Work life balance: How to find out if an employer values it as much as you?

work life balance asia research

It’s finally time.

You are ready to begin your search for a new job.

And hopefully you’ll have some interviews and job offers soon.

During previous interviews, you might have felt as if it were a mistake to mention the possibility of occasionally missing work to tend to family matters. The mere mention of work life balance or time off, seemed to turn the interview in a bad direction.

Even though you weren’t hired for those jobs, you felt lucky.

How comfortable would you have been working there? How could it have affected your family?

Consequently, your question becomes: How can I find an employer who understands the importance of life outside of work and the obligations of my home life? An employer who’s on the same page as me, on these matters.

Here are a few ways to help you research a company and find answers to those questions.

Word of Mouth

Perhaps the easiest method for obtaining employer information is to ask your friends, family, or current associates.

Often times they, or someone they know, will have a story, positive or negative, regarding a current or past employer.

Understand that such stories must be taken as anecdotal, but the information may lead you to investigate further before you commit to an employer.

Job Sites

Until recently, there weren’t many tools available to help a prospective employee find the right employer.

As more information becomes available on the internet, finding information about the working atmosphere of a company is readily available.

When using job sites/boards (such as Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder), you will often find links to employer ratings and comments., for example, has links for reviews and learning what it’s like to work for a company, shown next to many job advertisements.

reviews of working at singtel singapore

company reviews asia

Employer Satisfaction Information

In addition to job sites, databases regarding workplace atmosphere are now available.

For instance, has extensive employee reviews detailing workplace atmosphere, job position satisfaction, and potential salaries.

There are also sites available that detail workplace conditions for women (Maybrooks, Fairygodboss), using the perspective of females in a particular position or experience.

What Do You See and Feel?

You can also put your detective hat on and observe what’s happening at the company.

If you see a mostly empty office when you arrive for your 6pm interview, it can be a sign that late work hours aren’t always required.

Do you see family photos on the desks? That may be a sign that the atmosphere is a comfortable, relaxed place to work, and that the company is at least somewhat committed to their employees and their families.

Many modern businesses take pride in their family-friendliness. If the interview process does not include information about a company’s policies regarding family leave, or days off built into the system, that’s probably something to take note of. Lack of a focus on such policies may be a sign of other issues that might arise in their employ. Keep looking.

We all want to find the perfect job. So many facets of your life can be affected by the way you feel about your work, good or bad.

With a little diligence it is possible to find the employer that will see you as more than just an employee, but as a member of a family, yours and theirs.

A few famous people who made it big after being fired from their job

success fired from job

Getting fired is one of the biggest fear of most working people.

However, being fired sometimes leads to better opportunities.

Here are a few stories of uber-famous people who lost their jobs:

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga has always taken time to come up with her catchy and expertly constructed pop hits.

Her first label didn’t appreciate this slow burn method, however, and fired her after she asked them to wait another six-months for her to finish her debut album.

Not long afterward she released her legendary album “The Fame.”

J.K. Rowling

Rowling often found herself in trouble with jobs and money before making it big with the story of a certain boy wizard.

At her job as a secretary at Amnesty International, she found herself being booted for using her work computer for personal matters.

Perhaps she was preparing material for the book that would later make her a multi-millionaire.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedians tend to struggle a lot before they find their footing, and this is just as true for mega-hit Seinfeld as it was for many of his peers.

Strangely enough, the future-sitcom star was once fired from a gig he had on the sitcom “Benson” due to a lackluster performance.

Isaac Newton

Before he went off to study science and change the way we see the world today, Newton was fired from an overseer position on his family farm, and by his own Mother nonetheless!

Thankfully, his Mother’s actions set in motion movements that led to some of the most important scientific discoveries of all-time.


While it may be hard to imagine Mozart being let go from any musical position, he was once fired from a gig as the musician for the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg.

For those readers familiar with the movie “Amadeus,” this event should bring to mind a particularly memorable scene from the musician’s life.

Oprah Winfrey

Now one of the biggest TV personalities, Winfrey struggled to find her footing in the TV industry for years before people realized the level of her talent.

Once when she was working as a news reporter for a Baltimore TV station, her producer felt that her personality was simply a bad fit for the job. Hard to imagine, looking back now.

Walt Disney

Disney was once fired from the cartoonist department of a Kansas newspaper for “lacking imagination and having no good ideas.”

Apparently Walt found a magical well of inspiration after leaving the paper, as he would go on to make some of the most fantastical and popular films of all time.

Nikola Tesla

Tesla had a bit of a drinking and gambling problem that led to issues at his job.

Once while working as a draftsman in Slovenia, Tesla was let go due to continuous card-gambling on the job.

Thomas Edison

Edison is one of the most famous inventor/entrepreneurs of all time, but he did not always excel at regular work positions.

When he worked for a laboratory in his younger days, for example, the young Edison was fired for spilling acid that then ate through the floors of the building.

Steve Jobs

Although he is now somewhat infamous for being fired from Apple by then CEO John Sculley (who he handpicked himself), the eventual return to Apple by Jobs cemented him as a business legend and an innovative personality.

5 Ways Women can manage a gap in their resume

resume gap women

Looking at the topic of working women and career breaks, a study by the Center for Talent Innovation found that:

  • Around 30% of women took a break from their career.
  • The average timeframe for these breaks was 2 years and 7 months.
  • 60% of women who took a career break, were not able to find a full time job, when they were ready to reenter the workforce.

Employers will often cast aside your resume if they see a gap in employment.

So how can you plan for, position and work around gaps in your resume?

The Best Strategy For Managing Expected Employment Gaps is to AVOID THEM!

You are probably scratching your head at this suggestion.

The point is that you can easily take steps to ensure that your skills stay sharp during your break and that you stay relevant.

Here are 5 things you can do:

Go Back to School

Having a break from work provides a great time for you to further educate yourself on important topics and trends in your industry.

Whether it’s short courses or a full blown degree, continuing education is a great idea.

You’ll learn new things, meet new people and upgrade your skills.

With an increase in the number of distance and part-time study options, it’s much easier to pursue this goal nowadays.

Stay Active with Freelance Gigs

Engaging in freelance work is also an excellent way to stay in the game.

If you’re lucky you’ll get paid for it as well. If not, then it’ll be very valuable to show on your resume and will make potential employers happier.

Small and medium sized companies are a good target for such gigs, since they often need people to manage extra demand and ad hoc projects.

Share Your Expertise Regularly

Showing your expertise and business smarts through writing a blog or participating in social media, can be a great way to demonstrate your value to future employers.

In addition to channels such as LinkedIn, you can also try and contribute to magazines and journals, for your industry/function.

Keep Meeting People

Just because you’re not working full time, doesn’t mean that you should ignore people in your industry.

Continue to participate in events, seminars and other networking opportunities, to keep yourself in the game.


Volunteering is also a great way to stay active. It could be in a general role, or one that is relevant for your area of expertise.

There are a few websites in Singapore, where you can search for such openings  – sgcares, MINDS, Make a Wish Foundation, AWARE.

Facebook settings to ensure privacy during your job search

settings facebook privacy job search

In today’s job-hunting world, one of the biggest fears of any person is a potential employer seeing something unprofessional on their social media account(s).

You might have heard horror stories of seemingly harmless content costing people that awesome job, and you want to do everything in your power to avoid that situation.

Even with this looming over people’s heads, many still do almost nothing about it.

In fact, in a recent survey, it was found that a mere 24% of people ever adjust their Facebook settings before applying for a job.

Another survey states that up to 93% of employers actively search out potential candidates Facebook profiles before deciding whether or not to hire them, so it’s time to get on adjusting your privacy settings.

To help you out, here are a few steps to successfully adjusting the privacy settings on your Facebook account prior to your job hunt.

  1. Change The Visibility of Your Profile

The first step you should take is adjusting what public Facebook browsers can see when viewing your profile.

Doing this will help you ensure that your boss only sees what you want them to see (as well as Grandma).

In order to do this step, simply go to your profile, click the “…” button on the lower left corner of your cover photo, click “view as…” and then adjust the settings to your liking.

  1. Time to Modify Your Search Settings

Did you know that if you have your search setting set to default that anyone with your phone number or email address can easily find your Facebook profile? If this weirds you out, it may be time to start modifying your search settings.

To change these settings, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and click on “see more settings.”

Here you will have several choices for how people are able to find your profile.

You can determine if you want search engines to link to your profile, for example. Disabling this option, along with the ability to find you via phone/email, is the best way to ensure a boss can’t find you in the first place.

  1. Approving Tags Will Save You a Lot of Grief

Maybe you were at a sketchy party that you later regretted.

Maybe your former roommate decided to tag you in an obscene photo from your freshmen year.

Whatever the case, you want to have power over what content you are tagged in. It would be terrible to find out that you thought you deleted all objectionable content just to hear that your would-have-been-boss saw that puking photo that your “friend” tagged you in.

By changing your security settings to only show tags once you approve them, you will save yourself a lot of grief.

To adjust your settings, go to your privacy settings and click on “Timeline and Tagging.” From that point, click on “Who can add things to my timeline,” and adjust the settings to your liking.

  1. Keep Your Friends Communication to Yourself

Not everyone has to see what your friends post on your timeline.

You can change your settings so that you only see what they post on their timeline.

If you want to change this setting, just go to the “Timeline and Tagging” setting once again and adjust from the same “Who can add things to my timeline” area.

  1. Do a Sweep of Your Old Posts

Chances are, you have had your Facebook profile for at least a few years. With all of that potential problematic content floating around, you don’t want to leave your job prospects up to chance.

Take advantage of Facebook’s timeline feature and go through the entirety of your Facebook history.

To give you an idea of the content you should be especially cautious of, here is a shortlist of some of the stuff employers look for:

  • Illegal Drugs
  • Overtly Sexual Posts
  • Profanity
  • References to Guns or Violence of Any Kind
  • Alcohol Consumption Photos
  1. You Could Change Your Name

Changing your name to something unsearchable can give you privacy without changing your search settings to that of a Hermit.

You don’t have to drastic with the name change either, and can simply change your first name to a nickname of sorts.

Good luck with your job search!

Is The Job For You? Questions To Ask Before You Take a Job Offer

before you accept job offer

After a hectic search it can be tempting to take the first job offer that comes your way.

Take some time to answer these questions before you say yes.

Will you be sacrificing personal values to work there?

You need to think about the effect the nature of the job will have on you in the long term.

If you are sacrificing your core values, don’t take it.  Money comes, and money goes. Jobs also come and go.

Keep your values intact.

Will you be happy?

What kind of person are you?

Do you do better with routine or do you need to mix it up now and then?

These are the kinds of question that can help you project whether you’ll be happy or not down the road.

Does the company’s reputation hold up?

How solid is the company?

What do other employees have to say about the company?

Several resources exist to research an organisation, one of which is  Find out what people are saying about what it is like to work there.

Can I grow as a person?

One of the biggest satisfaction factors about any job is whether or not the job uses your talent adequately.

If it does, you’ll grow as a person.  If not, the job will feel stagnant after a short time.

Can the company help me achieve my long-term goals?

If you have long-term goals to take your career in a certain direction, then chances are you need a job that will support it.

If you find the job hinders your goals, you may end up having to choose between your goals and your job.

Will you be empowered as an employee?

No one likes to be micromanaged or to feel powerless.

In fact, the ability for employees to have a voice and contribute to important decisions/work can lead to the greatest job satisfaction.

Make sure you have solid understanding about what you are getting into before you say yes.

What will your supervisor be like?

No matter how good the business is, if you have a bad boss or one who does not care about you as a person, you will not be happy.

Does the job offer balance?

Jobs come and go, but family is forever.

If your new job requires you to sacrifice your family time in exchange for “success”, how successful will you be..really?

How far away is the job?

Many people in the workforce—especially Millennials—place a high value on their commute.  If it is long and frustrating, you might not be happy in the long term.

Subways, trains, or buses are not always easy—the last thing you want to do is burn yourself out before you arrive at work each day.

How does this job compare with your old job?

If you left your old job—for whatever the reason may be—there is probably a good reason behind it.

Make sure your new job does not have the same issues as your old job.

It may be a person, like a co-worker or a supervisor, working conditions/environment, or work hours.

You do not want to find yourself in the same situation that caused you to leave your old job behind.

What do your instincts tell you?

Thinking about situations objectively will help you make better decisions and keep you from acting impulsively.

On the other hand, if your instincts are telling you to stay away from a job, despite how good it may sound on paper, then perhaps you should listen.  There may be a hidden danger around the corner you cannot see yet.  Always err on the side of caution.

You’ll thank yourself for it later.

There’s a Right Way to Ask for a Professional Reference and a Wrong Way

job resume professional reference singapore

Have you ever asked someone for a professional reference?

Good references are an integral part to landing a new job because a great testimonial of your work, can help seal the deal with that job offer you almost have.

But there is a right way to ask for a reference and a wrong way. And the wrong way can lose you that new job. So keep reading to learn the best way to go about it.

Get Your Reference Yesterday

As you begin getting your applications out there, you may be shocked at how fast the hiring process can unfold. The best way to prepare for this is to already have your references ready to go. Don’t hesitate on this as the majority of people do. By getting ahead now, you’ll stand out from the other job seekers.

Start by brainstorming a list of anyone who you might want to ask for a professional reference. These people could be former employers, supervisors, mentors, someone who oversaw your volunteer work or internship, teachers/professors and so on.

Once you have a broad list, start to narrow it down. Each job usually requires two or three references but adding a few extra could be useful, if you need to highlight a certain skill or niche, or have some back-ups in place.

Choose Strategically

You want to make sure you choose your professional references wisely and that the people you ask to vouch for you actually will. Make sure the people you choose can articulate the best qualities about you. You want them to be able to sell you to this new company.

Although recent references are better, if an older job is vital/relevant to the new positions you are applying for, then try to get someone who worked with you there.

If you and your supervisor don’t/didn’t get along find another leader at the company who can speak up for you. Be creative and find the right person.

(Note: If you’re really concerned about what a reference might say, consider test driving them).

Don’t Forget Please

Once you’ve chosen your Dream Team reference list, give them each a call or schedule an in person meeting. Always remind them what you worked on together and brief them on your current career direction.

When you actually make the professional reference request, try to give them an opportunity to decline gracefully. For example, “I’m searching for a new job. Would you be able to act as my reference?” Never pressure a reference to do it for you unless you want them to give you a weak reference and potentially lose you the opportunity.

References Made Easy

After they’ve agreed to be a professional reference, the ball is in your court. Send them your resume, as well as the job description, and any skills or experiences you want them to highlight in their recommendation of you. Confirm their contact information and make sure you know the way they like best to be contacted.

Present the References

Once that is done, you can create a document that showcases your references to recruiters/employers. Type the list with contact info in the same style and font as your resume. Keep it simple.

For each reference, include their name, job title, organization, department or division, phone number, and email address. For an added bonus include a brief sentence explaining your relationship with the reference. For example, “Joe was my supervisor on 4 major projects over 3 years.” Now have your list ready for any recruiter or hiring manager who requests it.

You don’t have to send the professional references upfront, with your application. If you have some names that will impress people, then that can be included in the resume. Otherwise, save it for when people ask for it.

Keep in Touch

To solidify your reference, perhaps you can send them a handwritten note after they’ve agreed to recommend you. It’s a great way to demonstrate your gratitude and keep your good qualities on the top of their mind. Also, notify them right away every time your submit their name as a reference.

Whether you get the new job or not, keep your references posted. They will appreciate that you included them in the process and be more willing to help you again. Following up is a great way to demonstrate your respect for them.

Now that you’re armed with the right ways to ask for a professional reference, you’re ready to pursue that new job or career. Following these steps is a sure-fire way to get a better reference and do away with the half-hearted or neutral references that cost jobs.

Writing your Unique Selling Proposition – Uncovering Your Achievements, Skills & Strengths

unique selling proposition

We all have something unique about us. Knowing exactly what your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is and being able to communicate this effectively can be very useful, in several career/work situations.

The following 4 exercises will help you uncover your skill-set or competency package, identify your strengths, and write a Strengths Profile & USP.

You can write down the exercises in your own format, or use this workbook, depending on your preference.

1(a). Achievements

The word ‘achievements’ can make some people uneasy because it has connotations with things like coming first in a competition, winning a gold medal or climbing the world’s highest mountain ! However, an achievement is simply an action you have taken with a successful ending.

Looking back over your life, note the achievements you’re most proud of – in any area of your life. Write these down. Your achievements could be work-related, or to do with what you do in your spare time – your leisure activities. They could be academic or school or college related activities. Write down what you are most proud of in your life.

1(b). Skills used in Achievements

For the achievements you have written about, list the knowledge and skills you used in achieving that result.

2(a). List Your Work Skills

Write a list of the skills you used in your work. As well as the skills you used in your most recent job, list those from previous jobs as well.

2(b). Other Specialist or Technical Skills

If you attended any specialist or technical training or educational courses, you may have developed certain specialist or technical skills associated with this course. List any specialist or technical skills you have gained.

3. Strengths

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I really good at?
  • What skills do other people compliment me on or associate me with?
  • What do I do that is unique and that sets me apart from my peers? Or what skill(s) do I have that is unique and sets me apart from others?

4. Survey others about your strengths

Identify up to ten individuals who can give you accurate feedback about your strengths.

This group should include current colleagues, but also, ideally, former colleagues, friends and family members. Tell them it’s an exercise related to your professional development and that you’re not just fishing for compliments (which would be embarrassing for all concerned)!

Ask them to think about what your strengths are, and to give an example to back up every strength they identify. The strengths don’t need to be specifically work-related. In fact, if you’re unhappy in your current job, it’s particularly important that you get feedback from people who know you from outside a work context, as they may identify real strengths that you have which you’re unable to display at work.

[If you wish, you could also ask them what they see as your weaknesses – and again, ask them for specific examples.]

If you are too shy or embarrassed to ask people to tell you about your strengths, you can write what you imagine these people might say about you. The result will still be useful, though not as useful as the actual feedback from these people.

Identify themes in the responses: Once you have all of the responses in from your survey group, start to group the responses together into themes. Some of the themes may reflect strengths you were aware of, but they may also identify things that you hadn’t realised were strengths because they come so naturally to you.

5. Pulling it all together – writing your strengths profile

Draw together the key strengths that have emerged from your analysis, and tie them together in a few paragraphs that summarise what you’re really good at.

This ‘strengths profile’ is useful to revisit anytime you are feeling low or when you find the going tough – it’s a great confidence booster!

However, its purpose here is to help you write your USP – your Unique Selling Proposition.

6. Your USP – Unique Selling Proposition

In business, it’s much easier to make a profit by offering a higher-priced product that uniquely meets someone’s needs. This is why uniqueness is such a highly valued attribute.

Similarly, the person who most uniquely suits the role gets the job. And the person who’s unique and irreplaceable skills help an organisation the most, gets the highest rewards in terms of pay and benefits. Indeed, some top salesmen frequently earn more the CEO!

Your Strengths Profile is only a starting point in defining your USP or Unique Selling Proposition. This collection or package of strengths – your skills and knowledge, are a stand-alone statement of your competencies. However, a USP is more than this. It is a statement of your unique collection of competencies related to a specific purpose – and in relation to résumé crafting or any other aspect of a job search, this means a specific job and employer.

Your USP needs to be targeted

So in defining your USP, you need to know what competencies are needed for a particular purpose.

Let’s use the example of a situation where you are looking for a job, or writing a resume. In this case, you should know what strengths are valued by the specific employer for that specific job. Your personal USP will be the package of competencies that you can offer. But you won’t know what sort of customised package to offer, or develop, unless you analyse what is it that makes people successful in the role(s) you desire, and unless you know what competencies are most highly sought by the employer for that specific role. You can deepen your knowledge of this ideal package by researching the people who are successfully currently work in that role or job type.

  • What skills and personal qualities do they possess?
  • What skills-set do the people who excel in this field have?
  • What skill set does the organisation they work for value?

It is critical that you identify the most valuable characteristics, so spend a sufficient amount of time on this stage. If you are analysing yourself based on factors that the employer, or industry doesn’t value, then you are wasting your time – if no one cares that you can write well, then don’t include it as a valuable characteristic.

6(a). Rank Yourself Against Others

Now that you know what characteristics and competencies are valued for your purpose, you need to know how your own skill-set or package of competencies measure up. Remember, this exercise is designed to figure out how you can best market yourself using a combination of skills.

This doesn’t mean you have to be the best at any individual thing. What it means is that you need to understand and develop what you’re good at, so that you can firstly pick the opportunities most likely to suit you, and secondly concentrate on building your skills to give you that unique edge.

As you go through this exercise, it’s really important that you remain objective and simply concentrate on evaluating yourself and others against the actual skill or competency being analysed. You don’t want to get personal. This isn’t about being better than anyone else – it’s about marketing yourself in the most effective way and working to add extra “product features” to make your USP truly unique.

It’s also important to remember that when you encounter a skill where you are not ranked highly, this does not mean you can’t be successful at the job, and nor does it mean you can’t pursue the opportunity. What it indicates is that you need to have a well-thought-through strategy for dealing with this. Perhaps you should emphasise the combination of skills you have and other areas where you excel, while also setting a goal to develop further skill in your weaker area.


Determine the top five to eight valuable competencies for the job you are interested in. Make sure that you include technical skills as well as soft skills and attitudes. Then give scores out of ten (where 1 is poor and 10 is excellent) for these top characteristics or competencies for yourself, for “average people” in the field, and for two identified high performers at the job.

6(b). Develop your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) Statement

You are now in a position to start writing your USP statement.


Start with the list of competencies where you’re top ranked. These are the obvious competencies you should stress in your USP. You can then move to the other characteristics you ranked highly in and ask yourself:

  • Which of these reinforce areas where I’m top ranked?
  • Do any of my strengths counteract my areas of weakness?

Next, look at your areas of weakness. Being realistic, will they severely impact you or are there things you can do to neutralise them?

Beyond that you need to look closely at the highly ranked competencies of your benchmarks and identify those areas where you can further develop your skills.

6.(c) Action:

Spend a few minutes pulling these points together into a clear and simple USP statement for this opportunity and record it below. Then look at the USP, and think about what sort of organisation would be looking for someone with that USP.

Here is an example:

I am an effective communicator who excels in understanding the needs of customers in the ABC industry, communicating those needs clearly and accurately, and guiding the development of effective solutions to those needs.

Before you finalise your USP, make sure that it is realistic. Put yourself in the minds of the people who are the “gatekeepers” of the opportunity, and ask whether it stacks up as something that will matter decisively to them. Secondly, make sure that the USP genuinely suits you, and captures the essence of who you are. People will quickly see through you if you’re a fake.

How should I send my cover letter and resume?

cover letter resume singapore

I am often asked questions on how to send a cover letter and resume, when making job applications. The most common questions are:

  • What format should the documents be in?
  • Should the cover letter be sent as an attachment, or in the email body?

Regarding the format, when you are responding to job advertisements, in most cases the ad will mention the preferred format i.e. word or pdf. It is best to stick to the format mentioned, since that is probably what the recruiter/employer system is geared for. In other cases, such as when no preferred format is mentioned, or when you are sending an email based on a referral, you could use the format you prefer. However, given the prevailing preference for word documents in job advertisements/applications, it might be better to just stick with that when sending your cover letter/resume.

For the cover letter, if you’re sending an email, then the body of the email will be your cover letter. It’s best not to send it as an attachment, since the goal of the cover letter is to get people to open your resume and you don’t want to make that process more cumbersome. If you are making an online application where there is no form field to add free text, you could attach the cover letter along with your resume.

List of Top Recruitment, Headhunter & Job Agencies in Singapore

worst best recruitment agencies in singapore

During conversations with friends, family and clients I am frequently asked which recruitment agencies in Singapore I recommend and which should be avoided.

While I do have certain impressions & views on the topic, I thought it would be good to get a feel from people in the trenches.

So I started by searching several forums & websites to gather comments, mostly from job seekers, who have dealt with employment / recruitment agencies in Singapore.

I went back to around the end of 2009 and think I managed to put together all comments from forums and other sources available on the internet, which provide feedback on various recruitment agencies in Singapore.

As a job seeker, this article can help you get great information about dealing with recruiters in Singapore, in 2 ways:

  1. Go through or search hundreds of revealing comments from job seekers at the end of this post, to learn from other’s mistakes when dealing with recruiters.
  2. Read feedback collected from other websites/forums, on various recruitment agencies.

Achieve Group/Career Consultant

  • “worst experience is with: achieve”
  • “today I received my first call from a new agency (for me), Achieve Careers. OMG! The way the agent talk is like “take it or leave it”. I was actually interested in the job offer but her attitude really turned me off. Plus she suddenly started to speak in Mandarin halfway. Its actually ok with me but isn’t it kinda unprofessional?”
  • “Achieve has long list of Singaporean blacklisted”
  • I would also like to share my job hunting experiences using these recruitment agencies in Singapore. The worst experience I have ever encountered was with Achieve Group. One of the agent (S*rah T**) called me, talked me down by saying lack of exp, lack of relevant degree cannot ask for high salary and be picky about it. Not only that, she arranged an interview without telling me the location and job description and didn’t confirm with me till the actual day. I was appalled when I found out the JD of the job was something else during the actual interview. After the interview, she continued to talk me into taking the offer so that she can meet her sales quota. Of course, I rejected her offer knowing that this is not the job I want to do. “
  • met a female rather plump consultant who colluded with the client and paid me lesser than required. and threaten me that she will call the police when i ask her about my pay. she is from ACHIEVE CAREER”
  • “Based on the responses I saw in this forum, there are many junior recruiters around and they do not have the adequate knowledge of the job but just wanted to reach their sales quota of the day and hence they become very pushy and aggressive. “
  • “I had a very bad experience with this recruitment agency in Singapore. Achieve group. this evening at abt 8plus a guy call daryl from this company called me and asked me qns in a very rude tone which I felt offended. I told him I felt offended and he replied me very rudely that if just because of wad he asked I felt offended then I’m not suitable for the position and just hang up the phone without saying sorry or thank you. I called back demanding to speak to his manager n his reply was “you wait long long ah” (sounds childish isn’t it? makes me wonder wad type of recruitment consultant this company is hiring.) n when I insisted he actually replied me “what the **** you want” how is this professional when he used vulgarities when his signboard is hanging his employer’s name. I told him how could he use vulgarities. n he dared to challenge me by asking wad can I do to him. n I told him I will bring this matter up. he challenged me again saying “you come la. I invite you down”
  • achieve career got me my 1st job tho, the career consultant xj, was a nice guy and they weren’t as stuck up as i would imagine they to be even tho my qualifications isnt high. Despite going for one interview and the recruiter didn’t want me,he still called me and got me a contract job. Too bad, i didn’t have the opportunity to thank them”

Recruit Express Pte Ltd (Singapore)

  • “i had a bad experience with recruit express a couple of years ago. i got a part-time job as a promoter through them, but on my first day of work, the supermarket i turned up at wasn’t even expecting me! i had no choice but to go back home through no fault of my own.”
  • “i think RE requires people to sign contract and you have to pay quite a lot if you break their contract. i don’t really like RE, most of the time they just totally don’t bother helping me find a job at all.”
  • “Yes, I do agree with many of you who have posted negative comments relating to Recruit Express. I had several interactions with more than a handful of agencies but Recruit Express was the worse I have encountered. “
  • “I consider Recruit Express’ consultants as unprofessional even though they may be dressed in business suits; their actions, their language and their attitude was a total disgrace; they seemed too $$$-focused and overlooked the importance of sustaining future sales and have been having bad reputations which all explained by their substandard service quality (to companies and to candidates). It’s quite helpless to rely on them, seriously.”
  • “Alright I wanna let you guys know that i’m now currently working at RE whoever knows it, I have to admit that i might not be competent enough to do this job. But i just think that its unethical to cheat/ lie or give people a false hope, AN EXTREME false hope especially now during the recession. I’m being forced to hit quotas like meeting 10 candidates a day, send 10 resumes to client and 3 candidate interviews with client.”
  • “Alright i’ve just received letter from RE upon breaching the contract in which i’m rather confused but, i guess i’ll just ignore it. and they ask me to pay 879$ after deducting the working days. that’s total blood sucking, and stated they won’t hesitate to take legal actions.”
  • “Anyway what i know from them is that if I get a job from them, we need to pay $50 by cash or money order. Then must work at least 3 month otherwise we need to pay 80% of yr 1 month expected salary.”
  • “i am currently under contract with RE. One thing i can say is that this agency is delaying my pay. Supposed i shall receive by the end of April. But while my colleagues from other agencies got the pay, i am still like calling up the agency for my pay. Firstly, the first excuse they give me is the payroll officer is on leave”
  • “when i first graduated from junior college, waiting for my university to start, i tried job hunting to direct employers..but without prior work experience, i had to seek help from recruitment agencies in Singapore and my friend introduced RE.. i tot the service wasnt too bad as my agent improved on my resume, found me a suitable job. however, my friend who also got her job through RE happened to read the email that was sent from RE to her employer about the salary payment/transaction. temp/contract staff like me and my friends were paid $6/hour (the lucky ones got it at $7/hour), but in fact, according to the email correspondence between my friend’s employer and RE was that her salary is in fact $9/hour…meaning RE is ‘eating up’ $3/hour as agency fee..too ridiculous to me.”
  • “Strangely, didn’t have that bad experiences wit recruit express…”
  • “I’m a Senior HR professional wkg for various MNCs for about 8 years…Sad to say its true that many recruitment agencies in Singapore r substandard..u will realise that the better recruiters are caucasians notably aussies..they r courteous, professional and will always try to follow up if possible. My opinion is that the worst agency in Singapore is Recruit Express. The only reason they r doing well is they know how to provide good account management to companies but they show a different facet to candidates.”
  • “definitely on my “DO NOT GO” list… many agents behave in a childish & unprofessional manner; major turnoff”
  • “I again had a bad experience with a female consultant after 6 years at Recruit Express UOB Tower 1 56th floor last week. Please aware of this consultant as she use hard sell tactics to force candidates to take up jobs from her private clients. And here is her profile at LinkedIn :…cmpt%3Aprimary
  • Recruit Express is No. 1 on my ‘Worst’ list as well. Only contract you on the very last min and they screw up, telemarketing sale can become retailing sales!”
  • But they were voted best recruitment company leh.. I wonder how they manage to get it.. Ya, I agree, RE really wasting my time to go down fill up form and never reveal details, hide information until last min then tell you”
  • Had bad experience with recruit express also. All different agents from same or different branches will call you down to fill up forms over and over again. They have to understand that it is important not to waste candidate’s time.”
  • Mine RE branch is at the Ngee Ann City. I applied for the post of engineering asst offered by RE via the job portal. That was the first time I went down to Recruit Express and my experience with them was a pleasant one. I was kind of taken aback when I read through forums in jobscentral and hardwarezone to learn that many ppl have bad experiences with RE. I guess I was really very fortunate to come along a friendly and thoughtful consultant who can even goes as far as giving me additional tips/advices on getting through my second interview with their client successfully. “
  • Consultants let candidates make wasted trips to their office , cater only to candidates with high qualifications”

Adecco Singapore

  • “I have taken up numerous job assignments from Adecco and from my experience, I did not see a cut in my salary and neither did they require a fee for using their service.”
  • “If you are looking for a job, go for the reputable ones such as Adecco, Kelly Services and Manpower. Agencies that are in the Global Fortune 500 are even more trusted.”
  • “I do have a personal friend who got a job through Adecco agency and very happy with her current job with good pay and no need to work long hours too.”
  • “Although they are my competitors, i must say that they do have a very good reputation and till now i’m impressed with their service.”
  • “I have good experience with Adecco. Few years back, I got a job with a US MNC through Adecco recommendation and my pay is the same as those who were recruited directly by the MNC”
  • “Adecco and Kelly Services not bad”
  • “i have been to Kelly, Adecco & GMP. All 3 provide good service to me.”
  • “The person who spoke to me is well-mannered and explained patiently to me”
  • “Adecco is much better.”


recruiters in singapore

Kelly Services

  • “If you are looking for a job, go for the reputable ones such as Adecco, Kelly Services and Manpower. Agencies that are in the Global Fortune 500 are even more trusted.”
  • “I feel that Kelly Services is not a bad choice.”
  • “Kelly services seems quite reputable and reliable”
  • “Adecco and Kelly Services not bad”
  • “I’ve gotten a job (worked for an established logistic co.) before from Kelly Services. The consultant even came down to the my workplace to check up on my friend & i and also some of my other colleagues, who apparently gotten the job through KS too. Anyways, there weren’t any processing fees whatsoever but just the same ‘no termination within 3 months’ thingy.”
  • “Kelly Services for me. had a bad experience with them once.”
  • “i have been to Kelly, Adecco & GMP. All 3 provide good service to me.”
  • “Kelly Service didn’t give me good impression when their consultant called me, so i let them fly kite”
  • “Some weird agent asked me go to her office keep on calling my given name as my surname! told her not to release my CV unless she tell me what company she got pissed off and became very rude! I was like WTF!”

SG Recruiters

“Sgrecruitment is the worst”

JAC Recruiters Singapore

  • “I considered JAC recruitment as the best recruitment agency in Singapore thus far. They are sincere with their service, very professionally and ethical. Their business operation standard has far exceeded beyond other agencies that still use paper+pen for registration and have you to fill up few pages”
  • “JAC is good while recruit express is crap.”

Mullan Schwartz

“I have just get a job here in Singapore with Goldman Sachs but secured my position through a Hong Kong based search firm called Mullan Schwartz. They were very professional and concentrate on mainly the investment banking sector.”

Global Sage

“I also managed to secure a number of interviews through another firm called HK firm called Global Sage. The firm is staffed by people that really understand investment banking and who have great contacts in the market.”

Manpower Singapore

  • “If you are looking for a job, go for the reputable ones such as Adecco, Kelly Services and Manpower. Agencies that are in the Global Fortune 500 are even more trusted.”
  • “Best experience with: manpower”
  • “For IT jobs, try Manpower Staffing. May not be the most responsive but definitely worth your time. Me & friends – all IT folks got our jobs from there. Consultants very friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. They fight for our salary as well.”
  • “In terms of more junior positions, they r one of the better agencies together with Randstad. No doubt about it. Everyone knows they r the master vendor for IBM. In other words, you wan a more credible agency you can use Manpower.”

Axis Manpower

“Axis Manpower is the worst agency”

Global Manpower Professionals (GMP) Group

  • “GMP is quite good too as there is CPF contribution from employer part too. I was working as temp IT position then. I seldom see CPF contribution from recruitment agency before for temp position, correct me if I am wrong.”
  • “i have been to Kelly, Adecco & GMP. All 3 provide good service to me.”
  • “remember a REALLY bad experience with GMP Recruitment Service. They turned their noses up at me and said I lacked drive and ambition and would remain a failure in life.”
  • Consultants with stuck up attitude , Look down on candidates with low qualifications”

Unilite Recruitment Services

“I called to enquire about a job before sending in my resume since it is stated in their ad that applicants can call for a confidential chat. Twice, I was rebuffed by an impatient lady who keep saying to send in my resume so that they can KIV my profile if there are no suitable openings. ”

Thomas J Consulting Services

“I went there for interview and the interviewer keep yawning during the interview and even handed me, not his, but another consultant’s namecard!”

Robert Walters Singapore

“This manager is also impatient. Did not want to talk too much to me and she rudely cut me off.”

TBC HR Consulting

  • TBC is commonly recognised as one of the worst recruitment agencies in Singapore.”
  • “Agree with you should forget about TBC. This company blacklisted by many candidates and companies. They last time always delay payment to their staff and promoters until a lot left.”
  • TBC is the worse of the worst recruitment agency. Beware of this TBC consultant, Dave! I’m not going to seek any jobs from TBC and neither am I going to recommend to anyone. “

Search Network

  • “Recruitment agencies in Singapore that charges a fee are purely BS, man! Search Network is another case.”
  • “Search Network are dishonest with payment of salary . You’ll always get $50++ lesser then your actual pay and when u call up the consultants to clarify . COINCIDENTALLY , they’re not there ALL THE TIME .”
  • “Search Network not bad. got my current job.”

Ace Recruiters

“1. I send in my resume on Monday, they called me on Tues morning and I was offered a job on Tues afternoon and went down to their office to sign the contract

  1. the staffs are very polite. Every call they make, they always start with “Hi, is this XXX? i am YYY from Ace Recruiters.” Everytime i call them, they will start with the standard greeting of “hi, XXX company, i am YYY”
  2. And while i was at their office signing the contract, they are really busy, keep making phone calls and doing job matches. i also listen to the way they speak, thus i know that they are not acting but really polite and very friendly as well.
  3. The staff also went through the contract with me in detail and was very patient with all sorts of questions that i asked (i still didn’t trust them 100% though) and they are very transparent in terms of how the money will be process, submission of timesheets etc. all these are explained clearly

the only thing is that they only have 3 staff, so they are really super busy. sometimes the staff might forget so you must take the initiative to check out details”

 Raffles Agency

“The Worst Recruitment Agency EVER in SINGAPORE is RAFFLES AGENCY..I hope Jobseekers never approach this agency..they will fix and change your CREDENTIALS”

BGC Group

  • “Not that bad, no tricks unlike RE”
  • “My worst experience so far is with BGC Group. I applied for one of their jobs through jobsite. One day later I got a phone call from them around noon but I didn’t pick up on time, I called back at 12.10 and was told to call back later as they were all out to lunch. At 2pm I called again and they were STILL all afk (wow 2 hour lunch!), the consultant on the line took my name then promised to ask around to see who called me, ofc there was no reply. 3 or so days later the same thing happened again, I noticed a missed call and called back, I gave the consultant who pick up my name and ask him to help to ask around regarding who called me, he tried to taichi me away but i insisted and then he put me on hold, and after that came back and then said that nobody called me. I want to work for BGC now. 2+ hour lunch + you can prank call jobseekers for fun!”
  • Worst Agency = BGC & TBC & RE. No calls back from BGC/TBC if u failed 1 of the client’s interview – no other lobang for u – Blacklisted !!”
  • TBC/BGC i think same company under 1 boss. If once you attend 1 of their’s client’s interview then if failed, they usually say will KIV ctc u if there anything. but they would throw yr resume aside in the bin and no more news from them. I dont know why both agency are like that.”
  • BGC not bad, looks very corporate. Depending on which office you go to. The one at One Raffles Place, offers alot of call centre jobs. The office at Former Hitachi Tower are more of perm & high positions.”


“They r one of the better recruitment agencies in Singapore together with Randstad.”


employment agencies in singapore

People Search Singapore

“Recruit Express and Peoplesearch are related. Peoplesearch is a sister company of a search firm called HR Net One. The owner of RE is the sibling of the owner of HR Net One. Thats why their philosophy and way of doing biz is similar”


  • “Ambition is a search firm which means they only handle positions above 4k normally. Yes their consultants are quite professional. But then search consultants normally are more experienced and professional”
  • “Recently got a job through Ambition. I think they specialize in operations in the finance industry. The consultant was quite good. Before the interview, he asked me down to his office to prep me for the interview and gave me more info of the hiring managers, which i found very useful. After that, he kept updating me with the results, so ya lor.. I think overall experience is good”

Career Central

Hi friends, I just want a add to the list of worst recruitment agencies in singapore. “CAREER CENTRAL” in tanjong pagar. Until you pay the money they ask, they will respond. Around 1000$ i paid. Later no respect or response they will provide. They will shout back if you ask for reason/clarifications. I dont know how people take others money just for granted shameless creatures. Just an eye wash thy will do. Arrange for a interview and for that they charged around 200$. same company same position they will send 100’s of people and say every one got selected.Then they say give 750$ for mom application procedures. knowingly your application will get rejected[Every one can do this by checking self assesment tool to check salary]they will tell it doesn’t matter and you will get selected with other criterias.They will apply for pass and say thats it we did our job, but you are not qualified. And no repaymet of money. It takes only 60$ for application even that they will get back if our application got rejected. But these people costed like hell..they know we wont be shouting back at them since we would have been in short term visit we will get back to our country and they can live happily. I know around 10 people paid the same in that week. Not even one got selected. I don know how many they will cheat for a month then surprised to think about year. They don understand how people suffer to earn that money. They will also suffer the same way getting cheated by others. Kind advice dont approach/trust and lose hope. Better not to approach this idiots so that atleast we will not feel cheated along with not having a job.”

TCC Group

  • I went to TCC hr to apply for hotel food server job part time, and they require $10 for TCC card, non refundable paid during job training wif employer. Is this reasonable? Also, I have to go to the agency to collect salary, is this standard practice?”
  • i tried TCC before but not on the retail nor F&B side, they also offer part time work at Marina Bay Sand Casino as well. so far experience quite good, if your working at casino, clothing and meals provided..etc salary wise is standard $7 per hour depending on where field your working”
  • Tcc also scam one. They do give some training but the actual job slots? Nothing.”

IT Force

“One more recruitment agency in Singapore to avoid at all cost. IT Force Pte Ltd. their only client is NCS and their big problem is they always late in salary payment. with reason that ncs takes time to pay them. once my salary was late for 2.5 months. Please avoid this agency at all cost.”

Recruit Plus

I would like to add RecruitPlus into the list of worst recruitment agencies in Singapore. I called them up to enquire about a position they have listed on JobsDB. The consultant, Christopher Lim, answered my call and did not even address himself. He spoke with a rather unpleasant/unfriendly tone as if everyone owes him the world. What made me unhappy was when he asked me what I wanted when clearly I told him I called to enquire about the position availability and more details of the job. None of the queries were answered, after which the call was disconnected abruptly. I called back immediately and questioned why the call was hung up. He responded saying that he was in the lift and did not even apologize. He went on asking what my expected and previous salary was and commented rudely after hearing my answer. His exact words were,”Huh! Why you want to change job, your pay so good, I suggest you stay in your current job.” I was literally speechless. He went on saying I don’t have the experience without even vetting through my resume. Totally un-professional! The best part is that I googled his Linkein account and found out he does not even have experience in this field. Really makes you wonder if the recruitment agency really has the capacity to actually help job seekers.”


  • “share with chiu my experience with xcellink.. went for interview last week and few days later was offered the job. went to their office to sign the LOA and they told me to do some xray before i start my job. supposed to start my job this week but when i called them, they said haven’t process my clearance etc. then few days later, call me again saying no longer have this job position. wtf? angry
  • “Consultants not serious and giggle during interview , let candidates make wasted trips to their office , stuck up attitude”
  • Had a very bad experience with Xcellink Pte Ltd named Jacqueline(Piony). Don’t even know what is she doing or reading.”

Advent Resource Consultancy

very rude when calling candidates on the phone , attitude problems , lecture candidates on the phone , hurried interview with candidates at their office , not sincere.”

Multiply Search

“Insisted got many job offers for me, when I asked to email me the job details or call me, he didn’t do it. But when I went down, nothing at all. Also, the person who talked to me wasn’t the one who contacted me.”


  • I would like to add “Hutranz” into one of the worst recruitment agency. As they requested me to provide a early termination from my previous company and promise me they will absorb the penalty, they didn’t give me the “black and white” as i keep asking for it. As they keep saying that they need time to produce the “black and white”, i worked for 2 weeks in an uneasy manner.

    During my payday, i didn’t receive my pay. When I called them, they mentioned that my pay is on hold for “various” reason. They were unable to provide me the “reason” as i asked them. I feel cheated therefore i quit as there is no guarantee that i will get my pay. As i asked them what is the proper procedure to leave the work, what is the notice, they told me 1 word – Why should I pay you? This word is told by “Director” of Huntranz, Suresh. I am furious and i have no way to go about it. Therefore I informed the place I worked for that i will just go and find another job. 

    And within 1 day, I received a “black and white” from them stating that they do not owe me any salary. A word to describe my situation: WTF??? Feeling sad and betrayed, I left the company without getting paid. Therefore hope that the people after reading this post, won’t encounter such issue like me anymore.”

Success Human Resources

Not sure if anyone tried Success Human Resources(peace centre).  I have been spamming my resumes all over, going for interviews to find a job I’d like. Gotten a call from a recruiter (J*nsen), been asked to head down for an interview with him before I went to their client for another interview, for all, which I went, and their client, a banking organization, accepted me. He told me that if i verbally accepted the job, it means that i have committed to the job, and anytime if i back out, i would have to pay a month salary for compensation. After that he told me to start work on Wednesday, then he called again to say they want me to start the following monday instead, and that he will call me back to confirm with me. Of course that didnt happen, and I have to call him for the updates. Then finally he told me that the hiring manager decided to freeze the position. In this process, I rejected 4-5 jobs. 

From then on, he didnt really wanna give an F about me. He’s not even guilty of this. I got so pissed off that I scolded him and ask him to delete my profile from their data base.”

Rcube Vital Consultancy

“But I have recently tried a new recruitment agency and had a not bad experience with them as the staff are polite and friendly, they feel sincere enough to me. Donno if anyone here heard of them before: Rcube Vital Consultancy.”

Applied job with them before, didn’t get selected tho but their staff quite friendly compared to the others…”

Making the Transition from Freelance to Full-Time Work

freelance back to corporate world

Wondering why people would want to transition from freelance to a full-time job?

Working as an independent professional is a dream come true for most people. Who wouldn’t want control of your own time, freedom to decline projects that don’t seem interesting, and the opportunity to make a name for yourself? Yup, it’s easy to understand why those “tied” to corporate life look with envy at those who do freelance work.

But believe it or not, independence has its share of disadvantages. Working alone can be, well, lonely, and there’s nothing like the company of faces you get to see every day.  Having marketing rest solely on your shoulders is a lot of pressure; going freelance means if you don’t close a deal, you don’t get to earn. You’d also have to forgo benefits like medical plus dental, 13th and 14th month salaries, and paid vacation leaves.

So if you’re considering a transition from freelance to go back to a regular 9-to-5, don’t worry: there’s nothing wrong with you. But you have to remember, such a career change requires big adjustment. Working for a company versus being self-employed are two drastically dissimilar things.

Below are some of the things you have to work on when making the transition from freelance to 9 to 5.

Don’t view (and therefore present) your self-employment as weakness.

Getting full time work when you’ve been freelancing for so long can be difficult. Job recruiters will often take one look at your resume and assume you can’t possibly thrive in an atmosphere of corporate pressure. And yes, this may be true. But this doesn’t mean you’re completely unqualified or you can’t bring something extra to the company.

Think of transferable skills associated with self-employment. Initiative, confidence, self-presentation, decisiveness, and effective project management are just a few. And being in charge of your own business means you’re well-rounded — you’re marketer, worker, customer service, and personnel manager all in one.  Emphasize these skills in your resume and in the job interview.

And if HR wants to talk about how hard you’ll find life in a dynamic company, share how self-employment isn’t exactly a walk in the park. For instance, when they challenge your ability to work with a boss, tell them that freelancing means working for several bosses all at once! Yup, you’re way ahead of everyone else when it comes to managing up.

Anticipate the question: why the change?

As mentioned earlier, many people look with envy at the self-employed, so transitioning from freelancer to employee means HR will have to do some mental gymnastics. You have to be prepared to give an answer that wouldn’t make you appear as if you’re escaping a sinking business (which doesn’t reflect well on you) or you’ve exhausted your energy and creativity as a service-provider. Instead, illustrate how the career change is actually going up the career ladder. You can share, for example, how serving a larger company will give you the opportunity to apply your best practices to a larger market.

Brace yourself: Actually doing a project is demanding work.

If you’re a freelance consultant, you’re probably used to visiting clients only when requested. Being an outsider and an expert, you’re in a position to assess what’s going on in a company and provide qualified advice. The thing is: the perspective from the outside is radically different from the inside. Many consultants, especially those who have not worked from end to end of projects in a good while, do get culture shock when reminded how toxic the ‘real’ world can be.

So start your 9 to 5 with a reality check — and a large serving of humble pie. Your industry may have changed significantly since you went independent; it’s best to start with a blank slate. Some of your work-related muscles may have atrophied from underuse, so take the time to re-learn old skills.  View it as an adventure, like visiting a well-loved place you haven’t seen in a long while.

Get comfortable working with structure.

Going back to a full time job means you have to surrender a lot of control over how you do things. Unless your company offers flexi-time, you’d have to clock in at regular hours. You’d have several heads to consult before you can run with your ideas. There’ll be protocols left and right. You may even have to do more paper pushing than you’re used to.

The best way to go about adjusting into new habits is to just jump into it. Most psychologists say it takes 7 weeks to learn a new habit and about 3 months to settle into it. In the meantime, remind yourself why you decided to make the change in the first place. Structure can be stifling but it can also be comforting — it’s a source of stability. The structure, for instance, means that you would know beforehand how much work you have to do and when you can take your rest. This is as opposed to freelancing where you just don’t know if you’ll have income or you’ll have to work through the weekend.

And lastly, review your social skills.

Not all self-employed individuals have rusty social skills. But those that do (e.g. writers who work at home for online companies) may need to re-learn how to interact again with humanity!

You may have forgotten how to survive little irritants that come with personality quirks, or manage the stress of a diverse team. You may need to resolve conflicts face-to-face instead of email. Breathe deep and remember you’re no longer working alone. There are perks to anticipate anyway such as increased social support and better self-regulation.

With these tips in mind, you should see a smoother transition from freelance to full time work.

Personality Tests: Can You Cheat?

no-cheating-personality test psychometric

Personality tests are often part of the job application process. Aside from assessing if you have the right education and experience, employers use personality tests to know what kind of person you are. Are you systematic or a scatterbrain? Do you shy away from people or do you welcome the limelight? Can you be assertive when the situation calls for it, or do you fold like a stack of cards in the face of opposition?

Of course you want to put your best foot forward, which is why it pays to take such tests seriously. But to what extent? Should you go as far as cheating? Moreover, is it even possible to cheat in these tests?

Can you cheat on personality tests?

First off, is cheating possible? The straight answer is yes.

HR practitioners would probably shoot me on the spot for revealing a trade secret, but common sense would tell you that cheating on these tests is a walk in the park. If you pay attention to the questions, you’d realize there’s a way of answering that would put you in the best light, when answering personality tests.

Consider a question asking what you typically do when faced with a disagreeing Joe. Your options are (a) keep your opinion to yourself, (b) respectfully but firmly share the reasons why you disagree, and (c) walk away in an angry huff. Obviously, option (a) makes you seem like you lack courage to defend your opinions. Option (c), on the other hand, makes you look like you lack emotional intelligence. The best answer is (b) as it’s a balance between two extremes.

It’s worth noting though that personality tests do have built-in mechanisms to measure your tendency to fake a response, lie, or inflate your good points.  Will not discuss them here, but yes, the better-designed tests are more cheat-proof.  More so, high quality personality tests don’t always phrase questions in a direct way. You may think a question is measuring a particular trait, but in reality, it’s measuring a different aspect of your personality. Trained HR practitioners also triangulate results: what comes out of your personality test has to be verified by interview, background check.

Should you cheat on personality tests?

A more important question, perhaps, is “should you cheat?” The answer is as straight as in the first question: no, you shouldn’t. You can probably get away with cheating, may even get a job because of it, but the bad outweighs the good.

For starters, personality tests are measures of job fit. By definition, there’s no passing or failing a personality test, as there is no right or wrong personality — you are who you are. But some personalities are better suited to some jobs than others. A marketer is expected to be extroverted, an IT specialist need to have the patience of a saint. Faking a test may lead you to getting a job you’ll eventually come to hate, as your personality makes you better suited to doing something else.

But more so, getting caught would bring you the exact opposite of what you’re hoping for! Instead of creating a great impression, cheating tells a potential employer that you either have an unrealistic view of your capabilities or you’re a person with no integrity. Contrary to what many job-hunting books would tell you, employers are more impressed with people who come across as genuine than those who mouth (or in this case write) canned responses. Be yourself; for sure you have enough good points that would sell you without having to embellish details.

Lastly, results of personality tests tell HR what your training needs are. If you lie, you might miss the opportunity to be molded into a better performer. Worse, you’re likely to disappoint those who hire you as it will become soon apparent you oversold yourself.  Humility is a hard pill to swallow for some, but at the end of the day, it is the personality trait that would get you far.

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.