With the South Korean conglomerates dominating the markets, offering better salary and working conditions, the younger generation in South Korea are pushing themselves into stiff competition in looking for a job in one of these big conglomerate companies.
These conglomerates include Samsung, Hyundai, Lotte, LG, SK, Daewoo, etc. These conglomerates' office are mostly located in Gangnam area of Seoul. It has been many younger generation's dream to work in this area of Seoul. The university graduates are facing increasing pressure to be hired by these conglomerates. Living expenses in Seoul has sky-rocketed over the years, demanding KWN35,000,000 for a reasonably good living standards. To meet such high living standards, conglomerates can offer annual salary up to KWN40,000,000 for a fresh graduate engineer for instance. Smaller companies often offer KWN33,000,000 or below KWN30,000,000.
Korean men without a job in conglomerates may sometimes find themselves rejected by women they wish to date.
A job from conglomerate companies will also enable the young graduate to obtain higher loan from the bank to purchase a house of their wish.
Many university students have started looking for opportunity to get a job in conglomerate companies starting from their third year in university, ideally before they graduate. If they do not find one before they graduate, they are seen by hiring companies as someone being rejected by conglomerates, deemed under qualified for the jobs. With such fate facing them, the undergraduates sometimes postpone their graduation to later years, until they are given a job offer.
To increase their chances of being hired, thousands of undergraduates will apply for internship program offered by these conglomerates. They prepare resume and cover letters, explaining their personal matters such as family background, motivation to join the company, personal strength and interest, additional knowledge acquired or certificates, and good command of English. Undergraduates often visit the Academies in Kwanghuamun area and attend Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) which measures their ability to use English in everyday speaking and writing.
If they pass the first step of document screening which is 1 in 150 chance, they will receive an invitation by the company to undergo a series of test such as aptitude test. The test results will be announced in the company website, and about 1 in 5 people will be accepted.
Once accepted, they will be invited to an interview. Passing the interview will grant them the internship program that lasts 2 to 3 months. At the end of the internship program, they will be asked to go for another interview for permanent employment in the company.
Such competitive selection processes have really placed the undergraduates in great pressure and worry of jobless. With graduate unemployment rate of 7.8% in 2012, being selective in job-hunt are not doing any good to the undergraduates.