed to very generic. Just exercise caution while discerning which jobs sound legit and worth your while.
Click away: http://seoul.craigslist.co.kr/
The most powerful tool for job seekers. But most of the time, jobs posted on LinkedIn require some knowledge of the Korean language since a number of them target Korean people who are familiar with English. Here are the steps needed to help your research further.
1) Click Jobs, and set your location to "Korea" first.
2) Use the keyword: Besides your profession, “foreign,” “[your native language],” “overseas” since most of the reasons for hiring a foreigner would be one's language skills that would drive international sales up without having to hire an external translator. You're likely to find jobs here that don’t require proficiency in Korean.
Look into your future workplace now: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/
A classic job curation website that will lead you directly to the respective company’s post..
Here are some reminders:
1) Seoul is the default location. Be sure to remove it and leave it blank if you don’t mind working outside of Seoul to explore more opportunities.
2) Use the same keyword as mentioned in my LinkedIn post above.
3) Don't feel discouraged when the job posting has Korean characters. Read the requirements carefully on their language requirements. Some jobs are posted in English. (However, it's more likely to find the one if the posting is 100% in English and they didn't mention the language requirements.)
Start searching: https://kr.indeed.com
Tech in Asia is where you can keep up with recent news about startup ecosystem and trends and the different corporate culture in Asia. On the top of that, they introduce you to great opportunities all over the region.
A few reminders as well:
1) Note that it’s 100% open to international candidates, so it’s less of a hassle than LinkedIn and Indeed but has less posts.
2) Make sure you read some articles about Korea here, especially when it relates to your field (marketing/investment/technology). It’s very enlightening to know about the local market trends.
See what’s on this month: https://www.techinasia.com/jobs?location_name%5B%5D=Korea%2C%20Republic%20of
Are you someone who “creates” opportunities rather than “chases” them? Do you enjoy looking into companies and offering them service proposals? Then this is the right resource for you to explore.
All the small and big companies in Seoul are arranged by various categories. You will have a short description of the company along with the website link, phone number, social media accounts and location. Get all your research done here. It’s quite a pity that they don’t include other areas in South Korea, but I’m pretty sure that Seoul is the ideal place for you to build your professional network as you begin.
Bottom line: Don't forget to check out the 'Careers' and 'Jobs' sections on their website. Who knows, you could see what you exactly wanted to offer?
Make your own luck: https://www.angloinfo.com/seoul/directory
Everyone deserves to be paid well, and one's passion and skills should be given their due wherever needed. So please, do not waste your talents! On a side note, if you are eyeing non-teaching jobs to earn money, I strongly advise you to just teach. The demand for learning a foreign language is huge in South Korea, especially if you're a native English speaker. You are better off with this opportunity if your strength lies in language. Moving on...
Last but not least, Include “안녕하세요. (Hello),” “감사합니다. (Thank you)” in your first cover letter or application even though they do not expect any Korean language skills. Trust me, this will make them take notice.
I would love to hear from you as you go through your journey in Korea — be it workwise or for pleasure. If you are clueless and need a hand, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Keep your head up!
Cebin Jeong | Content Curator