To Find A Job Quickly, The First Step Is To FOCUS

Singapore Jobs Targets

Don’t use the carpet-bombing approach, of trying to apply for all possible jobs, thinking that something will come through. This approach takes more time and doesn’t provide good results.

  • Quality is definitely better than quantity and therefore you need to be very clear on the type of jobs you want to target.
  • For our purposes: Job Target = Function + Industry. Function includes a few different jobs which are closely related in terms of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the job.
  • Decide on a manageable set of job targets  (2-4) and stick to those as far as possible during your job search.
  • For best results, focus most of your effort on job targets where you have previous experience and education relevant to and valued by employers. I usually recommend spending 70-80% of your time on jobs where you have direct experience/education and the remaining on other jobs you might be interested in.

Once you finalise your job targets, make a list of target companies.

Do a bit of research on the internet and make a list of the companies you are interested in, for each job target. Having specific  goals in mind is very useful and it will help you:

  • Focus all your activities/efforts on achieving well-defined objectives.
  • Save tremendous amounts of time.
  • Increase the success rate of your effort to find jobs.
  • Avoid unnecessary frustration and ambiguity.

Use Twitter To Find Jobs In Singapore And Separate Yourself From The Flock


In a previous article on how to find jobs in Singapore, we talked about how you can use Twitter to find employment agencies and develop rewarding relationships with them.

The reasoning is that an increasing number of recruitment agencies in Singapore are using Twitter. However, at the moment not many job seekers think of Twitter as a way to get jobs in Singapore. And that creates an opportunity for a few industrious job hunters, to step away from overcrowded job sites and attempt to get themselves noticed.

The same logic applies to employers and hiring managers as well. I have been seeing many more companies in Singapore creating a presence on Twitter and even specific hiring managers/individuals are getting on board.

So I think Twitter is worth exploring as an additional technique for finding jobs in Singapore.

what do recruiters, employers and hiring managers in Singapore do on Twitter?

1). Post articles they have written or read.

kelly singapore recruitment agency twitter

adecco singapore-employment-agency-twitter

2). Promote their initiatives and events.

adecco singapore twitter

3). Post Their Job Openings.

hiring manager job singapore twitter

sap singapore jobs twitter

headhunter jobs singapore twitter

As a job seeker you can use Twitter to get yourself noticed By:

  • Replying to posts with articles, along with your own thoughts and maybe a link to a related article.
  • Taking part in the events and replying with a Tweet that praises the organiser and mentions what you liked.
  • Replying to posts with a job opening and expressing your interest in the position.

In all your Tweets make sure you include a link to your LinkedIn profile, so that people have easy access to your educational and work history. Also mention the recruiter/employer username (e.g. @Kellyjobs_SG) in Tweets – it helps promote their brand and message, which they’ll appreciate.

To find relevant Tweets for jobs in Singapore you can:

1). Search by recruiter or company name + Singapore.

To make life even easier for you, here is an initial list of employment agencies in Singapore, who use Twitter.

SG Recruiters Group!/SGRecruiters
Singapore Recruit!/SingaporeRec
Faro Recruitment SG!/FaroSG
Adecco Singapore!/AdeccoSingapore
Robert Half Asia!/roberthalf_asia
Jobs in Singapore!/jobsnsingapore
Kelly Services!/Kellyjobs_SG
Michael Page SG!/MichaelPageSG
Achieve Group!/AchieveGroup
Talent Logic Pte Ltd!/TalentLogic
Randstad Singapore!/randstad_sg


2). Search by keywords or hashtags.

For example- singapore jobs, #singaporejobs, singapore careers, jobs in Singapore and so on.

Happy Tweeting! Let me know how it goes.

Why Employers Reject Or Hire Candidates, After Looking At Their Social Profiles [Infographic]


Employers are using social networks to research job candidates and find out:

  • Whether a candidate presents himself/herself professionally.
  • Whether there is a fit between the candidate and the company culture.
  • More about a candidates qualifications.
  • Whether a candidate is well rounded.
  • If  there are any reasons why they should not hire a job candidate.
Employers said they did not hire candidates because of the following discoveries:
  • Posting inappropriate photos or information.
  • Drinking alcohol or using drugs.
  • Display of poor communication skills.
  • Bad mouthing previous employers.
  • Discriminatory comments .

Hiring managers made a job offer to a candidate thanks to:

  • Getting a good feel for the candidates personality.
  • Candidate conveying a professional image.
  • Finding consistent background/qualification information.
  • The candidate appearing well-rounded, with diverse interests.
  • Evidence of good communication skills.


Creating And Using A Networking List For Your Job Search


Top jobs aren’t always advertised, and even when they are, the best prospect is often identified well ahead of the recruitment process. To ensure that you maximise your own chances of landing a new position, consideration should be given for the relationships you’ve already formed, and the people you already know.

While many job seekers approach job search networking with an all-or-nothing attitude, this can also be harmful to your job search results. If you’re looking for a new position, avoid publicly announcing this fact to everyone you know, as you could easily appear ‘desperate’. Also, be careful when contacting old colleagues who you’ve lost contact with, with a sudden ‘I need a job’ conversation.

Develop long term networking relationships

People value on-going, trustworthy relationships, and are more likely to recommend you for a new position, if you’ve already proven your skills, knowledge and attitudes. If you are planning on changing roles, within the next six to twelve months, this is the time to start your job search networking now. Revisit those previous relationships, get to know what your old colleagues are up to now, and take a genuine interest in their company and their own personal goals.

Start your job search networking contact list

To get started on developing a list of people, who may be able to assist you in your job search, find a pen and paper, or open up a contact management program. You will need to be able to sort your contacts into categories, or groups, and add in extra information as required.

Start by adding the key people in your life, who you have had a positive relationship with, from the following areas:

  • Previous employers.
  • Previous colleagues, even from different departments.
  • Previous clients.
  • Associates from volunteer, sporting or community organisations.
  • People you’ve met at conferences or work events.
  • Previous teachers or classmates.
  • Friends who also work in a related field to yourself.

Most people end up with list containing 50 to 200 people.

Gathering Contact Details and Getting In Touch

Once you have your list, start by choosing people who you would like to make contact with again, to help you during your job search. You will need to prioritise your efforts, and work towards valuable relationships, rather than attempting to make contact, and keep in contact, with everyone on your list. If you’re finding that a particular person becomes less of a priority, then you can select someone else from elsewhere in your list, and focus your efforts there instead.

  • Add people you know well on Facebook, in case they are not there already, but ensure your personal page is strictly professional, and only gives off a good impression.
  • Follow and get in touch with people on Twitter, and most importantly, start up a conversation, even if it is only about the weather.
  • Update your profile on LinkedIn for your job search and contact/add all the professional contacts from your list. Have a look at their profile and updates, then send them a message to catch-up and make a reference to something they’ve done or said recently.
  • Maintain an e-mail contact list, and if it isn’t linked with your phone, also add in the numbers to your mobile. Do your research. Update the data, and use the Internet to find out the current numbers and addresses of the people you know. Visit their company webpage, and take an interest in what they do.
  • Make contact casually, without mentioning jobs or employment. Take an interest in your contacts life, the things that interest them, and the things they have personally achieved. Ask them out for coffee, or a meal. Suggest a catch-up meeting.
  • Remember relationships take time, but they can support you through many stages of your career, not just your current job search. Put the effort in now, and the rewards will come.

Use Twitter To Find Recruiters & Develop Rewarding Relationships With Them


Believe it or not, Twitter can help you launch that perfect career, and savvy professionals know the benefits of  investing in long-term relationships online.

Recruiters and employment agencies, from around the world, use Twitter to broadcast ideas, updates and jobs in real-time. They are also there waiting, for you to connect with them and promote yourself, through online interactions. This article, will help you get started, and get tweeting, with the recruitment agencies who are already using Twitter.

What is Twitter?

You can quickly learn the basics of Twitter, by visiting Twitter and also by seeing their glossary. Once there you can create your own profile, and start exchanging tweets with other Twitter ‘followers’. The principal behind Twitter, as a simple, yet progressive social media platform is that brief concepts, breaking-news, public messages, or even random daydreams, can be publicly distributed instantly, in real-time.

Twitter messages, are called ‘tweets’ and are always restricted to 140 characters. If a tweet includes an image or a website address, the link is displayed in a shortened form, to maintain the condensed quality of the message. A tweet can simply be text without a link, or it could include the title of a news report or blog, that is published elsewhere on the web, and the accompanying link will take you to it.

When you create a Twitter profile, you get to display a small image and write a brief bio about yourself. You can follow other people from all around the world, which means you will receive all of the tweets they post in the form of a ‘feed’. Once you start following a number of other tweeters, your Twitter feed will be an active hub of ideas and information. The tweets of the people you are following, will appear in front of you, in real-time.

You can follow people you know well, your friends, family and colleagues, however the charm of Twitter is that it is socially accepted for you to follow people you’ve never met, or have little in common with. In fact, it is actually expected that you will do this.

Following recruiters on Twitter

If you join Twitter, you can start to follow employment agencies, companies you’d like to work for, and other people who may be the pathway to your earning a perfect job. Twitter is an online social networking tool, and Twitter profiles are created by both individuals and businesses. If you follow a recruiter’s profile on Twitter, you will receive instant updates about new information/jobs that they post, and you will also have the opportunity to forge a meaningful and memorable relationship with that recruiter, through your Twitter interactions.

Finding the right recruiters on Twitter

Before you start following recruiters, the first thing you need to do, is consider the type of job you would like to get. While you may just be browsing, or open to new opportunities in general, understanding and specifying your own career goals, will help narrow your search for relevant people/companies on Twitter.

Geographical location: As an example, if you are located in Hong Kong, and you want to be employed within that region, you should be seeking recruiters on Twitter that are based within Hong Kong or Asia. There are many world-wide recruitment agencies, however ensure that they actually cover the region you are seeking to work in.

Many large agencies will have a geographical focus, and at the same time, there are many niche agencies who only post jobs within a certain city, town or state. The more specific the recruiter to your needs, the more beneficial they can be for you, and the more meaningful your relationship will be with them.

Professional specialisation: Besides location, many recruiters specialise in a particular industry or profession. Consider the area you want to work in, what you are good at, and what you can offer a potential employer. Start searching for recruiters who specialise in your field, so you know the jobs they post will be relevant to you and your credentials. You can still be broad, yet intelligent with your choices. If you are a graphic designer, as an example, you may still find benefit from following web design, illustration, IT and general creative services recruiters. The whole idea, is that you are developing connections with, and following the tweets of individuals and organisations, who can assist you in furthering your career.

Searching for recruiters

Some of the strategies you can use to find recruiters include searching for industries, locations, and keywords such as ‘employment’, ‘jobs’ and ‘careers’. Also, make use of the Twitter hash tag (#) to narrow down your search further. Use the Twitter Advanced Search function for this. Recruiters also like to follow each other, so check out their lists. Who are they following? Who is following them? If you find a suitable recruiter elsewhere online, locate their Twitter details, and start following them also.

Interacting with recruiters on Twitter

Once you’ve started following suitable recruiters, you can do more than wait for a suitable job to be posted. Twitter is a social media platform, and as there are real people behind the tweets in recruiter’s Twitter profiles, you should make the most of interacting with them, and leaving a good impression.

Twitter gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd in the recruitment process. This does not mean you need to be pushy or force yourself on the recruiters. It is certainly not recommended that you instantly and publicly announce your job search, and eager attitude to the recruiters over Twitter. A strong sense of desperation won’t work in your favour, and you could easily be disregarded as quickly as you signed up to your account.

Be present. Be helpful. Be genuine.

You can interact with recruiters on Twitter by re-tweeting their job postings, which is offering your assistance to both them, and your other colleagues who might receive them.  You will create an impression of being a socially-connected person, who is willing to help, and is aware of the world around them. You can re-tweet any of their public announcements, especially those that you’ve chosen not to apply for yourself. Also, allow yourself to make professional conversation, especially if one of their tweets is inviting a social response.

Ensure that your own profile is professionally presented, with an accurate and informative bio and an impressive photo. Tweet your insight on your industry/function and relevant articles you come across. If and when recruiters follow you back, they will be able to view all of your tweets themselves.

Further the relationship away from Twitter

Once you have been interacting on Twitter for a while, consider adding recruiters on your other social media profiles, including Facebook or LinkedIn. When you send them a request to connect, remind them that you’ve been following each other on Twitter, and you’d like to further the relationship via a new platform.

Most importantly, remember that the perfect job for you, may not arrive within a day or a week, however the long-term relationships that you develop with recruiters over Twitter, could mean you land that perfect job, and reap the rewards of a new career, somewhere down the line.

5 Ways Public Speaking Can Help When Looking for Jobs

public speaking skills

Looking for jobs is a multi-faceted process. No matter what kind of job you are looking for and no matter what the current climate might be, finding a job is not a one-dimensional affair.

This means that you need to be approaching the task from a variety of perspectives. One of the single most important steps that you can take is to make strides in improving your product presentation. “Product presentation?” you ask. You are the product when you are looking for jobs. This means that the better you can “sell” that product, the quicker you will find a job that you love. In this article, we will examine 5 different ways that practicing public speaking can benefit you when it comes time to look for a job.

Factor One – Public Speaking and Building Confidence

Many people are intimidated or downright scared to speak in front of large groups. In fact, this is one of the most commonly held of all phobias. Yet, the good news is that this issue can be overcome with practice. If you are intimidated by speaking in public, the best way to conquer this fear is to simply begin speaking to larger and larger groups.

Speaking in front of groups will build your confidence, and that will speak for itself when you go on future interviews. Most of the time, employers like having confident employees. After all, a confident employee is one that believes that he or she can handle tough situations and “get things done.” Isn’t that the kind of person you want around? Having this kind of confidence on a job interview can pay off!

Factor Two – Public Speaking Helps You Become More Comfortable with Others

With confidence usually comes a level of comfort. Public speaking will not just help you build your confidence, but will also help you become more comfortable around others. Comfortable people are generally viewed as being warmer and more personable, and these are the kind of qualities that employers routinely look for when hiring. Personable people are easier to work with, as they are more likely to get along with others and be a valuable contributor to a team.

Factor Three – Become Comfortable Hearing Yourself Speak and Present Information

To be comfortable speaking around others, it is also important that you are not only comfortable around others, but also in your “own skin” as well. The simple fact is that many people are not happy hearing themselves speak. When you are on an interview, you want to be satisfied with your performance and not worried about what you sound like.

The more practice you have with public speaking, the more likely you are to develop your own style. This, in turn, will help you build your confidence levels even further. It’s a positive feedback loop in that the more you practice, the better you will get a public speaking and the more confidence you will have. Now, you’re really getting ready to tackle job interviews.

Factor Four – Public Speaking is an Opportunity to Practice in Front of Others

Part of developing communication skills and an effective communication style is to practice in front of other people. It is one thing to practice any activity alone and quite another to practice in front of others. The pressure of having other people watch you perform adds a level of psychological pressure that must be overcome and adapted to in order to progress. You may find it easy to transition from practicing public speaking alone to speaking to groups, but you won’t know until you get out there and start talking!

Factor Five – Get Feedback and Improve

The final major way that public speaking will help you during job interviews is that when you speak to groups you can get feedback. You can acquire this feedback in a variety of ways. This includes having trusted friends or associates watch your public speaking and give you tips as well as having the opportunity to ask strangers what they thought of your speech. Some circumstances might even allow for you have people fill out short surveys or send you their feedback via email. Don’t be shy about asking for this feedback, as it is extremely valuable and will help you improve your speaking skills.

Practicing public speaking can do more than improve your speaking skills. It can, in fact, transform how you communicate with others and elevate your personal communication skills to a new level. No matter what kind of jobs you are interviewing for, enhanced communication skills will do more than just impress; they’ll help you land a job.

Dealing With Company Application Forms


Having spent hour after hour poring over your resume and polishing it until it’s word perfect, it can actually be pretty frustrating when you’re then asked to complete typical company application forms, which can be tedious and time consuming. There are, however, several good reasons why employers ask you to do so and it’s important that you know which parts of the form you must complete and which you might be able to pass over.

The first thing to understand about company application forms is that one of the main reasons for being asked to complete them is because they provide prospective employers with the opportunity to get you to sign to say that all the information you have provided is complete and accurate.  A huge percentage of resumes are believed to contain omissions, exaggerations and downright lies, but of course a resume isn’t signed.  By getting your signature at this early stage of the process, an employer has something which is more legally binding, if they later discover that the information you provided was inaccurate or incomplete.

A second reason why some employers, and large organizations in particular, like to get candidates to complete their own company application forms is because it provides them with the information they need in a standard format.  Resumes, of course, don’t just provide essential details, but they act as marketing tools too and this, along with the varied resume formats that job seekers use can make it much more difficult for businesses to unscramble and record what they need for their employment records.  In many cases, of course, applicants also choose to leave out certain details from their resumes, such as their age, gender, marital status and so on, in order to avoid unwitting or even deliberate discrimination.  In many countries, however, employers are obliged to collect demographic data to provide to the authorities, and they typically use a section of their company application form to do just that.

So, of all the details that you are likely to be asked on an application form, which can you or should you leave out, and which are you strongly recommended to fill in?

Demographic Data – Although, as I have just mentioned, some businesses are required to collect this information, you, the job seeker are in no way obliged to provide it.  Any demographic data that you do choose to provide is usually legally protected in terms of how employers can use it, and basically no employer is supposed to use it for discriminatory purposes.  Whether they do or not, however, is something that can’t be guaranteed, and so this one really is your call.

Qualifications – The qualifications section of a company application form is one that you do need to complete, for your own sake.  It is worth mentioning, however, that employers typically ask for the dates of your education which, of course, can help to give your age away.  My advice would be to complete this section anyway, because without this information the employer may not be able to carry out background checks such as those to confirm the validity of a university degree.  Better to run the risk of revealing your age than to be eliminated from the recruitment process because the employer can’t verify your qualifications.

Work History – Assuming that your resume is complete and provides adequate detail, you may be able to dispense with the work history section of the form and just append a copy of your resume instead.  Only do this if it’s mentioned that it would be acceptable, because some employers will want the information laid out in a specific way and some may want your complete work history rather than what may be only an abridged version in your resume.  In addition, whereas you may have concentrated on achievements in your resume, the application form may ask you to concentrate on tasks and responsibilities.

References – Most company application forms will ask you for the names and contact details of two or more professional or personal references.  In some cases it will ask you on the form whether it’s okay to take up the references now, which you clearly wouldn’t want to happen if your current employer is one of the names that you have included.  I would always advise against providing the names of referees on a resume or a company application form until you are in receipt of a firm job offer, by which time the employer will already have made a commitment to hiring you and it would take something fairly drastic to make him change his mind.  Rather than just leave this section of the form blank without any explanation though, it’s probably better to explain that you will be more than happy to provide references if you are offered the job and if possible ask if this would be acceptable.  If it isn’t, then really you are going to have to make a judgment call and decide whether it’s worth sacrificing a chance at the job, or at the very least irritating the employer, or whether it might be better to just provide the details anyway.

How People Find Banking and Finance Jobs In Singapore/Asia


The recruitment firm Marks Sattin surveyed 1,500 people across Asia, on various issues surrounding banking and finance jobs. Majority of the respondents (86%) were from Singapore and Hong Kong.

There is some interesting information about how people find banking and finance jobs in Singapore/Asia, which is best illustrated by the following graphs.

banking and finance jobs in Singapore



Some thoughts and points to note:

  1. Networking with friends/colleagues (21.6%) and directly with people in the target company (18.1%), is an important technique to find banking and finance jobs in Singapore/Asia. This has increased in importance over time, as people are taking more control over their job search and not relying solely on recruiters. Social/professional networking sites (like LinkedIn) make it really easy to find and connect with relevant people. However, I think they are underused in Singapore/Asia and I still meet many people who haven’t even heard of LinkedIn. It is a very powerful tool and you can access hundreds of people (and hiring  managers) in your target companies, with the click of a button. So if you are looking for banking and finance jobs in Singapore and haven’t heard of LinkedIn, or are apprehensive about using it, trust me, give it a try and you won’t be disappointed. Have a look at this article for more information [The Most Practical Guide To Job Search Networking].
  2. It’s no surprise that majority of the jobs posted on job boards, are advertised by recruiters (on behalf of the actual hiring companies). A few searches on most job boards (e.g. JobsDB, eFinancialCareers) in Singapore/Asia is all it takes to see this. From a job seekers point of view, what this means is that if you are using job boards, you are in effect using recruiters also. So don’t waste too much time trying to contact tons of recruiters. When you apply for a job which you really like, through a job board, contact the relevant recruiter and express your interest/suitability in that specific position. This will have better results than cold-calling recruiters asking for banking/finance jobs in general, which will result in the classic response “Send us your resume and we’ll get back to you.”
  3. People seem to be using a handful of job boards (like Monster, JobsDB and eFinancialCareers) to look for banking and finance jobs in Singapore. While many of the positions advertised are duplicated across major job boards, there are many which aren’t. So it makes more sense to use a job aggregator (like Indeed) to ensure you cover more ground and save time as well.

Staying Organized in Your Job Search


Staying organized during a job search doesn’t exactly sound like a big deal; after all, finding a new position is the most important thing on your mind right now and you’re hardly likely to forget where you’ve sent your resumes, right?

Actually, with most job searches nowadays lasting months rather than weeks, unless you happen to be blessed with a photographic memory, the chances of you remembering every last little detail are pretty remote, and if you do happen to lose track of your job search activities, the result can be chaos, confusion and embarrassment.

For anyone who is unemployed, the accepted advice is that a job search should be treated like a full-time job, and of course eight hours of job search activity, five days per week, soon adds up to a lot of information, a lot of paperwork and a good deal of potential for confusion.  Even if you are already in work and are seeking an alternative position, however, trying to keep track of where you are up to can quickly become impossible, especially when you bear in mind the fact that some employers’ recruitment processes can drag on for months. All of this can lead to a lot of confusion and duplicated/wasted efforts. One example of what might happen is vacancies that you applied for but never received a response from, might be re-advertised at a later date. If you don’t have a record of your activities, you might spend time re-applying for such positions.

Even without the inevitable delays and potential for duplication during a job search, keeping track of your activities is absolutely vital if you are not going to lose all that important company research that you have done and if you are going to be able to follow up on your job search activities in an appropriate way, with the appropriate person, at the appropriate time.  In this respect, it isn’t just recruiters that you have to consider either, but all of your networking contacts too.

A final, but again extremely important reason for recording and tracking the activities of your job search, has to do with measuring effectiveness.  When you use a variety of job search techniques such as networking, responding to newspaper ads, applying via online job boards, attending job fairs and so on, it can be very difficult to assess using gut feeling alone, how effective each method has been over a period of time.  Clearly, your objective should be to put the greatest amount of time and energy into those activities which are most likely to meet with success, but if you can’t see, for example, where applications/activities are disappearing into a black hole never to be heard of again, the chances are that you will end up wasting your efforts and just continue to do the same unproductive things over and over again.

So, just how are you going to go about recording all of this vital information and keep your job search on track?  Although you can of course keep hand-written records of your job search activities, bearing in mind the sheer quantity of information that you are likely to acquire, often it is better to rely predominantly on computer records. This can be complimented with a few hand-written reminders of upcoming events and activities in diaries and on to-do lists, that you can keep on hand wherever you are.  Aside from being able to cope with the quantity of data, though, the other benefit of using commercial job-tracking software or Excel spreadsheets is that the data can quickly be sorted, for example by company name or the date of your next actions, rather than having to go through through reams of paperwork.

One of the simplest, ready-made systems for keeping track of a job search is one which most people already have on their computers, namely the Job Search Log, which can be found in amongst the Microsoft Excel templates.  With separate tabs for CV (Resume) Submissions, Networking Contacts, Interviews and Career Websites, the headings on each of the spreadsheets are customizable so that you can change them to suit you, although in most cases you should just be able to open up the template and get going.  If you use Microsoft Excel 2007, just open up the application, click on the Office Button in the top left-hand corner of the screen, select New and then type the words “Job Search” into the search field at the top of the center section of the dialogue box.  When the Job Search Log appears as an option, simply click on Download and then save the document to your desired location using whatever file name your choose.  In addition to the Job Search Log, Excel also provides a Job Application Log template which can be found by entering “Job Application” into the search field rather than “Job Search”.  Although a simpler, less detailed document, this one provides drop-down boxes for ease of sorting the information that you input.

There are also some online tools that you can use, such as JibberJobber.

Whichever method you prefer for keeping track of your activities during your job search, do start recording all of the details right from the start.  Believe me, it doesn’t take long before things have the potential to go awry!

Apply For Jobs Early & Ye Shall Succeed

when to apply for jobs

As a job seeker, when you apply for jobs using company websites or job boards, you might spend time applying for positions which have been posted up to a few weeks back.

This could be a waste of time.

Hiring managers and recruiters often receive hundreds of job applications, for each opening advertised. It’s a tedious process and they are always looking for ways to make it easier.

StartWire, an online job search tool, did a study which gathered data from over 6,600 hires and across 10 industries.

Of those hired 27% applied within the first two days after a job was posted. Nearly 50% of the hires were applicants who applied within the 1st week; approximately 75% of all hired candidates applied within three weeks.

“Job seekers underestimate the importance of being at the front of the hiring line,” says Chris Forman, CEO & Co-Founder of StartWire.

“Once a hiring manager or recruiter does an initial pre-screen of candidates and makes an interview list, they rarely look back at applications that come in later. To optimise your chances, apply as soon as you see a job, and seek out an internal contact within the company who can put in a good word for you.”

So it makes sense to use job sites more often, spending less time during each visit, as opposed to making long and in-frequent visits.

The Most Practical Guide to Job Search Networking

Job search networking is one of the best ways to look for a job and also one which is often overlooked.

During their job search people typically contact a few recruiters and also search for openings on job sites. There is nothing wrong with this and recruiters/job sites should be part of your efforts to find jobs. However, you should also look beyond these job search methods and try to get in touch with people in your target companies directly.

This is done by using your existing network/contacts and also by adding new people to your network. There are a number of things you can gain through such job search networking, including:

  • Making others aware of your job search and what you are looking for.
  • Getting valuable information about the industries and companies you are interested in.
  • Finding out about jobs which might not have been advertised yet and/or jobs for which companies have not been able to find suitable candidates for a while, through jobs sites and recruiters.

So let’s go through a few questions to help explain the concept/process of job search networking in more detail….

What happens when a company needs to hire someone for a particular job opening?

For an employer, using recruiters and/or job boards to find suitable candidates is not always the ideal option. They need to pay a fee to use these mediums, might need to go through a ton of resumes/candidates and there is more uncertainty about the quality of candidates.

So the logical thing for the employer/hiring manager to do is to first (or simultaneously) look inside the company for suitable people to fill the post. They will also ask their trusted network of co-workers, relatives, friends and other contacts for referrals (of suitable people they know and/or have worked with previously). In this way, they can avoid paying recruiters/job sites, deal with fewer candidates and might also have more confidence in the quality of people referred by their trusted network.

What can you do to take advantage of this, during your search for job opportunities?

You need be in touch with and get yourself on the radar screen of enough people, in an effort to either directly meet a hiring manager looking to fill a job, or alternatively be referred to such a hiring manager.

How do you go about meeting people and expanding your network? (This is where job search networking helps).

1) Start by using your existing contacts/network. This includes family, friends, professional contacts, fellow alumni and so on. Make a list of all such people, along with their contact details. Include all your contacts and not just those people who have relevant experience, or hold powerful positions. Remember, it’s less about ‘who you know’ and more about ‘who they know’ (for example, an aunt who has never been in the corporate world, might go for an evening walk with the wife of a senior professional in your target company). Such lists typically include anywhere from 50 to 250 people.

Once you have a decent number in the list, start getting in touch with people on the list. Inform them of your plans to find jobs, ask for advice/information, ask for referrals and also for any job leads.

2) Then find and contact people who you don’t already know. The best way to do this quickly is through online networking and the best tool for online networking is LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn to find people in your target industry/companies and request them to spare 15-20 minutes (via phone or in-person), to provide you with some advice, job leads and referrals. (I will be writing another article shortly, with details on how exactly to use/navigate LinkedIn).

You can also use events, such as seminars, conferences, industry association meetings, etc. to meet, greet and network with relevant people.

Will people you contact during your job search networking, actually respond to your requests?

Many will not. However, most of my clients are pleasantly surprised by the large number of people who do. You will get many positive responses because:

  • People like to feel important/respected and give advice to others
  • Many people genuinely want to help others
  • People might relate to your situation, since they have been through a job search themselves
  • Other people want to expand their own network and learn new things as well and think you might be a good contact for such purposes
  • The person might be looking for someone with your background for a job they need to fill

What should you say when you contact people, to get help for finding jobs?

It is usually easier to contact people who you know well and you will know the best way to approach each person. Therefore I will not focus on contacting such people and will provide tips for contacting people who you don’t know well or don’t know at all.

> Approach 1: Request for information/advice and not for a job

This technique often has good response rates, since it puts people at ease and makes them more open to read/respond to your request, when you are not asking for a job. Here is an example of a script/message:


Dear ________,

I came across your profile on LinkedIn and was hoping I could ask you for some career related advice. (- OR – I received your contact information from XYZ, who suggested that you would be an excellent source for some career related advice – OR – It was great to meet with you/hear you speak at XYZ event and as discussed, I am getting in touch to seek some career related advice)

Your Background

To give you a brief overview of my background, I am a senior Finance Professional, with experience primarily in the Telecom industry. On the education front, I graduated with a Masters in Finance from NUS.

More Information on Help You Want

I am thinking of continuing my career in the Consumer Goods industry and needed guidance on a few areas/questions, such as:

  • Advice on the companies I have shortlisted and on other companies that I could consider
  • Practicality of the career move I am considering and what I can do to increase the success of my job search
  • Whether my thoughts and expectations about the industry are in fact true


Given your expertise in the industry, I would greatly appreciate if you could spend 15-20 minutes providing your thoughts/guidance, which will really help me plan my career and job search. I look forward to hearing from you and also to the opportunity to meet/speak with you.

> Approach 2: Request for information/advice AND for job leads

Sometimes it is not feasible (or plausible) to only ask for information and you might need to take a more direct approach. Here is an example of a script/message:


Dear ________,

I came across your profile on LinkedIn and was hoping you could help me with a career related matter. (- OR – I received your contact information from XYZ, who suggested that you might be able to help me with a career related matter – OR – It was great to meet with you/hear you speak at XYZ event and as discussed, I am getting in touch to check if you might be able to help me with a career related matter)

Your Background

To give you a brief overview of my background, I am a senior Finance Professional, with experience primarily in the Telecom industry. On the education front, I graduated with a Masters in Finance from NUS.

More Information on Help You Want

I am on the lookout for suitable roles in the Consumer Goods industry and would appreciate your help/guidance on a few areas, such as:

  • Any relevant job leads/openings that you might know of in the industry
  • Contacts for people/departments in your company, where my background could add value
  • Advice on other companies that I could consider
  • What I can do to increase the success of my job search


Given your expertise in the industry, I would greatly appreciate if you could spend 15-20 minutes providing your thoughts/guidance, which will really help me plan/advance my job search. I look forward to hearing from you and also to the opportunity to meet/speak with you.

What are the possible outcomes from the discussion?

Seems like a bit of a long-winded approach to find jobs. Is it really worth it?

Trust me. It works and I see the results regularly with my clients, one of whom provided this feedback recently –

I just did as you told me to and now a person from Credit Suisse asked for my resume, another lady from Apple asked me if I would be interested in a job and a person from Walton International emailed me asking if I would like to interview for a particular role.

Either way, I’m not asking you to abandon all other ways to look for a job and use only job search. Try job search networking in addition to recruiters and job boards. You have nothing to lose.

How to use the Top Job Sites in Singapore

job sites in Singapore

Most of us turn to job sites in Singapore first, when we are looking for a new role and most us of have faced the frustrations of using them. While job boards are not the best way to look for a job and have a low success rate, they can still be useful.

You never know through what source you might land a role and so it makes sense to use all the job search methods available. When using job boards the main thing to keep in mind is that you should not spend too much time on them, because they are not the most productive way to search for a job.

Below are some of the top job sites in Singapore:

Here a few tips for using job sites in Singapore:

  • To save time and effort with job boards, you should use an aggregator, through which you can easily find all jobs in Singapore at one place. This includes all job boards, company websites and newspaper classifieds. It can save you a lot of time, as opposed to searching each site separately. I recommend Indeed.
  • I suggest using job sites more often, spending less time during each visit, as opposed to making long and in-frequent visits. This is because there is evidence that people who apply first, are more likely to be selected for interviews (see Apply For Jobs Early & Ye Shall Succeed).
  • If you are a senior professional, then you will find fewer job listings, so your time spent on the job sites mentioned above, can be on the lower end of the scale.
  • For early/mid career professionals, you will find more job advertisements, especially for roles which are popular in Singapore. Therefore your time spent on job boards can be on the higher side.
  • Many job advertisements provide an email address which you can apply to, in addition to the usual online application option. I always suggest using the email address option, since it saves time, doesn’t restrict you to a particular format and makes follow-up easier.
  • Be on the lookout for phone numbers and contact names, which are given sometimes as well (not as often as email addresses though). Whenever they are provided, make a note and ensure that you call the person to follow-up. This can help put you on the recruiter/hiring manager radar screen.
  • I’m not suggesting to follow-up for all jobs that you apply to on job sites, only to jobs which you really like

What has you experience been with job sites in Singapore? Which job site has worked for you? Which job site did you find the easiest to use? If you have any tips/tricks for using job sites, please do share them with me and other job seekers.