Are you looking for a job in Singapore? Job hunting is akin to a full-time role — if you are unemployed, setting aside some hours each day searching for jobs and preparing for applications is a must. This includes writing resumes, cover letters, filling up application forms and putting together your portfolio. For those who hold a job, blocking off time during lunch, after work or over the weekend is essential.
Consistency is key — whether as an unemployed or employed jobseeker — as is the willingness to press on. However, knowing how to search for a job is also equally important. The right tricks will help you score a role more quickly.
1. Define career objectives
Unless you are a student looking for anything possible under the sun to gain some extra cash, chances are you will want to snag a role that is in line with your career aspirations. When considering these, think about the following:
- Your specialised field (i.e. IT, Education, Marketing, Nursing, Sports etc.)
- The industry you want to work in (i.e. Banking, Retail, Healthcare)
2. Create tailored resumes
Once you have settled on your target job field and industry, you can tailor your resume accordingly. Suppose you are keen on developing your career in one particular sector, your summary can be personalised to the expectations of that industry, in a language that appeals to hiring managers. At the same time, you can create a more generalised resume with an appropriate summary, if you want to focus more on your skillsets than the industry. For example, jobseekers with cross-industry skills such as IT or marketing can consider opportunities across sectors. Still, in these instances, where possible, a tailored resume will always work better — as New York-based talent expert Amanda Augustine notes, a tailored resume helps to “connect the dots” and convince recruiters why you are a good fit. This requires reframing and repositioning your resume based on your job goals.
An important point to note for resumes is to keep them short and succinct. Long resumes may hurt your chances of getting a job, according to veteran coach Belinda Boo from WSG’s Careers Connect. Avoid unnecessary details of past vocations if they do not relate to the role, and keep your document to a maximum of two pages.
3. Research on companies in your field
Researching the companies in the field you are applying to lets you understand where the hiring most occurs (i.e. private vs public), the experience level these companies require, what the career progression opportunities look like and how the organisation will develop as the industry evolves over the years. A guide on what to ask yourself might just help you get started.
4. Cast your search wide
Of course, a job search portal is the go-to for all jobseekers. It is definitely a good start to your job search in Singapore as it collates all the possible opportunities you can explore. However, it is also important to cast your search wide. Beyond these publicly available portals, try searching for vacancies on company pages, your LinkedIn feed and, if you’re a recent graduate, your institution newsletters on job opportunities too. You can also consider seeking help from a recruitment agency.
5. Use a range of keywords in search
When looking for a job opportunity online, chances are you will have to type in some keywords into the search engine or portal to draw some results. The right mix of keywords becomes essential. Keep playing around with different combinations of keywords till you find that you have covered all the results. Think about the different titles that your anticipated role may take on across companies and industries, or drop in a skillset to retrieve entries that may require that particular talent as a job requirement. Here’s an example of a jobseeker looking for an IT Desktop Support role. Some searches can include “IT jobs Singapore”, “desktop support”, “L1 support”, “support engineer”, “IT support engineer jobs” etc.
6. Email HR & apply via portal
If you found a job via a portal, check if there is an HR email available. That way, you can apply for the job online while also dropping an email to the hiring manager. This may give you a higher chance of being seen in a sea of applicants. Remember to tick the boxes of what makes a good job application email!
7. Indicate job availability on LinkedIn
Job hunting, as noted earlier, does not only start or stop at the portals. Your LinkedIn profile is good leverage in your search process. Apart from connecting with your past employers, be sure to indicate on your profile that you are available for a job. This way, recruiters can contact you with opportunities and you may also be headhunted by companies looking for individuals with your skillsets and experience.