Being in the staffing industry for 5 years as a recruiter in Korea (AKA headhunter), I was able to meet and speak with many foreigners in Korea. My interest was not how they got a job but why they have chosen to live in Korea for the rest of their lives. It seemed clear that Korea is safe, clean, fun, and full of Jeong. Jeong means warm-hearted in Korean.

Before I lay out my advice for foreigners looking to work in Korea. I’d like to start with one of the most important things you should do right away. You may have heard this from someone else already, it’s to learn the Korean language. Many people these days are more familiar with Korea. Back when I lived in the states, people asked if I was Chinese then they would say I’m Japanese. I even had to point out on a globe where Korea was located. These days Korea is a lot more recognized all around the world. There are many platforms that can help you learn the Korean language. In addition, there are many government programs that offer free Korean lessons to foreigners in Korea. Having a business level fluency in the Korean language will give you a massive advantage in your job hunt and makes it easier for a recruiter in Korea to find you a job.

Advice from a Recruiter in Korea

1. Visit the “Job Fairs for Foreigners”

Job Fair in KoreaBecause of COVID-19, it seems like we’ll need a bit more time to open up offline events in Korea. However, job fairs in Korea are a great opportunity for many job seekers. Keep an eye on the COEX website for the next job fair scheduled. Many of the top Korean companies use these job fairs to source new talent. In addition, this is a great place for a recruiter in Korea to find potential job hunters. For international students, you can check out this online job fair in Korea. This year the event was held online via ZOOM. However, hopefully, future job fairs will be held offline.

2. Use your LinkedIn profile

Many people wonder if anyone can get a job through LinkedIn in Korea. Well, the answer to that question is YES! That’s how I connected many candidates to a job in Korea. But you must be clear on your expertise. If you can’t sell your skills, then why should they hire a foreigner instead of a Korean? Remember that you need to persuade your employer that you are the right person who has all the skill sets needed for a role.

Some additional tips I can give is to try to at least have a solid experience in one area for 3-4 years. Top positions in Korea that will be open to foreigners are most likely to be in areas such as digital marketing, software engineering, recruiting, and overseas sales. Therefore make sure you have these keywords in your header. Recruiters in Korea use these keywords to find potential candidates.

3. Start as an English Teacher AND make your own Network

You might be the person who already knows that teaching English is the best way to come to Korea. Private Korean English Institutes (Hagwons) make the process very easy. They not only pay for your flight to Korea but also handles the visa process. Coming to Korea as an English teacher is how most foreigners in Korea start off. But you can grow your network in the business world while working as an English teacher before moving on to better opportunities.

There are many meetups, groups, and events you can go to in order to grow your network. The key is to develop real relationships and make friends. Data shows that friends are the best source for finding a job in Korea. Therefore go to as many meetups as possible because you never know when a job opportunity may come to you.

Recruiter in Korea from Unico Search

Unico SearchFor those looking to use a recruiter in Korea, I would recommend you try Unico Search. Working with a recruiter like myself is a common method for foreign job seekers in Korea. It is the easiest way to connect with companies and find new open positions. Although it is important to use a variety of techniques when searching for a job in Korea, using a recruiter can connect you with a large network of professionals that are hiring in your field. Unico Search can help you increase your visibility to employers in Korea by utilizing their network and expertise.

If you are interested in working for a particular company or startup in Korea, you can reach out to them directly. You may be able to speak with HR representatives but in many cases, they won’t be able to speak English. Reaching out to some of the top companies in Korea yourself can let them know of your interest and enter you in their database for possible candidates.

I hope this article was helpful and please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn! Happy job hunting!