Working in Jakarta

 Working in Jakarta
Updated 2019-08-01 15:04

As Indonesia's financial and commercial centre, Jakarta offers an abundance of work opportunities, both for locals and foreigners alike. Before relocating to Jakarta, take some time to learn about the various career options the city has to offer as well as how you should present yourself in your CV and during an interview.

Job hunting in Jakarta

As an expat, your best bet of finding a job in Jakarta is to find employment before you arrive in Jakarta. Obtaining a job before you arrive will give you enough time to apply for the appropriate visa and work permit.

For example, most expats usually work for a multinational company from their home country that has a branch in Jakarta and relocating as part of an assignment. Working for national and international companies within the import and export sector is also a common thing among expats. A teaching career is also popular among expats as there are a lot of demands for language teachers, especially for English and Mandarin, in Jakarta. Lastly, Indonesia's IT and communications sector is rapidly developing and looking for new talents, including foreign talents, to help accelerate the development rate even further.

Whether you are only starting to look for a job or considering a career change, your connection will be your key for getting a job in Jakarta. So, try to rub shoulders and build a network with fellow expats and office workers around you. Networking is one of the easiest ways to find employment in Jakarta. Read our article about Professional networking in Jakarta for more information.

Alternatively, you can browse through the web to find a job. Teaching jobs are especially an especially popular option among expats. Additionally, in recent years, Indonesia's tech startups and e-commerce sectors have also been expanding and hiring overseas talents. Job websites, like Glassdoor, and social networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, can be invaluable resources for you. Also, don't forget to check out online expat forums and discussion boards to find more job vacancy information.

Applying for a work permit in Indonesia

A simple business visa will not suffice if you intend to work for a long period in Jakarta. An Indonesian business visa is only valid for 60 days, and it will only allow you to do short-term business projects in the country.

To be able to work in Jakarta legally, you must obtain a work permit. But you don't need to worry too much about this. Your employer will be the one to request government approval to employ foreigners. Just take note of these important things about your work permit:

You must have a certificate of competence or five-year working experience related to the position you are applying for
The work permit is valid for a maximum of two years, but they can be extended later
You must join the National Healthcare and Social Security Program (BPJS) after getting your work permit
You must take Indonesian language courses provided by your employer.

Building your CV

It is always important to present yourself in a good way through your CV. There are no stark differences between the international standard to the Indonesian CV format. Just make sure to take the time to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. Here are some pointers to help you build your CV:

The CV should only be one page long
Add a formal yet attractive photo of yourself
Keep everything concise and provide necessary personal information in the CV
Summarise your key selling points
List both soft skills and hard skills
Add contact information, including the link to your LinkedIn profile

Interview etiquette

Even though Indonesians are famous for their tardiness, punctuality is an essential aspect of the workplace in Jakarta. Make sure to come early to your interview to allow yourself some time to prepare and avoid being seen as disrespectful. Note that different companies may have different dress codes. It is best to do a little bit of research and dress accordingly. But if you are unsure, stay on the safe side and wear the standard business dress code for the interview.

When you meet the interviewer, don't forget to smile. Smiling is a significant part of interactions in Indonesia. Then, don't forget to greet them with the right honorifics, "Bapak" for a man and "Ibu" for a woman. It is also important to appear friendly and enthusiastic in the interview process. Additionally, acting arrogantly during the interview will get you nowhere. There is a fine line between being confident and arrogant.

Jakarta's business culture is friendly yet direct. After exchanging pleasantries, you can expect the interviewer to get right down to business. There is no need to act too formally during an interview. It is okay to crack some short, appropriate jokes every now and then, but remember to stay focused on the topic at hand. Lastly, don't forget to follow up on your interview a few days later. Express your gratitude for the opportunity and reaffirm your interest in the position and the company.

Useful links:

Jobs in Jakarta
Work permit regulations in Indonesia
Guide for obtaining a work permit in Indonesia
Guide for work interviews in Indonesia

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.