A survival kit to keep you afloat in the world of job hunting!
Getting a job is a universal rite of passage, and one that almost everyone will someday have to encounter. The process can seem very daunting, filled with unspoken rules and regulations. Luckily, you can greatly improve your chances of getting a great job if you just put a little effort into it!
1. Create an Eye-catching Resume
A good resume should give potential employers a clear understanding of your academic background, job history, and some information about who you are as a person.
Check and recheck your resume – there can be no grammatical or spelling errors.
Many companies will take one look at a badly written resume and throw it away. Also, Singaporean employers value paper qualifications, so be sure to emphasize them.
Don’t try to impress the company by using large, pretentious words that you don’t even understand, but do use sophisticated language. Avoid slang, as it will make you sound immature.
Talk about how you work with others and how you have demonstrated leadership in previous jobs and your personal life. Remember, a resume is the first impression a company has of you, so make sure it stands out from the crowd.
2. Network, Network, Network
Find people who will be able to help you when it comes to finding a job. New college graduates are often given (or introduced to) jobs by their professors. Maintaining a good relationship with teachers and other adults is very important, because they have established networks and already have connections.
Friends and family can also help you to land a job, especially if they know someone in your dream profession. Get to know a variety of people with different backgrounds, because you never know who might be able to help you.
3. Get Referrals
The most important and most obvious advice with referrals is to make sure the person referring you actually likes you. It may sounds stupid, but a good referral can make or break an employer’s decision. Referrals allow for an outside perspective – employers will trust their opinion more than yours.
Also, be sure that the person you ask knows you well and understands you – don’t just ask the person with the best writing skills.
Can this person give a heartfelt description of you as a person? As a friend? As a colleague or student? How long have they known you?
The people you request recommendations from should have seen you in your daily life, the obstacles you have overcome, and the problems you have solved – so that they can do all of your bragging for you.
4. Shop Around at a Job Fair
Job fairs help to connect employers with potential employees. If you can’t find any positions that suit you, a job fair is a great place to try your luck. Singapore holds several job fairs annually, and you can try checking out ST Jobs or JobsCentral for upcoming events.
Remember, be prepared! Treat it as a job interview and dress for the part. Even though it is “just” a job fair, recruiters are still looking at your physical appearance. If you dress casually, you may appear unprepared and irresponsible.
Conversely, those who dress formally will seem well-educated, trustworthy, and capable.
When talking to the recruiters, be cheerful and show interest in their organization. Ask some questions, or talk to them for a while to help them remember you.
Do everything you can to leave an impression and distinguish yourself from the competition.
5. Visit Recruitment Agencies
There are plenty of experienced recruitment agencies around Singapore, like RGF, HR Agent Singapore, Randstad Recruitment, and PrimeStaff. It is generally better to work with agencies that specialise in your area of work, as opposed to general recruitment.
When working with agencies, try to give yourself broad exposure by using several different firms. However, you should build up relationships with a few recruiters that you really like.
Specify what kind of job you are looking for, how frequently you want updates, and what kind of advice you want to receive. Make sure that all of your contact information is up to date, facilitating accessibility.
When they do contact you, call back quickly. If they arrange an interview for you, show your appreciation and tell them that you received the information. Even if you don’t land the job, a good relationship with the agency will give you a better chance of eventually finding the right career.
6. Make Full Use of Job Search Tools
There is a veritable plethora of options on the internet when it comes to looking for employment – JobsDB, JobStreet, and LinkedIn are just a few examples. Many websites have general and niche job boards, as well as career planning and career exploration tools.
Other than online job boards and showcasing your resume on LinkedIn, you can also go the classic route of looking through Singapore’s classifieds. You may find a few gems in there!
7. Acing the Interview
The interview is the most important part of getting a job. This is where the company gets to meet you in real life to see your personality and character. The resume may be the first impression, but the interview is the lasting impression.
Again, dress well. We all know the importance of first impressions, and appearance is an important factor in how people judge you. You want to come across as well put-together, professional, and intelligent.
Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, and always test them out before going to an interview. However, don’t look like you’re in a costume. A suit may not always be the best choice, depending on the atmosphere of the company.
Look at what the employees are wearing, and try to emulate that.
Also, pay attention to your posture and body language. Be attentive to what the interviewer is saying, and respond quickly and thoughtfully. Smile!
At the end of the interview, ask some questions about the company – what values it has, what qualities it wants in its workers. Thank the interviewer for his/her time.
During this interview, the company will form their own interpretation of you, so make sure it is a positive one.
These tips are not a sure-fire method of landing you that dream job, but they will greatly increase your chances of doing so. Get yourself out there, and let the companies see just how great of an employee you can be!
Even if you don’t find the right employer on your first try, stay persistent. If you are smart about your choices, you will be successful!