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

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Singapore? 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 Singapore? 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.


Findinga job in Singapore isn't much different from elsewhere: Apply for relevant openings that you find on various online job portals and convince (with a good CV, cover letter and conduct in the interviews) the hiring managers that you are the right person for the job.
One peculiarity of a Singapore job search is that you will only receive interview invitations if you are physically present in Singapore. Applying from abroad is a waste of time in almost all cases!
Interview styles differ considerably between employers and interviewers and are as varied as Singapore's multicultural society. Generally, outward appearances are less important than elsewhere - in some industries wearing a tie for an interview is a no-go!
You can only get a work visa if you fill a skills shortage in the Singapore labour market. In most cases, this means you must have a (recognised) university degree or technical certificate and three years or more applicable work experience.
A few other requirements needs to be fulfilled, too - read the many discussions about this in the forum!
Finding a job and getting a visa will take several months - don't expect to be able to start work within weeks!


I'm based in Zambia, so are you saying that uploading a CV on most of the recommended websites will be a waste of time??? OMG what would you advise? I am seriously looking for work.

shattter :

I'm based in Zambia, so are you saying that uploading a CV on most of the recommended websites will be a waste of time??? OMG what would you advise? I am seriously looking for work.

If you are serious about maximizing your chances, you need to come to Singapore for your job search.
Please note that finding one will most likely take several weeks or months.

I guess I'll be coming to Singapore sooner than I thought. Thank you for your help

Did you go through various discussion threads in Singapore forum on job search and requirements? You didn't tell us what's qualification and job experience do you have, before coming to one of the costliest city and equally difficult to find a job here (it's not a rosy picture that you come here and get job interviews or selected).

Few very basic points to be noted before spending $4000 to $5000 (one month stay in Singapore):

1. A niche skill, recognised university (visit MoM website to find if your university is listed, if not then don't waste your time n money), 5 to 6yrs experience.

2. Coming from African countries, chances reduce further as most of jobs are occupied by Asians and do prefer their races.

3. Your visa would be given for 30 days, very likely won't be extended to another 30 days as you are coming as a tourist.
4.  Read n google other things before even thinking to visit here.

5. Avoid paying money to any unauthorised agents who promise job, its illegal to accept/give money for a job (may be under the table many things might have happened but not in open).

Good luck

I found this tips online: How to make an impression on Employers in Singapore.

1. Keep your resume up-to-date and relevant. Keep a separate resume if you are applying to different industries and always modify them to reflect the position/company being applied to. Recruitment agencies can help you optimize your resume to find a job in Singapore, or you could get help online. Attach a photograph.

2. Have all the necessary official documents on-hand with multiple copies of each like birth certificates, identity card, educational transcripts and co-curricular certs. Prepare a portfolio describing your relevant skills.

3. Different recruitment agencies specialize in different industries. Approach the right agencies for the job you’re looking for. For example, Multiway Employment specialises in the service, manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as general work.

4. Network with people. Getting to know people on a more personal level is the best way to genuinely showcase your personality and credibility. You could do this at, which features language groups and other activities which are also helpful to foreigners looking for new friends.

5. Don’t skip out on interviews just because the job role isn’t what you want from the onset. If an employer likes you they can create the role that suits you skills. The key is to promote your skills and reliability.

6. Employers in Singapore tend to focus more on paper qualifications than soft skills like judgement, evaluation and perception, so remember to up-play those instead. Employers want to avoid hiring bad employees and paper qualifications are the surest way to ensure quality.


Hope it helps.
And of course, dress for the occasion. Dress formally and smartly.

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