In the latest labour market report published by the Ministry of Manpower, total employment continues to grow, higher than 2018’s figure. Despite the good forecast, it’s important to be constantly job-ready and vigilant, by keeping up with the current market trends.
While the job search is tough with loads of information available, these five tips are what you need to emerge top in the game.
1. Spend your free time productively
While waiting to enter into the working world, you should use your free time carefully by participating in activities that will boost your marketability. Here are some ways:
Upgrade your skills – It’s important to not let your skills deteriorate while on the search. In fact, National Trades Union Congress U PME Centre consultant Loh Peizhen advised jobseekers to keep their skills relevant and constantly network.
She explains, “Consider doing short-term project work and reconnect with old networks and form new ones.”
Engage a Career Coach – Talking to a professional can boost your chances of scoring an interview. Career coaches can pinpoint specific areas of improvement and offer personalised advice for you.
Mr Abdullah Shafie, who tapped on Workforce Singapore’s Careers Connect Programme, shared that his experience helped him score seven interviews and five job offers. A big leap from the lack of responses he received before.
Look for temporary work – While on the job search, it’s helpful to use your spare time by doing temporary jobs (part-time or contract). Doing gigs can help expand your network and expose you to a variety of job scopes.
“For me, it helped me understand the job market like where the opportunities and demands are which helped during the job hunt,” said Huang Pei Shi, who worked part-time jobs unrelated to her preferred industry before landing her current job.
2. Be Strategic with your resume
A well-structured and relevant resume can help boost your chances of landing an interview.
An effective resume should include specific skills and experiences that will help you stand out from the crowd. It would also signal to the employer that you are a good fit for the role.
For those with little relevant work experience, highlight any projects you have undertaken that showcases your talents and transferable skills.
Alternatively, you can take up professional courses such as digital marketing or cybersecurity under Workforce Singapore’s Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs).
3. Create your online brand
If you haven’t already done so, you should start creating a strong online presence using social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
According to Irene McConnell, executive coach and director of Arielle Careers, maintaining a professional social media presence is essential for the job search.
“Failing to pay attention to your social media presence during a job search is like driving with a flat tire,” She says. “You might make it to your destination, but it will cost you time and money.”
But remember: Keep your online presence as professional as possible.
4. Attend Career Fairs
Career fairs (physical and virtual) are great opportunities for you to explore your options and to network.
At career fairs, numerous employers are present and a variety of jobs are advertised. It’s a good way for you to find out what the company’s culture is like and if the company is the right fit for you.
Workforce Singapore hosts physical career fairs every month, with walk-in interviews for specific sectors being held at various locations across Singapore.
For those who are unable to attend physical ones, Workforce Singapore also organises Virtual Career Fairs (VCFs). Similar to physical career fairs, islandwide jobs are grouped under a central theme and offered. If you find yourself stuck, helpful career resources are also available.
5. Develop your soft skills
While expertise knowledge is crucial, you should not neglect your soft skills as they are essential in the workplace.
In fact, the 4,000 professionals surveyed globally in Linkedin’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report indicated that training for soft skills is an utmost priority.
Quoting Jerzy Szlosarek, CEO of Epsilon Telecommunications, “The rapidly changing digital landscape means that employers should consider intrinsic qualities like critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills.”
Career Coaching is a good way to identify your personality, strengths, weaknesses and areas to improve. Workforce Singapore offers Career Coaching, who can offer personalised advice to help grow your soft skills.