Last Updated on June 2, 2022
So you’ve finally arrived and are looking at how to find a job in Korea. Whether you’re here as a Student or here on a Working holiday, everyone could benefit from some extra cash in their pocket. That being said, knowing exactly where to start or what jobs you can find as a foreigner can be tricky.
Before beginning you’re searching, There are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Know what jobs are Possible/Prohibited for your type of Visa.
Certain visas such as a Student or Working Holiday visa come with varying restrictions. For example, you will need to acquire a different visa or ask permission to work in Entertainment related businesses or as a Language instructor. For more details, check this official Korea visa portal site.
2. Know how many hours you can work.
Once again, depending on your Visa determines how many hours you can work. Generally, those with a Student or Working Holiday Visa can work a maximum of 25 hours per week.
3. Know the minimum wage
As of 2020, the minimum wage in Korea is 8,590 KRW. Especially when finding jobs on Craigslist or Facebook which are targeted at foreigners, It’s important to know how much you should be paid to avoid being taken advantage of (Definitely not a common occurrence but better to be safe).
Finding Jobs in Korea
What Jobs you’ll expect to find in Korea?
In a global metropolis like Seoul, finding job vacancies is not a problem. In fact, on most streets, you’ll find an endless amount of shops, convenience stores, cafes, and restaurants eager to hire new staff. Having said that, deciding which area to work in can heavily depend on your ability to speak Korean. Whilst it is definitely not a necessity, knowing at least an intermediate level of Korean will greatly increase your chances of finding a job. To put it simply, why should someone hire a foreigner over a Korean?
Nevertheless, for my non or basic Korean speakers fear not. Although the chance of finding a job is less, it certainly isn’t small. For those who don’t speak Korean, I would highly recommend narrowing your search to areas heavily saturated with tourists. For example, areas such as Itaewon (이태원), Hongdae (홍대), Myeongdong (명동), and Gangnam (강남). Not only are these areas filled with tourists, but these are also common residential areas for foreigners living in Seoul. It’s areas such as these that specifically look for foreigners capable of speaking other languages.
Popular part-time jobs in Korea
Here, are some of the most popular and common part-time jobs you can expect to find In Korea:
Waiter/Waitress in a restaurant, Host/Server/bar attendant In bar or club, Barista or Cafe related jobs, Convenience store staff, Fast-food staff, Kitchen helper, Cook, Cleaner, Clothing store staff, translator, etc.
All of these part-time jobs are ok for any visa except a tourist visa.
How to find jobs in Korea?
Here are the best ways to find a part-time job in Korea.
Firstly, for those who don’t speak Korean, I highly recommend using either Craigslist or Facebook groups to find a job.
Craigslist is a popular website used all over the world for main advertisements. Whether it’s looking for jobs, finding a house, or selling furniture, this website has it all and is very easy to use. Finding a job on Craigslist is fairly simple. Moreover, most if not all job offers on Craigslist are targeted toward foreigners living in Korea. Each job can differ but In general, you’ll need to submit your resume and Contact details. Most places will also, often ask for your Visa status, Language ability, Nationality, and sometimes a Photo or your age so It’s good to include that In your resume to save time. Here is the website for jobs on Craigslist Seoul.
I also want to mention that not all Job offers on Craigslist are legit and safe so It’s important to do some research beforehand.
Finding jobs from Facebook groups is another great option for those who have Facebook and don’t speak Korean. Just search ‘Find a Job in Korea’ or ‘Jobs in Seoul’ and Join a group. Here you will find several posts offering different types of jobs. In addition, people will Include the requirements for the job, Salary, hours, etc. in the post and an email to apply. Here is the website for Facebook jobs in Korea.
Lastly, for those who can understand Korean, I would recommend downloading either the Albachonguk (알바천국) or Albamon (알바몬) app. (There is also a website for desktop). Both apps work similarly and can be a bit tricky to navigate at first. If you can, ask a Korean friend to help.
Albachonguk (알바천국) or Albamon (알바몬)
Alba means Part-time job in Korea. Both these apps are the most popular applications for finding a part-time job in Korea. If you’ve used any other job application app they are very easy to use once you’ve got it set up. Unlike my previous mentions, both of these apps are targeted toward Koreans and therefore include a much larger selection of jobs.
To start, you can create an account from scratch or by using other platforms such as Kakao talk, Naver, Apple, Facebook, or Google. Then, you will need to fill in the details for your location, the profession you want to do, and which days you can work. You will also need to create a profile including your CV, Previous Experience, and preferably a Picture.
What to prepare when looking for jobs in Korea?
After applying to your selected jobs you should soon get a response setting up an Interview. What’s more, this response will most likely tell you exactly what you need to prepare In advance.
This list can vary from Job to Job but more often than not you will need:
- ARC (Alien Registration Card)
- Bank Account Number
Creating a Bank Account
Creating a bank account is fairly simple In Korea. You will need:
- ARC (Alien Registration Card)
- (Sometimes) Passport or Phone Number
I would highly recommend finding banks that speak English/Cater to foreigners. For example, banks located Inside Universities containing a larger foreign population will ensure contracts are written In English. You will need to visit the bank directly to fill out a contract and some banks ask for a deposit on certain cards. Lastly, Your card is usually ready to pick up the following week or earlier.
Alternatively, another more recent option is to create a bank account using Kakao bank. Everything is done using your phone and your card will be shipped directly to your home In a few days. However, this option is more suitable for those who can understand Korean (or get a Korean friend to help out).
Food Industry Related Jobs
For those working In food-related industries (I.e restaurants, cafe, or bar)
- You may need to visit your local health center (보건소) (Not a hospital).
- Here, you will need to take a few quick tests to receive your health certificate (보건증). Generally, most health centers take walk-in patients, and depending on how busy it is, the test can take less than 10 minutes.
- Lastly, For the test, you can expect to pay around 3,000 KRW and have your certificate ready to be picked up within the week. (There is also usually an option to have your certificate delivered for an extra cost).
!It’s best to wait until after the Interview to go to your health center unless specified otherwise.
Jobs for Students
Unfortunately, finding a job in Korea as a student isn’t as straightforward. Before starting work, you will need to get permission from both your school, the GRC (Global Services Center), and the Immigration office.
To do this you will need to:
1. Find a Job and ask the manager for:
- Copy of the certificate of business registration.
- Standard employment contract (Including working hours, wage, and job duty)
- Part-time work confirmation form including both employer and student signature (This can be found on your school’s website or you can visit your school’s office)
2. Visit GSC (Global Services Center) and give them:
- ALL DOCUMENTS FROM *1
- Certificate of registration
- Transcript of the previous semester
- Official TOPIK score report (If applicable)
3. Visit the Immigration office (Sejongno) and give them:
- ALL DOCUMENTS FROM *1 & *2
This concludes everything you need to know about how to find a job in Korea. Many jobs are waiting for your help so good luck and What are you waiting for?
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