Most of these suggestions are dependent upon your timing and personal preferences~
1. Apply directly
I say this even though I applied through KorVia consulting. The general rule is that recruiting agencies have a later application acceptance date (around April 1st) than applicants who apply directly. As an example, for Fall 2016 intake, direct applicants could submit their applications on February 1st, 2 whole months earlier than us recruiter applicants.
However, I HIGHLY recommend KorVia should you choose to use a recruiter!
2. Strategize your preferred location and be open to any location
Check that box saying you are open to other locations if you cannot be placed in your preferred location! Being flexible is a huge deal.
Seoul, Busan, and Gyeonggi-do are generally viewed as the most competitive locations. If you have your heart set on a metropolitan area, you may be best served to go avoid listing Busan and Seoul, and instead, apply to a smaller metropolitan area such as Daegu, Ulsan, Daejeon, Sejong city or Gwangju.
In other words, choose a less competitive metropolitan area or else you may be placed in a place like rural Gangwon province (no hate on Gangwon, though. They have the Olympics coming up!). Rural areas have their own charms and you may find that you are best served in the countryside.
Of course, by all means, if you really want Seoul or Busan write it down.
3. Be open to any intake period
Again this is part of showing that you are a flexible applicant. EPIK has normal intake periods (February and August??) and later intake periods (March and April or September, October??)
4. Make that application photo A+
First impressions are important (especially in Korea!). Aside from your name, this is the first thing EPIK HQ will see when they screen your application. Read more about your application photo here –> Say “김치”! EPIK Application “Passport Quality” Photo
5. List any experiences you have with teaching
Try not to leave any section on your application blank. Imagine the person screening your documents having a checklist and giving you points for each section that has information. Don’t miss out on valuable “points” by leaving the additional teaching experience section blank. If you have done work at a summer camp, tutoring, teaching practicum work, substitute teaching go ahead and list it! If your TESOL certification is 100% online, this section could give you a leg up.
I didn’t have full-time teaching experience, but I did have 2 months experience with ESOL students at a local middle school through a teaching practicum. I questioned my recruiter whether I should include it in my application and they said that it would improve my chances.
6. Get your TESOL/TEFL certification PRIOR to applying
Remember you will not be Level 2 (required level for employment) until you complete your certification.
By earning your certification prior to applying, you will give EPIK confidence that you will not need to complete anything to fulfill this requirement. It also shows that you didn’t just earn a quick certification, but rather you have thought this through and taken your time. For you, it will be beneficial because you won’t have to stress about finishing by a certain date and filling out and sending in sworn declarations. Having as many documents ready to be mailed out after you pass your interview is ideal. Less paperwork = happiness.
*Remember that in-class components are looked at favorably.
7. Push your personal essays to the word limit
Your essays are a great opportunity to sell yourself and show that you are a perfect applicant. Make sure you use all the words you can to explain how qualified you are and how excited you are for this opportunity. EPIK Application Personal Essay Tips – Fall 2016
8. Make sure dates are in YYYY/MM/DD form
In the U.S., we typically follow the MM/DD/YYY format. If you are going to be a teacher giving directions to students, you better be able to demonstrate that you can follow directions.
Small things add up in the end and I hope that some of these suggestions will help you as you put together your application! Good luck^^
Ad astra per aspera,
Disclaimer: The review provided in this post should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the mentioned service(s). No compensation was provided in exchange for the review of these service(s). The process discussed in this post is applicable to US applicants and is based on EPIK 2016 Fall intake directions.