Career

3 Tips That Will Make Your Job Search Easier and Faster

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Joanne Poh

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Everyone knows the job market isn’t exactly at its best this year, with lots of doom and gloom reserved especially for older retrenched workers, who are having a hell of a time trying to get rehired (no, becoming an Uber driver doesn’t count).

Still, no matter what the job market is like, the show must go on, and if you’re looking for career advancement / trying to escape your demonic boss / just lost your job and need a new one ASAP / just graduated from uni and your parents have cut off your allowance, it’s understandable if you’re getting a little desperate. Here are some tips that can get you a quality job, and fast.

 

Tidy up your resume – it’s not as good as you think it is

You might have a work ethic of steel and a sparkling personality, but none of that matters if your resume looks like it was written by your dog.

Before you even begin to start applying for jobs, you need to make sure your resume is not only up-to-date, but is well-written and shows off your strengths in the best way possible.

Now, just because your resume looks like a masterpiece to you doesn’t mean it’s necessarily that good. Remember, every single contestant on American Idol thinks he sounds like Michael Jackson.  Do some research online to get a feel for what a good resume looks like.

For instance, you should not use subjective words like “driven” or “intelligent” to describe yourself; instead, use figures to show that you’re a great hire—for instance, by stating your sales revenue for a given period or the value of a deal you worked on.

You also want to pay attention to the aesthetics of your resume. You may think Comic Sans is cute, but it has no place on a resume unless you’re applying for a job as a clown. Make sure your CV is clean and readable, and proofread it to eliminate any grammatical or spelling errors.

 

Use online job portals to search for positions

There are many ways you can get potential jobs. I have friends who’ve gotten jobs from people they met in bars. Now, that doesn’t mean your job hunting strategy should be to sit around in bars on Boat Quay hoping somebody will offer to exchange business cards with you.

While you should definitely continue to expand your network and ask friends for job referrals, your first port of call is likely to be online job portals.

So it pays to compile a list of all the possible online job sites catering to Singapore-based job seekers and get familiar with their application processes.

Other than general portals like JobsDB, there are also sites catering to a certain breed of job seeker or those looking for work in a certain industry. Make sure you know where they are—if you’re not sure, ask seniors in your industry.

For instance, FastJobs caters not only to full-time job seekers but also those looking for part-time jobs, contract positions and internships.

Then there are industry-specific classifieds. Those who are looking for jobs in the legal industry, not just as lawyers, paralegals or secretaries but also in business development, HR, admin or communications, should check out the Law Society’s  eclassifieds website.

 

Apply for the right jobs in the right way

So you have a resume that would bring tears of joy to a potential employer, yet companies haven’t exactly been banging on your door.

If that’s the case, there’s a chance you are not applying for the right jobs. You see, your mother might have told you you were the most special little snowflake in the world, but the truth is that you’re only useful to a very limited group of potential employers—those who have vacancies for someone with your skillset. That means that randomly spamming companies with your resume is not going to work.

You might be applying to jobs you’re over- or under-qualified for. You could be sending out resumes to companies that only have a vague connection to your field of work or do not have the particular position you’re looking for. Even if you are the world’s best employee, these companies will not be able to hire you.

How you apply for a job matters, too. Many online job ads require you to fill out certain forms or furnish certain documents in addition to your resume and cover letter, such as other certificates or your university grades, for example. Fail to do so and the company is going to doubt your ability to follow simple instructions, which already singles you out as that guy they do not want to hire.

In addition, you want to make sure you’re adhering to job-hunting protocol by doing everything a good job seeker is supposed to do—including a cover letter with your CV, addressing your application to the hiring manager and following up if you don’t get a response.

Applying for jobs is like a game. No matter how good (or bad) you as an employee, you need to make sure you know the rules and are playing with the right strategy. Well, it’s that or working in a job nobody else wants, so you be the judge.

What are the biggest challenges you face when applying for jobs? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.