Job Search Resources in Singapore
The majority of jobs created in Singapore were in the services, financial and professional sectors. We outlined steps in this article can help you increase your chances of landing a job in Singapore as a foreign employee.
Preparation for Job Search
Everything being equal, the difference between getting a job offer or not getting a job offer is doing the little things that no one else does. To be successful, you must not only have skills that enable you to perform the job of your choice, but also acquire effective job search skills. There are perhaps many other job candidates who are equally or better qualified than you. Three important factors for a successful job search are an awareness of your goals and skills, an understanding of the Singapore job market, and a well planned job search campaign.
Once you have identified your job search objectives, you should tailor your CV/Resume and application letter to reflect your qualifications as they relate to the interests of prospective employers.
You should begin an active job search 6-8 months in advance of your target relocation timeline to Singapore.
To increase the odds of your success in searching for a job in Singapore, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Do not waste time responding to positions where your chances are very remote
- Use your cover letter to address requirements in the advertisement.
- Personalize your response as much as possible.
- Job Search Resources in Singapore
Recruit Section of Singapore Newspapers
Singapore’s top employers (especially government organizations and multinational companies) prefer to advertise job openings in the Recruit section of newspapers (especially in The Straits Times Singapore’s daily major English newspaper). It would be great if you can get hold of the Saturday edition of The Straits Times’ Recruit as it lists the most number of classified jobs and executive appointments, compared to the rest of the week’s; there are no job advertisements in the Sunday edition of The Straits Times.
The Recruit section lists advertisements for job openings in a wide range of industries – from art/creative to pharmaceutical/ life sciences – for a wide reach of jobseekers – from entry-level applicants to veterans.
When looking for a job through the Recruit section of newspapers, the following guidelines might be helpful:
- Do not be disheartened if you fail to find job openings in your line of work. The trick is to do a daily search (except on Sundays, of course) of the Recruit section.
- If you have found several suitable job openings, promptly respond to the advertisements by calling up the company and/or emailing/mailing your resume and cover letter.
- Keep a record of all the advertisements to which you have responded and list the job title, company name, company background and company contact details for each job application. This eliminates the “Er, I don’t think I applied for this job” situation when an interested employer calls you for an interview.
- Be patient. Waiting for an employer to call you up for an interview may take up to several weeks or several months. In the meantime, you can perfect your resume, interview skills and scour more other jobs elsewhere.
Singapore Online Job Sites
The birth of many online career portals in the World Wide Web has enabled jobseekers to easily search for employment just about everywhere in the world. This is definitely the easiest job search medium there is and arguably the one that yields the most positive results.
Most online job sites allow employers to advertise job openings in their companies and in turn, jobseekers can respond to these job advertisements. Some online job sites also allow jobseekers to deposit their online resumes and in turn, employers can view and select suitable employee candidates. In short, online job sites are good platforms for jobseekers to perform a job search in Singapore and employers to perform an employee search.
If you are finding a job via online job sites, the following guidelines might just garner a successful search:
- Register at several online job sites as a jobseeker. Registered users are able to update their profiles, upload their resumes, retrieve tips and articles on Singapore employment and receive job updates via email, etc.
- Upon registration, you can utilize the job site’s search engine to start searching and applying for jobs. Often, you can even narrow down your search to preferred industry, experience level, career level, location and even salary range.
- Requests for interviews are often sent via emails so do check your email regularly
Employment Agencies in Singapore
Engaging an employment agency or executive recruitment firm to match you with a suitable employer is perhaps the least time-consuming of job search methods. These agencies may, however, charge you for their services. The charges, for instance, may come in the form of a percentage of your first-year salary paid should you be successfully matched to a suitable employer.
For a list of employment agencies in Singapore, refer to related links section at the end of this page.
Keep in mind the following suggestions when conducting your job search through a recruitment agency:
- Make sure the employment agency has good reputation in Singapore and specializes in your field.
- Talk to the agency and identify the recruiter who will be helping you to find a job in Singapore. Make him aware of your skills and strengths and the kind of job that will be ideally suited for you.
- Pick his brain to learn about how best you can prepare and go through the interviews with employers in Singapore.
- Be open to suggestions and interviews for positions slightly different from the ones you requested for.
- Keep in regular touch with the recruiter and let him/her know of your determination to land a job in Singapore
If you have set your sights on a particular company, visit the company’s website to see if it has any suitable career openings. If it does not, you can either deposit your resume at the company’s online resume bank or proceed with a cold call.
Send a letter of application and your resume to the Human Resources department or specific managers. This direct contact method of finding a job is most successful for candidates in high-demand fields. The success of this method is greatly increased when letters are followed up by phone calls, which may result in an invitation to visit the employer.
To secure a position, your ability to do the job is only a small piece of the total puzzle. Hiring managers are more interested in the following: initiative, willingness to accept responsibility, ability to grow within your job and the company, your ability to assume authority when required, your respect of authority, your level of expertise, your ability to manage and lead others, your ability to work in a team environment, a personality that demonstrates self-confidence, the courage to make tough decisions, compatibility with the corporate culture, and your demonstration of high energy and enthusiasm. If you are able to convince the hiring manager that you possess many of the above qualities, you will have a very good chance of finding a job in Singapore.