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What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in Indonesia?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Indonesia? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in Indonesia? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

ASEAN country citizens have some freedom to work here if they are in given professions, but restrictions still apply.
Engineering services
Nursing services
Architectural services
Medical practitioners
Dental practitioners
Tourism professionals
Surveying qualifications (still in framework stage at last check)
Accountancy services  (still in framework stage at last check).

To work, you need to get a work permit (IMTA) and a visa (ITAS or ITAP).

To get a work permit, you MUST have a skill that is not available locally.
This does not include lifeguard, cook, waiters, massage parlour workers and/or other unskilled work.


YOUR DREAM OF WORKING AS A LIFEGUARD OR A HAIRDRESSER ON BALI IS, WELL, A DREAM - FORGET IT.

KITAS (immigration document) and IMTA (Work permit) should be dealt with by your employer at no cost to you.
This means you should take the contract seriously, noting you might well be asked to pay fees if you resign before the contract period.
You should have an exit permit to leave the country, and it's your employer who deals with that, so no thinking about running away.
The employer should also provide a return air ticket as part of the deal.
The work department are known for being very strict on everything, so cheating is not a possibility.

As for two year contracts - don't.
The company only gets a one year work permit, so the common reason they want you to stay is, they have a high staff turnover.
Take that as you wish, but there is no way I'd sign a 2 year contract without a very special reason.

Working as an English teacher.

There are a lot of schools wanting to hire 'native' English speakers.
These range from the language mills, many offering poor salary and lousy working hours, to top quality international establishments, offering massive salaries and very nice working conditions.
The former start at about Rp5,000,000/month, but more commonly Rp8,000,000.
You can live on it if you aren't a party animal but, if you like the night life, you'll be scratching around after the second Saturday of the month.
Real schools  generally offer from Rp20,000,000 upwards.

To be legal, the school should provide the work permit and KITAS (immigration document) and you have to be from any one of five countries.

UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

As with every work permit/KITAS I've heard of, you MUST get an exit permit.
You can't get that unless the school signs it off.
The moral here, don't bug your boss and don't bother trying to do a runner, the airport immigration will turn you back.

lukereg :

Working in a 'language mill' ish Mas Fred has pretty much hit all nails on the head. There are however exceptions to the rules for western teachers it being Indonesia.  But degree qualified,  drug and hiv free teachers are now expected norms and my company English First is now also  expecting every new teacher to provide background checks before coming here which is a first for Indonesia.

Whilst that sounds strict or over the top I see an end to the days of back packer teachers and the dawn of a more professional level and approach to teaching English here. After 6 years in this industry I can say I am seeing it change constantly for the better.

That is good news. EF had a terrible reputation for dodgy practices.
Strict and OTT aren't bad things when it comes to hiring people who'll be looking after kids.

A note from a friend on this subject.........

Here are the latest requirements for a teacher who wants to work for a private school and there is no guarantee that a visa will be issued anyway. There is also a requirement for a full health  (physical and mental) check, HIV and drug check as well as background checks. Bear in mind this is for a 1 year job which is 50% less a month than in China, so I am sure you will agree that private schools are on the decline and I cant say how long this will last. I am sure there will be a relaxation with these rules again this year but I cant say when. You should also know that these rules also effect everyone here as well at the moment. Needless to say, I am not in a comfortable position.

Current Visa Requirements (Not always stuck to)
Citizen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK or USA
Over 25
BA degree holder with any major
TEFL certification
5 years of teaching experience after BA awarded

Cambridge CELTA and DELTA are commonly being asked for at the moment, and Cambridge TKTs are becoming popular in many schools as Cambridge tests and IGCSEs are becoming more common.

For high schools the degree is required but not necessary as these schools come under a different department in the Education Ministry. Teachers working there might find themselves on a business visa for up to a year before a Kitas is issued and then only when all the boxes have been ticked.

There was talk of a language test as a condition of work permit issue but that was lost in a wave of reality when someone realised they were never going to find foreign Indonesian speakers with the required skills.
That said, it's always helpful to learn the local language in any country you wish to work.
Indonesian language skills are handy but not normally expected.

IMHO, a great job with your reply to Priscilla Fred!

Most of Expat in Indonesia (Since I work in multinational company here), they hire the people from Consultant agency.
If you still need it, I can give you several references.

Finding a job consistent with expat skills is almost impossible once in Indonesia.  Most of expats come into Indonesia with a job or a job invite. And very often that collapses whereafter it is very problematic to find a new job.

Great post above Fred, helpful to many I am sure.

However, I wish to respectfully clear up 1 or 2 misconceptions.

Fred :

Working as an English teacher.

To be legal, the school should provide the work permit and KITAS (immigration document) and you have to be from any one of five countries.

UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

Not true. It used to be true, but since 2012 or 2014 - the regulation was amended.

Native speaker from one of those 5 countries, OR proven capability in English. Therefore, the interpretation most immigration officers make is that a degree in English or English Literature is accepted, so any nationality is legally ok, if they have a degree to 'prove' capability in English.

Fred :

As with every work permit/KITAS I've heard of, you MUST get an exit permit.
You can't get that unless the school signs it off.
The moral here, don't bug your boss and don't bother trying to do a runner, the airport immigration will turn you back.

Yes, you have to get an EPO, but no, a airport immigration will not turn you back at the airport. It just becomes a headache for the school, and may pose difficulties for you to return to Indonesia at some point in the future.

Fred :

For high schools the degree is required but not necessary as these schools come under a different department in the Education Ministry. Teachers working there might find themselves on a business visa for up to a year before a Kitas is issued and then only when all the boxes have been ticked.

Not true, a degree is required and necessary. In fact, the degree MUST be in the subject that you will be teaching. Thus, my school hired a fellow to teach Physics, he must have at least one degree in Physics and we have another teaching Mathematics, and he has a mathematical degree, without which we cannot get them KITAS.

RE: Business Visa. I understand that's not quite legal for a teacher to use and be teaching on.

^
Thanks for the above update.
If you're who I think you are, I know you have a lot of experience in the education field so your words of wisdom are worth a read.

Feel free to send me a PM if you fancy a coffee - my shout.

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