Are you applying to be an English teacher in Korea and want to make your application stand out from the rest? Psssssst. I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you’re located outside of Korea, you’ll fare much better if you create an introduction video to include with your application packet. Since you won’t be able to interview in person with a prospective school, the video is your opportunity to show them how awesome you are. Not sure how to go about it?
Here are 4 tips to help you create a kick-ass introduction video that will get you hired:
1. Learn how to say basic words in Korean and communicate a genuine interest in the country.
I watched several videos from past applicants and the ones who impressed me right off the bat were the ones who opened their videos with brief greetings in Korean. Maybe it’s just me, but I think making an effort to show that you have manners and a desire to learn more about the country speaks volumes. These were the first phrases I learned (romanized and separated by syllables for your ease).
Nice to meet you: Ma-na-so pan-gap sum-ni-da
Thank you: kam-sa-ham-ni-da
2. Demonstrate charisma and enthusiasm.
Besides smiling and speaking clearly, I think you should also try your best to let your sparkling personality shine through in your video. What? You don’t have a sparkling personality? Fake it! I’m not telling you to act like a crazy frat boy, but at least try to show your future coworkers that you won’t be a complete drag who will bore the kids to death. If you can’t do this, or muster up a smidgin of enthusiasm for teaching, then maybe this isn’t the position for you.
3. Do a demo/mock lesson showing off your teaching skills.
Besides knowing that my video would be seen by elementary schools, I had no idea what grades I would be teaching. My strategy was to use a lesson plan that could be easily modified and used for language learners of various levels. There are plenty of free resources available online such as waygook.org, but I chose a lesson plan by Simon of eatyourkimchi.com because I really liked his inclusion of K-pop culture and games.
4. Polish your video using basic editing and production techniques.
My video was pretty low-budget. I filmed it with my Macbook’s iSight camera and edited it with iMovie. I kept it simple with the background and lighting by recording on a white wall with a small lamp to bounce light off the walls. You want the viewers to see your smiling face. When it came to editing, my goal was to add subtitles and pictures that would enhance the visual delivery of my mock/demo lesson. Of course, you could also do this by making signs and posters in real life if that’s easier for you. Admittedly, you don’t have to be the next Martin Scorcese, but put in a bit of effort to make your video look as polished as your skills will allow and you’re off to a great start.
I am 99% sure that my introduction video was the reason I was hired. Will other types of videos also get you hired? Probably. But why not make your first impression a fun, informative, and professional one? Here’s my attempt at a kick-ass intro video. Use what I’ve done and make it your own. In fact, make it better so that you too can get hired.