Thursday, August 19, 2010

Having problems with your job hunting? Let Singapore help you find "the answer."

We receive emails from job hunters on a daily basis. We reply back to the best of our ability, of course. We benefit on the side after all -- we are able to listen to our followers' needs and requests, giving us clues on how we can better improve our services. It's about time we make a feature about these email exchanges on this blog.

I've been eagerly job hunting for months, but to little avail. What's wrong?
Familiar? It's because we've published a feature about this a couple of weeks ago on this blog. For the sake of those who've missed it, reflecting on these questions may help you recognise the reason for your job search misfortune:

  • Does your resume highlight your skills properly? Are you sure?
  • Does your resume scream of over-creativity?
  • What email address did you use for your applications?
  • Did you include cover letters in your applications? Did you "tailor" these cover letters?
  • Did you also apply to jobs for which you don't qualify?
  • Are you afraid to follow up?
  • Have you been applying ALONE?
  • Are you an avid user of social media sites?
So, what do you think? Having a different sounding email address may seem unassociated with job hunting if you look at it in a general sense, but it can affect you hard. If you were an employer, would you consider employing a person with "spunkykiller" or "ladychaser" as an email address?

The same goes with succumbing to laziness when it comes to resume writing. Sandra Sandu-Reeves once shared with Singapore, "Your resume is your best marketing tool in your search for a desired job." Your goal is to make yours the most noticeable in the flock; sending out a generic resume will not do you any favor in this department. But there's a big difference between making your resume stand out and over doing it, mind you. Make yourself noticeable by highlighting the right skills and experiences for the job, not by printing your written career abode in a colored paper or whatever.

Does Singapore accept foreign applicants? Then why am I not getting response?
We reply back to this question with another question, not because we're fans of sarcasm but because we need to. We NEED to know. Did you apply from overseas? That is, did you send your applications through our website from outside Singapore's borders? There we said it. This is the cause of the problem of most of those asking advice from us regarding their job hunting on facebook and linkedin.

Yes, Singapore welcomes foreign talents -- the way it processes such requests may just be a little bit different from how your country does so. If your concern is related to this, our friends from and have ample response to your queries.

EPEC will allow you to stay in Singapore for up to one year to secure a job. Once granted (see requirements for EPEC and other information @, you're required to apply for a one-year Visit Pass from the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA). Note however, that EPEC is not a work pass. Your new employer will be the one to get you the Employment Pass; you'll be allowed to work only after you get this pass. has provided a very comprehensive explanation on this.

Take note also that the process takes time. Patience is an important factor here. What do we suggest you to do while waiting? While you're waiting for the results of your applications, we advice you keep in touch with News Watch and this blog. It always pays to read the news -- you'd have the benefit of knowing the best route to take once you're papers have been finalised. No time to waste.

I'm a fresh graduate. How can I better my chances of landing a job?
Needless to say, the biggest disadvantage of fresh graduates is that they don't have experience yet -- something that most employers consider a vital factor in recruitment. Fresh graduate jobs do exist; however, the Singapore job market has become so competitive that even experienced workers are applying for starter posts now, pushing newly grads to the edge. We understand all the intricacies of this problem. What do we reply back when we receive this query? Two things: improve your skills through career seminars and consider jobs in SMEs. We've published something about these suggestions here, already. Do you remember coming across them?

Having the right skills for the job is a good alternative to work experience. What does it take to achieve success in the job post you're eying? Think along these ideas: An HR job is to people skills while an IT job is to computer skills. You'll need to develop your people skills to get noticed in the HR field. The trade's all about dealing and handling people after all. Similarly, to prosper in IT jobs, you'd have to be as efficient as you could be in using computers and other similar devices.

Nothing beats frequenting career events like skills seminars and career workshops when it comes to skills development. Singapore has two sister websites that can help you with this. Please visit and to get the latest.

Now, why are we encouraging fresh grads to consider the SME path? Three big reasons: access to upper management, no corporate politics, and more leverage with regards to compensation.

We suggest you visit JobsDB Campus too. It's designed to assist fresh graduates with their endeavors. From tips on resume writing to inspirational stories from students, it's the ultimate space for new graduates on the web.

How can I make my resume more noticeable?
Don't take this in the literal sense, of course. We've said it already -- base your resume on what the job needs. Approach your resume writing from the employer's perspective, so to speak. Say no to template applications.

Sending out a cover letter to accompany your resume is also advised. Including a career portfolio can do you good too. Employers will appreciate the effort. We've discussed career portfolios yesterday -- we suggest you review it to get tips on how you can build yours properly. But in a nutshell, a good portfolio includes the following items: descriptions of your past projects, certificates you've received through skills training, sample reports, performance evaluations, "well done" emails, school transcript.

I want to know the status of my application. Is it okay to follow up?
Yes. In fact, it's a mistake to not follow. Pick up the phone now.

We're thinking of making FAQs likes this a regular on this blog, just like headlines that matter. But nothing's final yet. If you like this, stay tuned for similar updates for now. We promise to deliver. You can also find answers on Career Advice. From job hunting tips to career development guidelines, get advice from experts @ Singapore
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