From Fired To Hired: 3 Singaporeans Share Tips On How To Land A Job Fast
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the job market in Singapore, although it showed more optimistic prospects in the last quarter of 2020.
Singapore’s hiring outlook is improving with an upward trend in hard-hit industries as companies look to fill positions, according to the latest JobStreet data report.
Overall, there were 36% more jobs posted in the fourth quarter compared to the peak of COVID-19 in the second quarter of 2020.
While the labor market is indeed showing signs of recovery, it is expected to be a slow and uneven process, so many Singaporeans are still struggling to find employment.
Returning to the career path
Vulcan Post spoke to three Singaporeans who were recently unemployed to find out how they got back into the workforce.
For Carol Phay, she graduated from Nanyang Technological University last year amid the pandemic. Graduated with honors, the 24-year-old had high hopes of landing a “good job” once she finished her studies.
However, due to COVID-19, she has struggled to find a job as many companies have put in place hiring freezes. Months went by with her free time at home and without earning any income, so she decided to take internships under the SGUnited program to earn and learn at the same time.
I received a training allowance of up to S $ 2,500 which helped me weather the tough economic climate. The internship also helped me gain valuable knowledge and experiences which I believe will give me a competitive edge over other recent graduates.
– Carol Phay
However, since there is no guarantee that she would be given a full-time role by the host company, she figured she should keep her options open and explore other roles.
While her internship was still ongoing, she applied “intensively” for full-time jobs on various job portals such as JobStreet. She had also signed up for job alerts on the platform, making it easy for her to apply for jobs on the go when the ads appeared in her inbox.
After applying for jobs online for a few weeks and going through about six different job interviews – “which can be tiring and time consuming” – she finally landed a job as a marketing manager at an e-commerce company.
Meanwhile, Jeraldine Tee, 32, had worked as a graphic designer for four years but decided to quit her job in August last year to become a freelance writer.
I felt overwhelmed by my previous job and wanted to take jobs at my own pace. However, the downside is that the concerts don’t come regularly. I had to look for design projects and the commission fees weren’t included every month like a paycheck.
– Jeraldine T-shirt
Concerned about the instability of earnings, she began asking fellow creators to recommend her roles, but neither of their companies were hiring. She ended up turning to online job search portals like JobStreet to apply for full-time designer positions.
She found a few suitable job postings, but found that most required specific design skills that she didn’t have. That’s why she decided to upgrade her skills by using SkillsFuture credits to increase her chances of employability.
Plus, since Singapore already has a huge pool of creative talent, she felt that improving skills could help her stand out from the crowd.
“The government had given all eligible Singaporeans an extra S $ 500 in SkillsFuture, so it would be a waste not to use it,” she joked.
Her efforts paid off and she has since secured a position as a graphic designer at another company. Thanks to her new certification, she was able to earn a higher salary than her previous job.
For Abdul Rafikh Jaafar, he was in a completely different situation from the other two. He was in fact made redundant during his company’s downsizing exercise as part of cost-cutting measures.
“Even though I knew my business was being restructured, I didn’t expect that I would be laid off. I was shocked to hear the news and was very unprepared for the (job) loss.
“I didn’t know how to break the news to my wife and family. I was the sole breadwinner so I needed the job, ”said the 45-year-old former customer service manager.
Luckily his old company gave him a downsizing program and after serving the company for over 10 years he received a pretty large payout. It also took advantage of various government initiatives such as financial support grants.
He did not rest on his laurels and actively looked for work. However, he was concerned about his potential for employment, given his mature age. He felt that young job seekers were threatening his career chances, which damaged his confidence.
My last salary was quite high, so I was worried that employers would not want to hire me when they can hire new graduates who ask for a lower salary despite having no work experience.
– Abdul Rafikh Jaafar
His worries quickly abated as he received a helping hand in his career search. While not “tech savvy” enough to apply for jobs online, he was fortunate that his old company had extended outplacement assistance programs for affected employees.
He was invited to opt for career matching services by Workforce Singapore and has since found employment in another role as a customer relations trainer. While it hasn’t paid off as much, he’s thankful that his years of work experience are still seen as valuable to employers.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Scoring a Job
Getting a job isn’t a pure “luck” – you need real skill and effort to get hired.
For starters, a good resume has the power to open doors. Your CV should stand out from other applicants, promote your strengths and accomplishments to highlight why you are a good fit for the job.
The job interview itself is also important. This is where the employer can get a feel for your personality and capabilities, and assess whether you can adequately meet the job requirements.
If you want to sharpen your CV and interview skills, you should definitely attend JobStreet’s next virtual career fair.
Taking place from March 1 to 11, it is billed as JobStreet’s first virtual fair and aims to empower job seekers through career coaching and skills enhancement.
Therefore, if you are looking for a new job or exploring career options, you should definitely take this opportunity to get in touch with potential employers.
If you are not familiar with virtual job fairs, it allows recruiters and job seekers to meet in a virtual space like chat rooms and conference calls. Beyond just checking CVs, hiring managers will be able to meet candidates face to face (albeit virtually), interview them and make offers on site.
Additionally, the nature of virtual recruiting also allows candidates to search for multiple job opportunities and interact with a number of employers without the barriers of travel and wait times. Best of all, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
JobStreet’s virtual job fair will feature live discussions, interviews and meetings with employers. Candidates will be able to meet over 40 potential employers and find out what it takes to thrive in the industries of their choice.
There will also be a live broadcast of webinars hosted by industry stakeholders, covering topics such as “Evolving Your Skills for the Future of Work” and “Be Interested and Interested in Virtual Interviews”.
If you want answers to your career-related questions, you can also participate in a live chat with career coaches.
For job seekers with a higher level of experience who wish to change roles, careers or industries, these virtual job fairs can be a great opportunity to learn about the skills needed in different roles and showcase their skills to the recruiter.
In fact, over $ 7 million in free certified professional courses will be provided in partnership with FutureLearn so candidates can hone their transferable and emerging skills that will help them flourish in their new careers.
Excited about in-store job opportunities? You can find out more about JobStreet’s virtual career fair here.
This article was written in collaboration with JobStreet.
Featured Image Credit: Saksit Kuson via Alamy Stock Photo
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