Singapore Job Hunting 101: Time Constraints

Are you an expat in Singapore, holding onto a Visit Pass, hopeful for a chance to work here or plans to do so? If you are then go ahead and read this article otherwise, you have an option to disregard this or to proceed out of curiosity.

The Singapore job market is very abundant with openings from all categories but are you qualified? The most important thing to remember when in this country is the Government’s restrictions on Companies hiring foreign employees so you will mostly encounter jobs that are for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents only. So whether you are highly competent in the field it does not always guarantee you a good opening. Years ago, this is a haven for foreigners looking for jobs in this open country however, due to supposed anger from “ordinary Singaporeans” to foreign workers supposedly taking their jobs and using their facilities” (as quoted from Chris Reed’s article) Ministry of Manpower is now imposing stricter regulations on Companies. Keep in mind though that there is a certain reason why Companies do hire foreigners and what is the root of this supposed anger but that is for another article.

All is not lost yet as there are still Companies willing to hire foreigners though it will be though to point who they are.

So, you ask yourself, what is the best way to get a job interview when I got a limited time? Job search sites and newspapers are definitely a good way to find job openings however, you cannot get through all of them one-by-one if you want to maximize your time. My advice is:

  1. Know what position you want or is qualified for.
  2. Tailor your cover letter and resume for the position you want to apply for. I would highly suggest to have only one position in mind however, if you cannot decide on a certain position then just make a general cover letter. Remember to state in your letter that you are a foreigner and what your pass status is (find other information in Gateway’s article)
  3. Go through all the jobs vacancies you find online
  4. Look for the companies page or website
  5. Open one job ad
  6. Look for the words Singaporeans or PRs or Dependent Pass only
  7. If no such phrase is posted then get their email address. If you find that phrase then disregard that company and continue looking.
  8. At the end of the day, compile all the email addresses.
  9. Then when morning comes, send your resume and cover letter to the gathered email addresses (just BCC these email addresses).The trickiest part is coming up with the Subject title to catch the recipients attention.

This technique is not a guarantee that you will be called for interviews, there might also be some who will tell you that they have no quota for foreigners or no opening qualified for you. But this is definitely time saving and you may never know when one of those Companies might just have an opening for you.

There might also be times when they will be offering you a different position. Don’t be choosy, if you think you can perform the job then grab it. Remember that your length of stay in the country is solely dependent on your work permit, S Pass, or E Pass.

Once you get that interview, give it all you can. Find other tips on Amit Puri’s article.


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