Offering multifaceted opportunities for exploration, be it shopping, international trading, tourism, or education, Singapore stands out on even if it’s just a tiny dot in the world map. As well, it is a great job hunting spot, where pay is attractive to most foreigners.
However, contrary to what I’ve heard and past beliefs, landing a job in this country is not as easy as it seemed. I’ve heard of many stories and know of unfortunate ones who spent months searching for a job and end up going back to their home country with hopelessness.
This year, the demand is even tougher, as the Ministry of Manpower tightened rules in accepting and approving foreign talents’ employment passes, trying to limit the influx of foreigners.
What’s more, effective December 1, 2011, the granting of employment pass eligibility certificates (EPEC), which made it easier for foreigners to be hired, was discontinued.
Side Note: In reply to Yahoo! Singapore’s queries on why the scheme was removed, a MOM spokesman said, “The EPEC Scheme was not meeting its intended objective of helping employers recruit EP-calibre talent.” Of the EPEC applications received each month, only less than 10 per cent were approved, he added.
Now, how can job-seekers living outside of Singapore get a job here? This question is overrated but since I’ve been asked to give out advice countless of times, as if I were some expert, in this page I hope to be able to provide sound suggestions to the hopefuls, before I exit.
On my part, I just got lucky, I guess. In any case, here is the synthesis of tips I’ve collected:
1. Stock up on CASH. You will need lots and lots.
This is for your food and transportation expenses for the first jobless weeks, for advanced and deposit money for room or bed space rental, for utilities and other things. Essentials are as follows:
ROOM – Prices of room range from 300SGD to 1200SGD or higher, depending on the size of space, location, amenities and arrangements with the agents, main tenants or house owners. Staying in a HDB room or flat is much cheaper than in a condo or landed house. If you have not decided to stay for long, stay in rooms for transients instead, as some landlords require minimum number of months of stay (3-6 months) from their tenants.
FOOD – If you want to save up some more, you might want to look for a place where cooking is allowed. Most landlords don’t allow real cooking but just light cooking (e.g. noodles only). Eating out for every meal is costly (and might be unhealthy).
2. Don’t go touring around for leisure just yet. Save that for later; FIND a job first.
Let me lay down the facts: Time is limited and nobody can guarantee you’ll get a job. Recommendations by friends do not seem to work here as much as they do elsewhere. Relationships with friends are not judged by the company. They don’t get the job for you; your qualifications do.
It’s wise to spend every jobless day sending your CVs to recruitment websites such as JobsDB, JobStreet, JobHub, Strait Times, Monster, CareerJet, etc. Allocate about five hours per day reading along job offers online. Walk-in applications may also work but it’s better to apply online to save effort, time, printed copies of your resume and explore more companies with positions to fill.
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