Job Opportunities For Foreigners In Singapore

Published: 04th March 2010
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Singapore is an attractive destination for foreigners to work in and if you are one of these people, then the following questions will probably cross your mind:

- How easy is it for foreigners, living outside of Singapore, to get a job here?

- How does one go about looking for a job?

The short answer is - It is not as easy as it seems for foreigners to get jobs in Singapore and you will need to put in a lot of effort to get a job. Singapore does have/demand a lot of foreign talent but this is for specific skills/industries/levels and there is a good amount of competition from foreigners/locals already living in Singapore.

If you search online job boards/sites for Singapore, you will notice most job postings state that only Singaporeans or Permanent Residents should apply. The reason for this simple - It is easier and more cost effective for companies to hire people who are already in Singapore, especially when these people have the talent/skills they need.

So if you are looking to move to Singapore and work here, below are a few suggestion for your job search:

1) I have come across many people who just land-up in Singapore for a very short time and without having any meetings/interviews. They hope to get interviews while they are here and/or plan to attend a career fair. In my experience this approach does not yield much success, unless you spend enough time here (a few months). It is much better to have a few meetings/interviews scheduled with potential employers and recruiters before you arrive. Also please be aware that career fairs are not catering to people living outside of Singapore and will not help much

2) Don't dismiss the online job boards altogether. You will find jobs where foreigners are eligible to apply, however, you will need to spend extra time searching for these

3) Use ALL your contacts (friends, family, colleagues, association members and so on). This is probably your best bet for getting job leads. Make the process easier by using online networking sites like LinkedIn

4) Be clear on your knowledge, skills and abilities and make sure that you apply to matching jobs. This will save you the time spent on applying to every job under the sun and also increase your job search success rate. Keep this in mind when contacting recruiters for jobs also

5) Prepare your marketing material very well. Your resume, cover letter and other job search material must be relevant and of high quality

6) Practice, practice and practice your interview responses and also what you will say during various other meetings

7) Be ready to compromise and take jobs which may not be your first preference, or pay you as much as you want. It is important to first get your foot in the door

Amit has over 10 years of career advisory, organisational psychology, business management and finance experience/education. He is the Managing Consultant at Sandbox Advisors, a career, job search and HR consulting firm.

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