If you’re looking for a university job in South Korea, you may wonder if getting in touch (in person) with the head of the English department is an effective way to get this job. I’ll answer this reader question…keep on reading!
The Reader Question: In-Person Visits?
“My wife and I just moved to City X last month to teach in a Hagwon. I have a Masters in Social Work, and my wife has an MBA and a Law degree. We live right next to the university here and wondered how to make contact there for possible work next year. Can we introduce ourselves directly to department heads? Or will we need to find some kind of contact that will introduce us? Any suggestions for how to make this happen?”
Good Luck with the Hagwon: Fighting!
I hope you guys make it through the year at a hagwon. It can be a tough time, especially for those that have had real jobs in the real world back home because as you will see soon enough, most hagwons are pretty far from professional working environments.
My top tip for you is to remember that it’s a business and don’t get stressed out about decisions made from this standpoint, as opposed to actual educational goals. Seriously, just chill out and try not to worry about it too much.
Contact With Department Heads: Difficult!
Making contact with those in charge of hiring at that specific university can be quite difficult. You probably won’t even be able to figure out who these people are until you see a job ad posted somewhere like ESL Cafe. Even at the universities I worked at, I had no idea how to find these people. Honestly, I didn’t even really know who my big boss was in most cases.
The other thing is that resumes generally get screened through a department secretary of some kind. The actual big-wig at the top making the decisions may not even really know what’s going on until it comes down to the actual interviews.
A Better Bet? The Other Foreign Teachers
Your best hope is to make friends with the foreigners at that university, which will be quite easy if you live next door. Hang out in the local expat bar in town and you’re sure to meet a few of them.
Or, attend a local chapter meeting of KOTESOL and you’ll meet lots of teachers there. If you become friends with these people, they will probably be happy to introduce you to their bosses, or drop off a resume when it comes time.
Of course, you shouldn’t treat these people like university job vending machines-that is most definitely not a cool thing and won’t work out for you, at all.
I’ve had people approach me in places and within a few seconds state that they were looking for a university job and wanted to know if I could help them. This made me feel…bad, and used and I kind of wanted to run in the other direction. Don’t be that guy!
Korean University Job Secrets: Revealed!
For all the details about how people actually get these amazing gigs, and some solid advice about networking to get a university job in Korea, this is the book you need:
University jobs Korea: Everything you need to know!
Want to Know What the Top University Jobs in Korea are Like?
Watch this short video to find out what sets apart the best, from the rest:
Has contacting department heads been effective for anyone here? Was it possible, or pretty much impossible? Leave a comment below and let us know.
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