I was born in a different time. I don't know how it was like when people used to flip newspapers to find jobs. Ever since I graduated from college, I have been using the internet to do that and I thought it was just the way it is.
To apply for jobs online is easy. Applicants don't have to do too much work. Just type out a resume and they can start searching for jobs straightaway. Employers see more resumes being posted online, and in the meantime, they put up more job advertisements online.
Singaporeans use a number of job listings websites to find employment, such as JobStreet, JobsDB, ST Jobs and Monster. Even the government has one - Jobs Bank.
But is it easier to find a job just by browsing through job opportunities online? However internet savvy you are, however good you are at social media, one crucial step of the job hunting process hasn't changed: Interview. To secure an interview is the first goal for job seekers. But in the digital age, that presents new challenges and demands that applicants become more creative.
We at GET.com have come up with 5 best ways to find a job in Singapore in the digital age.
1. Polish Your Resume
Remember this: You are not the only one who's applying for jobs online. There are many other potential candidates who are just like you or more experienced than you. Before you secure an interview, the first thing that an employer evaluates is your resume.
You probably know the importance of a resume; Singapore Workforce Development Agency's website also provides guidelines on how to write a resume. But even a well-written resume can't be used for every job application.
According to 2014's survey done by JobStreet, for those members who have updated their resumes on its website, 46% of them received calls from headhunters or employers. Among them, 71% got the first call within the first month after updating their resumes.
You can customise your resume to target towards the type of job you are applying for. If the position requires experienced candidates, highlight what you have been doing in the past and what accomplishments you have achieved in your previous roles. If the position needs certain skills, make sure you have those skills and make them stand out in your resume.
2. Maintain A Good Online Profile
This include all your social networking profiles: Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and others. Your drunken stupor may draw a few laughs from your friends, your rants might win sympathies from your followers, but they will probably kill your chance at a job.
According to 2013's online study by JobsCentral, about 75% employers in Singapore research on potential candidates online, including Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.
The teenage blogger Amos Yee will have a hard time looking for a job in Singapore, however famous he is in the blogosphere. It's hard to imagine that any company will recruit someone who was remanded for 2 weeks at the Institute of Mental Health.
3. Establish Connections On LinkedIn
Image credit: LinkedIn.com
Employers may snoop on your social profile online, but they won't judge you for the number of your Facebook friends or your followers on Twitter. Instead, the right connections you have on LinkedIn will help you with your job applications.
According to the survey by LinkedIn, job hunting using social networking sites for professionals, such as LinkedIn, is the most popular option for job seekers in Singapore.
The same survey also shows that word-of-mouth is the 3rd most popular option. But if you haven't been in the workforce too long, the connections you have will be limited. This makes LinkedIn, a social networking site designed for professionals, more useful.
LinkedIn makes it easy for you to find the right connections: People you already know in the same company, people in the same industry, and people whom your colleagues know about.
LinkedIn also allows you to get endorsements from the people you've worked with, which can be served as word-of-mouth online!
4. Search Jobs The Right Way
Job listing websites are quite straightforward when it comes to job searching. They are designed to facilitate your job hunting process. You key in the industry, the area you specialise in and job titles you are most interested in, and they will generate the results for you.
It's another story when it comes to social media.
Instead of searching for vacancies, you can follow those companies you are most interested in on social media. In doing so, you can find out the latest development and news and keep yourself informed about what's been happening with the organisation.
If you are called to an interview, your future employer will appreciate you doing your homework.
5. Conduct Your Own Due Diligence
While companies might be researching on you as a potential candidate, you should be doing the same thing before you apply for a job.
Many people know it's important to check out a company's official website to have an overview of their business before heading to the interview. But you need to do more than that! It's unlikely you will get any bad news about the company on its official website, since every company maintains its own website. But it doesn't mean it's the best employer.
Do some extra research by checking forums on job listing websites, search for news about the company from a third party. News from mainstream media are usually neutral. So if any news about the company in legal trouble or in a seriously bad financial status are enough warning for you.
But use your own discretion when you hear comments in a forum.
If someone is particularly bitter about the experience he got from a company, chances are he might just be a disgruntled individual. If there are a lot of talks and comments from different people, you may need to be careful.
There's another thing you need to watch out for. In my previous job hunting experience, I had seen certain companies put out the advertisement about the same position every one to two years.
It's worth asking why that position constantly needs to be filled. They might be expanding, but it's also possible that the turnover rate of the company is amazingly high.
This is when you need to do more research on your own. Ask around and find out if your colleagues or former colleagues have heard about the company, or research online to see if there's any news about the company.
Just two years ago, a supervisor at a local company made himself famous when the video of him slapping an intern went viral online. I bet that searches about the company must have skyrocketed in the following few months (It was referred to as a "local private firm" in the news.).
You might not be able to find out anything about the company, especially if it's a small one, but the point is: You need to do your own due diligence.