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How to stand out from other jobseekers in this recession

I have recently landed a job at a startup company in the human resource industry as a digital marketer. I came across many forums which are related to career subjects and saw many people ask questions such as why it is so hard to find a job in Singapore or how to get a job during this crisis. According to Straitstimes, the Ministry of Trade and Industry predicted that the Singapore economy will shrink by 4 percent to 7 percent. Many companies are reducing their recruitment plan and even lay off some of their current employees. Thus, a lot of people are struggling to find jobs. What should they do to increase their chances of employment? Here is my story about how I can find a job during this situation and some tips I have concluded from hundreds of good answers out there to help struggling jobseekers find a light at the end of the tunnel.

Determine clearly what career is right for you

Sometimes you don’t even know what career is right for you but you’re not alone. It’s not easy to know what is your passion or your most interest. Here are some tips for you to find that.

  • Look at the flip side of your weakness. Think about what you really hate to do, avoid that work and look at its opposite side. For example, you hate to meet new people and you enjoy working alone, you are probably suited for research work.
  • What subject do you like to read about? If you are usually drawn and being attracted by one certain subject, that should be your passion and interest.
  • How do you spend your leisure time? Sometimes a hobby can turn into a career, take gaming YouTubers as an example.
  • What kind of work are you always happy to do for free? Find some volunteer work and see if it’s your interest. I’ve seen many teachers who had taught for free before it became their main career.
  • You can also ask the people who know you well to give their thoughts about what career you should go for.

To avoid losing the way in your life and career, it’s essential to determine your interest and passion. That will take much time, effort, and even money to find out but it's worth it. In my story, I used an old school method which was trying whatever job that I thought was my passion. From being a chef assistant, a bartender, a salesman, a traditional marketer to finally being a digital marketer as today. By now, everyday working is my happy day, all the hard-working hours and stress do not matter much because I love the work that I am doing.

Prepare skill and experience needed for your future career

When you find out what career you love to do, it’s time to prepare for that. If your future career is well-prepared, you will definitely stand out from other candidates. So how?

If I say that you should have a certificate for your resume to get through a CV scranning round, is it what you already know?

I will tell you something new!

Besides the time you spend in schools, learn something new and related to your future career on Google, Facebook, Youtube, and online courses that will boost your competitive advantage. Your school will never teach you enough knowledge and skills needed for your profession. They teach the same things years ago that may no longer apply to your job. There are a lot of things that you have to hand on in order to understand clearly and get experience. For example, I used to learn SEO, social media marketing, copyrighting, Google ads and Facebook ads on YouTube and online courses.

Now, you have your knowledge but the question is where can you apply that knowledge to get experiences and skills? INTERNSHIP! Yes, Internship, where you can bring your knowledge to get experience and make your resume attractive. Therefore, applying for an internship or part-time job whenever you are able such as on your break course, summer or free time. Internship also helps you to find out whether that career is what you love to do.

I was a foreign student studying at a private university in Singapore, so it’s illegal for me to do any job while I hold a student pass. Therefore, I created my own website, Facebook page and Facebook group to practice what I have learned on digital marketing. You can always find a solution if you think out of the box.

My advice for those who haven’t prepared for the skill and experience needed is that you can find a part-time job or a low paying job. You should get just enough money from those jobs in order for you to survive and pay your tuition. It doesn’t matter if the job is what you don’t really like because it’s essential for you to pass this hard time and get ready for your bright future career.

Start searching for jobs and tailor your resume

Another factor for you to stand out is an attractive resume and the right job search channels.

If you think a resume with many skills and several experiences in different positions is enough, it’s actually not. Recruiters extremely hate the copy & paste resume that they may throw it into a trash bin instantly. A customized resume for each job you apply is necessary, it may take much time but your effort will pay back. Read the job description carefully and try to reorganize your resume from the most important experience for the job down to the least important one. You also need to do some research to get a good idea about the company that you are applying for, so you can write a fancy cover letter. A good resume will bring you a higher opportunity to get the interview.

Finding the right job search channel is also an important factor. According to the article What can young jobseekers do to survive this recession?, Sharon Lim said that “I always believe in keeping a very healthy network. For example, if you applied for a job, and you are one of hundreds or thousands of applicants. One way you can stay ahead of them is if you constantly build that network of people that you know.” Your network can help you to refer your resume to the HR department at their company. The chance you can be selected for the interview round is higher. Sometimes being referred by a good reputation referrer, you can easily land the job without much effort. For those who don’t have any referrer, you can find your jobs in some online job portals in Singapore, there are a lot of jobs for you listed there.

Prepare for the interview and nailed it

This is the final step in the process to land your dream job, so why don’t put all your last effort into it. Be well-prepared and nailed your interview. Here are something you should note for preparing:

  • Make a deep research about the company. I know that you already read about the company before you applied but here is when you have to research it in detail. Spend a lot of your time reading about the company’s history, milestone, culture, working environment, what they are doing, and most importantly what they need from you. If you have a clear idea about what the company wants from you, you can sell yourself better. Deep research about the company can prove that you want the job and you’re serious for the interview. You should also do research about your interviewer. You can search their name on some social media platforms to know who they are and what topics they are most likely to hear from you.
  • You should read about what to bring to the interview such as copies of your resume, pen and note, breath mints or floss, portfolio, reference lists, and a list of questions that you should ask your interviewer. Moreover, your outfits impact greatly on the first impression with your interviewer, so read about it and choose your clothes properly. Always remember to smile at your interviewer which can improve your confidence and the interviewer will see you with a friendly eye.
  • Practice, practice, and practice. That is one of the most important keys to a successful interview. You should practice answering the most common interview questions repeatedly until you get fluent and confident. It’s essential for preparing to answer the questions that you are likely to hear in the interview because that’s how you can stand out from other interviewees.

I landed my job a few months ago, so It’s time when Singapore was still under lockdown. My interview with the interviewer was through Skype and I could wear casual clothes. It was pretty comfortable for me. I noted all the important things on Microsoft Word and used it when I forgot something. To be honest, I prepared everything well, so the interview went smoothly and I got the offer after one week.

Hope this article is helpful for you and you could take something valuable from here. The last word I would like to say is Good Luck!

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