1. For the FALL term: The process starts in February, and goes until about July of that year. Contracts start in August.
For the SPRING term: The process starts in August, and goes until about January. Contracts start in February.
Apply as early as you can. For example, if you know in January you want to teach English starting in August of that year, get your application together to be able to submit the beginning of February. The earlier you submit, the better chance you'll have at being accepted, and being placed at the MOE you want (for example, Seoul).
2. Now that you're ready, submit your application directly to EPIK or go through a recruiter. I did not go through a recruiter so I don't have much to say about them, but I think applying directly to EPIK is just fine. It eliminates a middle man that you don't need. In order to apply, see this website for the materials you need. http://www.epik.go.kr/contents.do?contentsNo=57&menuNo=288
But basically, you need to fill out the application on the EPIK website. Be thorough and make sure you don't have any spelling mistakes! You also need to attach 2 letters of recommendation. These should be academic recommendations (I used my university professors). There is a specific format you need to use listed on the EPIK website, so please make sure your professors use the proper format. Make sure they also sign your recommendation in ink. Then the letters should be scanned and emailed with your application.
Now you should begin getting some of your documents that you'll need to send in later, especially the federal criminal record check (CRC) as this can take up to 12 weeks to process. You'll also need copies of your transcripts and an apostilled diploma. These can also be a hastle to get, so its best to start on them early. See this website for more information on the required documents http://www.epik.go.kr/contents.do?contentsNo=60&menuNo=293
3. If your application is good enough, you'll get an email inviting you to do a skype interview with EPIK. I'll post more about this interview later, or there are plenty of blogs about the EPIK skype interview.
4. After you have the interview, you'll be required to send in those required documents that I wrote about earlier. The faster you send these in, the better your placement will be. (Meaning you'll get the placement in Korea you want, such as Seoul if you want Seoul).
5. Finally, after EPIK receives your documents, they'll review them and let you know of your final acceptance and placement. After this they'll send you a copy of your contract and a notice of your appointment. You use these documents in order to get your visa to come to Korea.
6. After you finally have your visa, you can arrange your flight. Yes, you have to buy your plane tickets for your flight very late. It stinks, but at least you are getting the 1.3 million won later as a compensation for this flight money.
7. Finally, once you're in Korea, you will attend orientation for about 10 days. Then, you're off to your placement to start your new job teaching in South Korea! If you have any questions about EPIK or applying, please feel free to let me know! ^^