Thursday, November 17, 2016

Finding a job in Singapore (part 2)

When i was actively looking for a job, i felt demoralised when no company called me for an interview. In my mind i was thinking, "Why?! Am i really this bad?" "Ok, they just don't know how good i am base on my resume." It was also the time when i realised having work experience is so important.

In almost every job description, companies will need at least 1-2yr work experience candidates. So difficult for fresh graduates please! But anyway, i applied all the jobs that i'm interested in irregardless of number of years experience needed. 

And here starts my story..... 

After realising that my first resume sucks, i modified it by getting a nice resume template from the internet (i actually paid $5 to buy a resume template from lol) And then i began making it look more "professionalised".

Things that i include in my resume: 
1. My Full Name
2. My Home Address at the side (Some HR will see if your home location is near their office location as a consideration)
3. My telephone number, email address at the side
4. My resume photo (i didn't have a professional resume photo. I simply put a decent selfie photo. But this depends on the industry u r applying.)
5. Work Experience
6. Education
7. Interest
8. Skills
9. Languages
10. References

If you are certified in some skills, please include.

Writing the description of your work experience is the most time consuming part. I wrote it in point form, starting with words like "Was given the responsibility to ..." "Handling of...." "Provide administration support for...." "Work closely with..." "Was trusted to..." etc.

My skills are: Microsoft Words, Excel, Powerpoint, Oracle Siebel CRM, iMovie, Photoshop, Fashiongps.

To be honest, i think most of the HR have no time to read your lengthy cover letter. So I didn't include cover letter after applying the first few jobs. It took me such a long time to read one cover letter!!! You self-praise in the cover letter, and then have no shame in qualifying yourself for the job. I feel its very 'fake' so i skip the whole writing cover letter part. I didn't write a cover letter for the job i'm currently working in too.

So if job application needs cover letter, i usually skip.

Where to find jobs? 

There are a lot of job agency websites in Singapore. The one i went to was Jobstreet and for me it didn't work at all. Out of the 35 jobs i applied, only 1 called and it was in this really ulu place and i hated the work environment cause i felt like i could get sick from breathing in bad air. I applied through as well but no replies too.

What i did was to look at the jobs opening on jobstreet and then apply the job directly from the company. So for example XX company is hiring on jobstreet. I will go to XX company website and apply directly there. Usually big companies will give you an optional button to attach cover letter/ other certifications. I only upload my transcript thats all. The process of applying a job is so much faster without cover letter.

Please tell me why we need to do a cover letter. lol.

For me, I applied my current job on the company website itself. I stalked their career page almost every alternative days to check on new openings. Once i find the position suitable, i apply.

Note to yourself: You should try your very best to apply ONLY THOSE JOBS THAT INTEREST YOU. Don't start to feel panic/stressed out when you've applied 50 jobs and no replies and start to mass send jobs application instead. Imagine you don't really like this company/job position/job roles/industry, but just because pay is not bad-maybe can tahan it mentality, you ruin your career advancement. You know what i mean? End of the day, if you really get into a job that u actually mass sent, you may either really like it or just hate it a lot.

Do a lookup of the company first. CHECKING THE COMPANY'S WORK LOCATION IS VERY IMPORTANT. For me, I only apply if work location is around town area because i know i will feel damn bad if i have to travel to e.g. Jurong/Kallang/Changi everyday to go to work! It is very dreadful and unmotivating! So google and check the company's work location.


I google about possible interview questions but i think first-hand experience teaches me the most. Below are the questions i gathered based on my experience: *Do note that i'm a fresh graduate. Questions asked are dedicated towards fresh graduates.

Before interview starts, when greeting the HR for the first time, you can bring a small convo

You: "Hi!"
Hr: "Hi, Please sit."
You: "Thanks! Have your breakfast/lunch?"
Hr: "oh yes i had. Thank you."
- This can ease the tension i think. At least make the hr and yourself feel more comfortable.

1. Tell me about yourself - speak 3-4 sentences and stop. "My name is xxx, xx years old, just graduated from xxx, have some work experience such as xxx and xxx. :D" If HR ask you carry on then carry on.

2. Please tell me why you study banking and finance but decided to come into this industry instead. -Out of 5 interviews, I was asked 3 times. "I want to work towards my passion. In this way, I will feel more motivated to work. Once you like something you do, you do it well. That's how i feel. :D"

3. Tell me more about your most recent job - Tell only those you think is a major part. Those kind of "i help to do filing, key in records" is very minor... can mention about this at the end but not the start.

4. Between this industry that you are applying and the previous industry that you worked, which one you prefer and why? - Open ended. Speak good about both industry but speak BETTER about this current industry that you are applying :D

5. So if given a choice, you will choose this industry or that industry? - Open ended. "Both are good industry. I won't omit that industry but my first priority is this industry. :) "

6. What do you know about your J D (i.e. job description) - Open ended. So try to rmb as much JD as possible and try to relate your past work experience to the current JD "i have some experience in this actually. I was in-charged of .... as well... very similar i think. "

7. How do you think you can improve our company? - This will only be used in SME i think. MNC usually won't ask this kind of question as there's SOP from head quarter to follow.

8. What do you see yourself in 3-5 years time? - Be honest. I mentioned I want to progress and be in the management team.

9. Any question to ask? - This is very important. Don't tell the hr that you have nothing to ask. Ask something! One good question is "What is the greatest challenge in this job?" This question lets the HR to think that you've consider perhaps the most difficult part of this job and know perhaps your limit / how to overcome the challenge. Please don't try to act smart and ask stupid question like ... Ok i can't think of any now. If you have any smart alec question, feel free to comment down below. haha.

You may be asked about political question!!!
10. If you have a new idea that can improve the efficiency of workload but your supervisor is old-fashioned and disapproves it, will you go to the higher management to bring up this new idea? - I was asked this and i tio stunned. LOL. Please comment down below how you would answer. I mentioned if it is something that i really believe in and it can help the company as a whole, i would go forward to suggest, but not openly in front of my supervisor.

11. You seem like a patient and well-poised person. Where is your patience limit? - I was asked this question. Again I didn't know what to answer. I mentioned "If i am badly accused of something in which i didn't do and it would tarnish my career advancement and reputation, that would be my patience limit i guess. We will have to see :) " Please let me know how you would answer this question! Comment down below.

12. All of your colleagues are against your idea but only your supervisor approves of it, will you go against all your colleagues or go with your supervisor? - Tough question. It took me a while to answer it. For this, i've already forgotten my answer. My stand is 'depends on situation' HAHA.

Anyway, i was drilled with political questions for about 20 minutes in one of the interviews i had. It was the longest interview i had. It was one hour 15 minutes long. But I'm sharing this because you never know if you'll be ask this too. haha.

Always smile during the interview. Show your passion and passion and passion. Be appropriate and representable. Don't be over tensed. End of the day the HR wants to see the real you and see if your personality fits into their team and job role or not. So really, just be yourself. If this super good company rejects you, then it is either your personality/experience is not suitable or they simply 看走眼. So don't be sad. The road will be straight once you cross over to the end of the bridge - 走到桥头自然直. Or think it as everything happens for a reason.

Had that previous company who interviewed me hired me, i wouldn't be able to work at where i am now. Sometimes, i feel glad that all those companies didn't call me / hire me. It was actually a good thing. haha.

Ok I have shared everything here. I hope this post cheers those who still haven't found a job and provides information to those who are finding jobs. Till then ~~~ xoxo.
Finding a job in Singapore (part 1)