The hardships of applying to Korean companies

Mr. Song who is in between jobs was astonished when applying for a job, that required him to write every single detail of his personal details as well as his career on his CV.

Song said that a number of companies asked him to provide details such as his  height and weight on his CV, which seemed to not be related to the position. In addition, there was a section asking for inventory of my parent’s property. He said that he couldn’t understand what they really wanted from him because what they required from him was  not related to his ability and passion toward applying for the position.

Taking these kinds of complaints into consideration, the Seoul government has carried forward its scheme of adopting a ‘standard CV’ that does not require educational background and physical conditions, but instead focuses more on experience and capabilities of the applicants.

Mr. Lim who is also a job applicant said, “I have applied for both Korean and American companies and American companies did not require a photo and personal details such as age, height and weight, only asking me about my basic information such as schools attended, home address, a contact number and experience. There are no rules to write a CV for American firms so I can have more of an opportunity to relate my experience and ability.”

It has been a commonplace affair that Korean firms ask applicants for their personal details besides their professional experience on their CV. Therefore, Seoul’s ‘standard CV’ and the Ministry of Employment’s ‘competency based CV’  initiation are expected changes in Korean’s odd employment culture.

* For the original article in Korean:  (by Nara Shin)

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Eunbin Ko

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02 2013

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