Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reader old is too old?

This one from Blair, wondering if 61 years old is too old.  He's tried EPIK, as well as some recruiters so far and has had, "You're too old," or no response at all. His question is whether it is worth it to apply to unis in Korea and China, and if yes, how to go about this.  He wants to work for 6 months-1 year.

I'd deal with the age thing first.  I've had a couple coworkers who were in their 50's or 60's.  And I've met some foreigners teaching in various kinds of jobs that were that old as well.  So, it certainly is possible.  However, in most places, it's the younger and the more handsome/beautiful, the better teacher you must surely be.   If you're willing to work in the countryside, then you would have a much better chance at getting a job.  But, being the only foreigner within 50 square kilometers is not so appealing to everyone. 

As for China?  Well, it's a much bigger place so I'd say your chances are certainly higher of getting a job there.  And  I would venture a guess and say that there is probably not a lot of demand for those 4000-6000 RMB jobs.  But, I don't have any information on the age thing.  

And the 6 month thing.  NEVER say this on your application to Korea.  All places want a minimum 1 year contract. 

As for how to apply?  Blair is wondering if he should just send a package to every uni in Korea and China (there are lists out there somewhere).  This is kind of a waste of your time I would think.  For one thing, unis in Korea generally don't hire out of country applicants.  Secondly, unsolicited applications don't get any attention (I've been there and done that in Korea!).  Based solely on my perusing the China job boards, it seems that unis there will hire from out of country. 

So my final piece of advice!  Peruse the Chinese job boards at ESL Cafe and ESL Teachers Board.  Follow the directions precisely for what they want in your application package.  Get a professional picture taken wearing a suit and tie.  And not that I'm the grammar police or anything, but your email to me had many typos and grammar mistakes.  Get someone to proofread your resume and cover letter.  If your resume was the same quality as the email, a native speaker (and fluent-ish Koreans or Chinese) would just throw it in the garbage.  Be concise.  You are quite possibly dealing with people who don't know English that well.  They just need the highlights of any teaching related experience you have.  That's it. 

Good luck.

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