Application Tips and Advice

Your Resume, Photo & Cover Letter Matters


Schools don’t have the convenience of being able to conduct in person interviews. Whether a school requests an interview with you depends on a few small variables: the recruiter’s input, your resume, your photo(s) and a cover letter.

Just remember, you’re ultimately SELLING YOURSELF TO THE SCHOOLS!

Resume to Teach English in Korea – When you submit your resume to a placement agency it should look professional. Lousy resumes can make the difference between getting accepted or getting declined by a potential employer; therefore, taking the time to develop a proper resume is strongly advised.

Remember, you’re going to Korea to teach and schools don’t care if you have a degree in rocket science, or that you are an award winning engineer, etc, etc. Teaching is a social job and the schools want to know that you’re friendly, able to work with people and have a legitimate interest in teaching.

If you don’t have formal teaching experiences then make sure to include any (and all) related experience on your resume. Volunteer work, coaching, mentoring, baby sitting, counselling, etc. are all valid experiences and should be included when possible. The best way to include this information on your resume is to place a section at the top labelled: Work Related Experiences.

Photo Required for Application– When you provide recruiters and placement agencies with your photo it should look professional. If you submit a picture of yourself in a ripped t-shirt, sitting on the beach, high fiving your friend, or standing in a bar, hiring schools will not take your application as seriously as someone who looks professional and is willing to take the time to send a decent photo. We advise submitting a photo that makes you look friendly, clean cut and professional. The photo should also be a front shot, not a side shot, glamour shot, etc. Note: Gone2Korea advises applicants to submit 2 photos when possible – 1 professional and 1 casual.

Recruiter Interviews – Although you may not be asked specific teaching related questions during your discussions with recruiters, recruiters are still listening to how you speak and present yourself verbally as a person. Ultimately it is a character reference and you are being judged. Recruiters are not going to present shy, arrogant, unfriendly, etc. people to their better schools.

Cover Letters – Although cover letters are not a mandatory requirement, they do (at times) help. 1.) Cover letters show recruiters and potential schools that you’re serious about teaching overseas. 2.) Cover letters are a great way to introduce yourself to respective employers. 3.) Cover letters are a great way to highlight your reasons for wanting to teach abroad. Remember to keep the cover letter brief (1-2 paragraphs) and to the point, going overboard and writing a 5 page introduction is not recommended.

ESL Certificates – People who apply without related majors or teaching credentials may want to consider looking into an ESL Certification Program (i.e. TEFL Certifcation, TESOL certification, CELTA certification, etc.). Although ESL certifications are not a mandatory requirement for securing a job and visa, they sometimes have an impact on your placement, especially in the public school sector. Note: ESL certified applicants who don’t have related majors or previous teaching experience are eligible for a higher monthly salary – as long as their TEFL certification consisted of 100 course hours or more. Private schools rarely offer a higher salary for having this credential; however, it will make your application more appealing to potential employers…meaning it may help you land the job.

When to Apply – When you submit an application and your starting date requests are important matters to consider. Most employers hire new teaching staff during the peak hiring sessions; therefore, applying at the right time or requesting starting dates that correspond to the peak hiring sessions will warrant better results. Note: We have positions available year round but the job market is much more competitive during the off months. Please visit our When to Apply page for more information.