Requiring A Working Visa Isn’t The Reason Why You Are Still Unemployed


Recruiter:Are you Singaporean or PR?



You:Hello, are you still in the line? Did the line just got cut off?”

Recruiter: “No, I’m still on the line. We’ll, thanks for your time. I’ll call you back.”

But they never do. The city of opportunities, they say. In the blink of an eye, few months have passed since you started looking for a job. You’re not longer “picky,” you apply even to jobs, which deeply inside you, know you are not qualified. As months pass by, your confidence and positivity blow away. You seek to be comforted, and instead, you read heartbreaking stories of successful expats giving up on their career or taking pocket money jobs because “companies only want Singaporeans or PRs.”

If the visa isn’t the reason, why can’t I find a job?

As a career strategist, I get this question often. Despite, we can all agree that the employment market is shrinking and becoming more challenging for expatriates, I’ve never experienced the working visa being the deal breaker. In fact, every expat I’ve worked with in EP, DP or LTVP has landed a job in town.

What’s the deal breaker, then?

I’m open to all sorts of job opportunities.” -kind of answer
The translation is: “I don’t know what I want” or “I’m so desperate to get a job that you’d take whatever you offer.” 
Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes for a moment. Would you hire someone who is screaming “give me a salary!”?

Applying for jobs through company websites, job boards or LinkedIn.
Do you feel like you fall on deaf ears? That’s because you do. As mentioned in a previous article, 75% resumes are rejected before been seen by human eyes thanks to the ATS. Not to say that if you reach to the human eye, you are leaving your future on hands of human resources or recruiters, professionals who often aren’t particularly experts in your field.

Relying too much on headhunters or recruiters
Besides the above reason, it makes your employability more expensive. As you may have already guessed, they don’t represent you for fun. They usually get paid anything between 10% to 33% of your annual salary. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

The big question here is, “how do I become a candidate as an expat?”

As a career strategist, I get this question often. After helping 97% of our expat clients land jobs in town in less than 3 months I found these 3 tips tremendously helpful.

Build your personal branding around your uniquenesses: Don’t rush to build your CV or LinkedIn profile! Identify your unique selling points first. In other words, why would a company hire you despite all the “inconvenience” of being an expat?This answer, will not only make your CV & LinkedIn set apart but you help you with the “so complicated” elevator pitch and answering the frightening question “why you?” or “tell me about yourself.”

Be Proactive: Don’t wait for the job to be announced. If you like a company, take the initiative and approach them. I’ve witnessed professionals landing jobs didn’t “exist” before. From a client getting interviewed for a job that wasn’t advertised to another who got employed for a role that didn’t exist before he sent his CV. Yes, it’s a real story! Sometimes, we don’t know what we want until we see it!

Spread Your Career Vision: With every new person you impress, you gain another set of eyes looking out for you. You get access to their network and the opportunities therein. Research shows that 44% of jobs are covered by internal referrals. Don’t miss out any chance to share your career aspirations. From friend gatherings to networking events. Keep in touch with former classmates, colleagues, etc. You never know how may be able to help you! But hey, don’t forget to work on the message (aka elevator pitch) before.

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