So You Were Fired From A Job… Great Ways To Bounce Back!

fired from job now what next

Getting fired from a job is a scary experience. For many people, it is the scariest thing that can happen to them. Nasty thoughts on how you are going to manage without money, how to pay for your mortgage, what to do about all the expenses you are used to having, start plaguing your mind. It is not the time to let yourself get overwhelmed. It is time to get back in the saddle and win back your life!


Tip 1 -> Do the things you longed to do but couldn’t


You do not have to see you being fired as a life-ending event. Actually, think about the free time you now get as an opportunity to catch up with all the things you wanted to do but couldn’t because you were always busy with your work. Take a long walk on the beach, read a book, or have lunch with someone you have not seen in years.

How will that help you? You need to reconnect with your life and with yourself. From there, you will gain the necessary strength to start searching for a job again.


Tip 2 -> Manage your expenses


The biggest fear people suffer from when they are fired from their job is that they will not be able to cope with all the expenses they have, now that they no longer receive their monthly salary. Instead of letting fear wash over you, get in charge. Place every single expense you have on paper, and see where you can cut down costs; you will be amazed to see how many things you are used to spend money on without really needing them.

Do not hesitate to lay down in front of your eyes the worst-case scenario. Chances are it may not be as bad as you think. As long as you are prepared for the worst, it will be easier for you to come up with a plan and put it in action.


Tip 3 -> Think up new ideas


You are only without a job, and not without a brain. The ideas that made you good at what you do are still there, and the same brain that came up with them is still there. You just need to get it work once again. After getting some rest to recover from the shock – anyone is entitled to freak out a little – you must think up new ideas. These will get you closer to a new job that will reward you.


Tip 4 -> Connect with people from your industry


There are many reasons for being fired. Whether the company had to cut down on employee costs, or they needed to shrink their activity, your expertise may have nothing to do with these reasons. Now, seeing that you can be a valuable asset for a company, it is time to connect with other people working in the same industry as you (or another industry if you’re looking for a change).

While you may take the traditional path of searching in newspapers for a new job, this approach can often bring you closer to a new workplace fit for you.


Tip 5 -> Polish your job hunting skills


Now that you are on the hunt for a new job, you should invest some of the free time you have to polish your hunting skills. There are now plenty of resources on the Internet on how to do that, so you will have some serious study time to consider.


Tip 6 -> Catch up with novelties of your target industry/function


In order to increase your chances of getting a new job – and possibly, better than your former one – you should invest some time in catching up with the novelties of your target industry/function. This way, when you will be called for interviews, you will be able to show the interviewers that you are up to date.

The Best Techniques To Find Jobs In Singapore Quickly

best ways to find jobs in singapore

Finding full-time or part-time jobs in Singapore, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, is never easy. It typically takes a considerable  amount of time and effort to get the job you want.

To make the process quicker and less painful, I’ve put together a selection of good job search technique related content, that we’ve published over the years. Each one is relevant and contains practical tips. We see these helping our clients everyday and hopefully they will be useful for you as well.


Navigating Job Boards In Singapore



Dealing With Recruitment/Employment Agencies In Singapore



Engaging In Job Search Networking



Other Useful Job Search Information


Job Sites Where You Can Find Executive/Senior Level Jobs In Singapore

executive senior level jobs sites in singapore

If you’re looking for Executive/Senior jobs in Singapore, many of the usual job sites will not be of use, since they cater mostly to more junior positions.

Singapore has relatively fewer job sites dedicated to senior positions. However, there are some sites which you can use and I’ve listed them below:
Headhunt

HeadHunt is an executive job recruitment publication and jobs portal targeting professionals earning an annual income from $40,000 to $250,000. HeadHunt primarily focuses on the sectors of Banking, Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Sales, Marketing, Engineering and Sciences.

eFinancialCareers

eFinancialCareers is designed for the specific needs of the financial services professionals. While it has jobs across all levels, there are quite a few executives/senior job openings in Singapore that are advertised.

RegionUP

RegionUp has a decent number of senior-level jobs in Singapore. They screen each job to maintain a database with only quality positions, which pay over US$100K.

Job Aggregators – Exec Crossing and Indeed

These job sites crawl the internet and find job advertisements from various sources, such as job sites, newspaper classifieds and employer websites. Exec Crossing focusses on senior level positions only, while Indeed includes other jobs as well (so you’ll need to customise search parameters to include only executive jobs).

Executives On The Web

This job site provides access to pre-screened £50k+ executive jobs, director jobs and management jobs. It started in 2001. There are few jobs for Singapore but something is better than nothing.

LinkedIn

The popular professional networking site, also has a good number of senior/executive level jobs in Singapore.

Happy hunting!

If you want a job in Singapore, clean up your online/social media profile

singapore online social media job search

Many job seekers do not pay attention to their social media profiles, when looking for a job in Singapore. In fact of 585 Singaporeans polled by recruiting experts Hays, 33% said they do not alter their social media habits when job searching because employers won’t look at their profiles.

That’s not a good idea.

Recruiter and employers in Singapore are increasingly using online/social media, to research potential candidates. As per a recent survey by JobsCentral, these are the reasons why a prospective employee might be rejected for a job in Singapore, after checking  their online/social media activities:

  • Evidence that candidate lied on resume/ during interview – 63.9%
  • Candidate shared confidential information about previous employers – 57.6%
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 57.3%
  • Candidate appeared to discriminate against a certain race, gender or religion – 43.4%
  • Candidate was linked to criminal behavior – 42.7%
  • Candidate posted information about them drinking or using drugs – 41.9%
  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information – 37.4%
  • Candidate had poor communication skills – 33.3%
  • Candidate’s screen/nickname was unprofessional – 14.4%

social media profile search job in singapore


So if you’re looking for a job in Singapore, do spend a bit of time cleaning up your online act. Here are some quick tips for that:

  • Run your name through as many search engines as you can think of and go through all of your social media profiles to check that whatever can be seen by recruiters presents you in a professional light.
  • If there is anything that is likely to cause raised eyebrows during the selection process for a job in Singapore, then delete it (or request for it to be deleted if it’s not on your profile/website), or at the very least ensure that your privacy settings only make your content visible to your online friends.
  • Don’t forget though, that if, for example, you are tagged in an embarrassing photo in a friend’s album, if that friend’s profile is open for the world to see, a recruiter can still find it.
  • Read more here – RECRUITERS GET DOWN AND DIRTY WITH THE HELP OF SOCIAL MEDIA.

Elevator Pitch For Job Seekers: Tips To Maximise Impact

elevator pitch for job seekers

The invention of the elevator pitch could date back to late 1990’s, when the internet explosion took place at Silicon Valley and technology companies were competing for investors’ money to fund new projects. Rather than waiting endlessly for scheduled appointments, fund seekers would ride the elevator with investors to sell project ideas within less than a minute.

The elevator pitch proved to be very efficient/successful  in the world of start-ups and soon the principle was passed to the hands of job seekers.  While the topic on how to write elevator speech is already exhausted, this article will give you a couple of out-of-box ideas on how to maximise its effect, when looking for a job.

As a job seeker what is the goal of your elevator pitch?

A successful elevator pitch is brief and saleable. It succinctly delivers unique information that potential employers want to hear and is easy to remember. The end goal of the pitch is to grab the interest of a potential employer, so that you get a conversation going, make a new connection, or, get a follow-up meeting or interview.

What do employers want to hear?

It’s tricky to figure out what would capture an employer’s attention. While this would vary from person to person, in general, people would be interested in hearing a unique perspective of their function/industry or something about how you can help their business make more money.

To achieve this, you need to do your homework on daily basis.

  • Assignment No.1 :  Follow news, reports, studies, journals, and conferences that keep you updated on issues of targeted employers.
  • Assignment No.2 : Fill your calendar with informational interviews with professionals who have insider perspectives on your field.
  • Assignment No.3 : Form some of your own views, in addition to and by combining all the perspectives you read and hear.

By persisting with these three moves, you increase the chances of delivering a great job search elevator pitch.

Remember that the “Elevator” is everywhere.

So don’t leave the elevator pitch till the last moment, like the fourth -year college student who  drafts up an elevator pitch, practices it, and pulls out the formal suit a night before the big job fair. Prior to that, he/she probably never delivers an elevator speech.

The most striking moment for your job seeker elevator pitch is when one least expects it —- seated during flights, waiting at bus stations, working out in the gym, and literally when you are riding your apartment elevator with your neighbour.

Prepare in advance and keep your pitch ready to go at all times.

Have a few versions of your job seeker elevator pitch.

To conquer tough enemies, you better prepare back-up plans. Using one elevator pitch for all employers and situations, will fail you.

A formal version would sound boring and out-of-place under circumstances like parties, and entertainment rooms, where people’s minds are set for fun. Instead, infusing the information between casual chats would be more natural.

Therefore, just like classic music movements usually have more than one variation, a few different pitches based on your master speech will be very effective.

Keep improvising your elevator pitch.

You can’t set it and forget it. The world keeps changing and so must your pitches. Make sure you update them regularly.

Show who you really are? Avoid using a template.

I’d love to make life easy for your and provide a template for an elevator speech. However, that won’t help really you.

One of many downsides of using template to construct an elevator pitch is a standardised personality. Your image will blur and diffuse with many others who use the same template.

Uniqueness fades when standard expressions erase all the variance.

You are different, and you should let that show in your pitch.  Before you draft, take a while to ponder over the strengths, personality traits and styles that best define you, and try to incorporate those into your writing. Keep it conversational and keep it natural.

Get honest feedback.

Last but not least, honest feedback is important. An objective check by friends or career advisors will help you refine your pitch and display confidence and comfort while you are delivering it.

Here are some examples of situations where you might use an elevator pitch, during your job search:


Scenario 1


You spot a person at a bus station/airport who is holding materials that indicate he/she is an insider of your targeted industry.

General Pointers:

  1. Pick up some easy/safe conversation starters: weather, flight/bus service,  light mockery of yourself(no drama, please), magazine/newspaper they read.
  2. Don’t intrude personal space.
  3. Ask for their name card and add them on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Example:

You:  “This bus line/flight company always keeps you waiting for a long time.”

“Yes, it does”

You: “But I know a trick, there is one bus that comes on time, at 9 am every other day.”

“Wow, thank you for this information.”

You: “I saw you a few times waiting for this bus in the morning, guess you will like this.”

“Yes, I do.”

You: “I’m xx, working at/ student at……, and you?

“…………….”

You: “You work in…..? It’s a great job.  You know what; it’s the area/company that I’m  very interested in . YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH takes over from here.”


Scenario 2


You are targeting a VIP, Mr. Ong, who would be the keynote speaker at a professional social event.

General Pointers:

  1. Research this VIP, focus on the main concepts the VIP is studying or working  on.
  2. Contact the event host, confirm the schedule and if possible ask about this VIP’s itinerary, to identify the best time to approach him.
  3. Ask questions during their talk.
  4. At the end of the conversation, fortify the fresh connection. Ask for their name card and try to schedule another meet with him.

Example:

You: “I’m …from…. Thank you for your explicit explanation for my question. Actually I have another quick question that I’d love to ask you about….

“…….”

You: “I have been very interested in the issues surrounding _______ and  YOUR ELEVATOR SPEECH starts here.

Is your Facebook page scaring off employers?

facebook hiring job search

Have you increased the privacy level on your Facebook settings? If you do, it not only protects you from harassment from some nasty virtual stalkers, but also spares you the silent grilling of employers who are now screening candidates by looking at their Facebook pages.

A survey conducted by the online employment website CareerBuilder found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource.

Despite the danger of using Facebook to check candidate backgrounds without permission, it’s still irresistible for employers to abstain from it.  The question is why? Up to ten years ago, there was no such magic window to probe a person’s private world in a second, but now all that is needed is access to the internet.

Some employers believe that a candidate’s personal life correlates with their work performance. They are trying to identify those “personality red flags” on Facebook so as to filter candidates whose personality or appearance may not be compatible with the company’s expectations, culture or brand. The “reddest flags” include but are not limited to using drugs, excessive drinking, wild “performance art”, badmouthing former employers, discriminatory remarks or simply “inadequacy in writing well”.

In addition to those universal taboos, employers from different cultures may look for different “flags”.  In some cultures, employers would prefer female applicants to be single rather than married. In other cultures, sexual orientation that goes against tradition is not accepted. In countries with entrenched immigrant history, racial discussion is always sensitive and provocative.

A recent study published on Journal of Applied Social Psychology explored the impressions that hiring managers formed solely based on candidates’ Facebook page.  This involved looking at what was publicly available on their Facebook pages (photos, status updates, and conversations with friends) and then assigning each person a score, on important qualities for being a great employee. Some of these qualities are shown in the picture below.

facebook job search hiring

Although the sample size was small, the researchers found a strong correlation between employee performance and the employability predictions that were made based on their Facebook pages.

When hiring managers are happy with the Facebook spying, job seekers obviously feel differently.  Compared to Twitter and LinkedIn, job seekers treat Facebook as personal territory rather than a job hunting arena. Many take it for granted that Facebook is more private and posts on there should be immune to employers ‘ judgements. However, that’s why many applicants with perfect resume beat their brain not knowing that they got rejected due to a provocative picture on their Facebook page. So let’s face the music, versus the professionalized image you decorate on LinkedIn, the real “you” on Facebook piques more interests to employers.

While many people argue that one’s personal life has little to do with the behaviours at professional workplace, there are only 11 percent of companies studied by Careerbuilder, that explicitly banned searching candidates via social networks.

Some job seekers settle this “to post or not to post” dilemma with a different approach – “I would not work for them in the first place if they judge me on my private zone. It certainly crosses boundaries, which predicts a lousy shallow employer.”  Well, it’s a good mentality to ease anxiety, but what we really need is a more equal job searching environment.

While the issues over “Facebook Screening “ continue to raise more attention in the field of ethics and human rights, the regulatory/legal structure is still playing catch-up. Till then, as a job seeker it is better to be more cautious in monitoring your Facebook activities. And here are some hints for doing this:

  1. Set your privacy settings to “only to friends”.
  2. Take down provocative pictures and reject invitations for being tagged in such pictures.
  3. Check your past status, wipe off words that elude or lead to an interpretation of a bad manner.
  4. Be mindful and respectful of what you are going to say. Once posted, the impact is made.
  5. Search for yourself on Google and see what results pop-up from Facebook, so you know what other people can see and take down any material that is not appropriate.

Singapore Job Search: An Ancient Secret For Success

job search success

As a job seeker you want to get noticed and stand out from the crowd during your Singapore job search. To achieve this you need to do things differently.

Nowadays almost everyone conducts their Singapore job search electronically. Job applications are made online or via email and a lot of networking is done online as well (using tools like LinkedIn and Twitter).

In the good old days, hiring managers were contacted by job seekers via letters.

That’s rare now. And that’s where an opportunity lies for you to do something different during your job search.

Step 1: Find contact details for people who have the power to hire you (or closely work with someone who has the power to hire you).

This can be done using LinkedIn and Google searches. Let’s say you want to work in Private Banking at Credit Suisse Singapore.

A search on LinkedIn using the keywords ‘private banking’ and filtering the results by people working at Credit Suisse Singapore, gives some interesting results. There are many people in the search results who you could get in touch with and here is a screenshot of one page.

job search success letter


I then search on Google to find more relevant people. Credit Suisse Singapore has some information on the senior management team and a few relationship managers. Many of these people/decision makers are certainly worth contacting as well.

letters for job search success

job search success

Other sources of information could include newspapers, magazines, journals and industry associations.

Step 2: Find the mailing address for the people you shortlist.

A Google search reveals that that their address is:

1 Raffles Link
#05-02
Singapore 039393

It looks like there is just one location, which is good news since that’s where all the people you want to contact will be.

Step 3: Write a letter. Do not send a resume.

Think of it like you’re sending a business proposal, not applying for a job. Keep it short and talk about your work/educational achievements and what benefits you can bring to Credit Suisse. End by asking for a phone call or meeting.


Some of your letters might not reach the intended recipient and will be screened by their assistant. Some will reach but not be opened. Some will be opened but quickly thrown in the trash. But many letters will be read and a few of those will get the desired response as well.

So it’s worth a shot to use this technique during your Singapore job search.

Quickly Improve Your LinkedIn Headline And Start Getting Noticed

best linkedin headline examples

Your LinkedIn headline is often the first thing that people will see, if they come across your profile. So you want to make it a good one, in order to increase your chances of getting noticed – whether for a job, business opportunity, or other such purposes.

Most people don’t pay enough attention to their LinkedIn headline and you’ll frequently come across ones like:

  • Vice President at Credit Suisse.
  • Recruitment specialist.
  • Senior Business Development Manager – Central Europe.
  • HR Professional And Consultant.

As you can see, these don’t provide enough information about a person’s background and are not enough to entice people to view your entire profile.

So what could you include in your LinkedIn Headline? Depending on your line of work you can consider including information about:

  1. WHAT you are?
  2. WHO you work with or help?
  3. HOW you help them?
  4. WHY people should trust you?

Here are some examples of good LinkedIn headlines:

  • Career advisor who helps people lead ideal careers. Featured in Straits Times & Alltop. Qualified in Career Counselling & Business.
  • Senior Project Manager (PMP) with expertise in delivering high profile IT projects for MNCs. Worked with Unilever, Citi & Motorola.

These examples cover more information about the person’s background and achievements.

Changing your LinkedIn headline won’t take more than a few minutes. So do have a quick look at your headline whenever you have a moment to spare.

Change Your Profile On Job Sites in Singapore, To Get More Attention

job-board-profile-registration
Just a few quick tips for profiles that you maintain on different job sites in Singapore:
  • Many job board search algorithms give extra weight to updated profiles, so when recruiters search for candidates, your profile will appear higher in the search results
  • Recruiters also filter their search to include only recently updated resumes, since they don’t want to see profiles which haven’t been updated in a while (a signal that the candidate is no longer looking for a job).
  • Therefore on job sites in Singapore where you find the most relevant jobs, update your profile around once a week, to attract the most attention. This doesn’t have to be a major update, just something small (like deleting and then adding back a comma).

Job Application Follow up – Good or Bad Idea?

Follow Up After Job Application

There are two camps as far as job application follow-up is concerned.

1). Do Follow-Up

“Having hired 100’s of staff directly, I can’t tell you the number of times a call has made the big difference. A call to tell me just how interested you are in the post, and to show that you really want this job, not just any job makes all the difference. Many hiring managers feel much the same way, and e-mail is far too easy to ignore (and usually is).

Pick the phone up. Be polite. Explain why you are so keen. Don’t ask if I have your details, that’s too easy to say yes. Tell me your availability and ask for a slot. Don’t fear the phone by hiding behind a mouse.”

2). Don’t Follow-Up

“Calling does no good if you’re not a highly qualified candidate … and if you ARE a highly qualified candidate, I’m going to contact you anyway.

I’m hiring for a job right now that’s received more than 400 applications. If just 20% of those applicants called me, that’s almost a full day of my time right there. But what I’ve actually noticed is that the candidates who DO call are invariably the ones who aren’t well matched with the job. I don’t think I can recall ever getting a call from a candidate who was really strong, in fact! It’s almost a signal that they’re not going to be right.”

So here’s what I suggest for making a job application follow up in Singapore:

  • Only engage in a job application follow up for roles which you really like and/or where you meet the requirements the employer/recruiter is asking for. This is just to express your interest/competitiveness and also to make sure that your application is not overlooked (sometimes you might not appear in the search results of the employer’s/recruiter’s applicant tracking system).
  • Make it clear very early in the email/conversation that you are getting in touch because you meet the requirements of the job and because you think you can do great things in the role. You are not a desperate job seeker who is making contact just for the sake of it.
  • Follow-up  5-7 days after you make the application.
  • Try and get the relevant recruiter/hiring manager’s contact details from Google or LinkedIn. Give them a phone call if possible and only send an email if you can’t get hold of anyone to speak with.
  • If you can’t find any contact details at all, for a relevant person:
  1. For Recruiters: Call the board line and ask for the person who handles XYZ sector/function.
  2. For Hiring Managers: See if any of your connections on LinkedIn work at the company and try to get information on who the hiring manager is and possibly ask them to put in a good word as well.

Use Job Aggregators To Search All Jobs In Singapore At One Place

board job sites singapore

Instead of using individual job boards, it’s better to use a job aggregator to look for jobs in Singapore.

  • These are the popular job sites in Singapore: JobsDB, JobsCentral, JobStreet, Monster, EFinancialCareers, ST701, JobsCyclone, StreetDirectory.
  • Most people will use 2-3 of these boards to search for job openings.
  • However, it is a waste of time to search each job board separately.
  • Furthermore, you might miss out on openings advertised on other job sites in Singapore and also jobs which are posted on company/employer websites.

So it is much better to use a job aggregator, through which you can search for jobs in Singapore, on ALL job sites AND tons of company websites in one place.

  • There are three aggregators for jobs in Singapore – Recruit.Net, Careerjet  and Indeed.
  • I recommend using Indeed since it has the best search algorithms and widest coverage.

Here are a few tips for using Indeed well:

  • Use the advanced search form for conducting targeted and granular searches. Think of the ideal search parameters for yourself and try a few different searches initially, till you find a few which give the best results. This will save you a lot of time browsing through less relevant job advertisements on an ongoing basis.
  • Set up email alerts for searches which you like.
  • Apply only for jobs in Singapore where you meet AT LEAST 80% of the responsibilities & requirements.
  • For many advertised jobs an email address is provided. It is better to apply via email for these, since it saves time, provides more flexibility in how you present your application and makes follow-up easier.

Singapore Job Sites/Boards: It’s Really A Numbers Game

singapore job sites boards

With Singapore job sites / boards, it’s a numbers game and is easy to get lost in the crowd.

  • People are often surprised when they submit 10-15 job applications and receive no response.
  • When this happens they panic and think that something is wrong with them or their application. They also write off Singapore job sites / boards and spend even less time on them. This can be a mistake.
  • With job boards it is very easy to get lost in the crowd, given the large number of job advertisements and even greater number of job applicants. A recruiter might not come across your resume and you might not get an interview call, even if you are a good applicant/candidate.
  • Sometimes dummy job advertisements are also posted and used as a way to gather resumes for future positions/openings that are not available now.

So there is a good amount of luck involved and you do need to complete enough applications to increase the chances of getting an interview call and tip the scales in your favour.

  • As a rule of thumb, for every 40-50 applications that you submit on Singapore job sites/boards, expect to hear back from 3-5.