Contrary to general beliefs, it is rather challenging to find a job today.
Nevermind fresh graduates, even experienced workers, suffer the same predicaments.
If you’ve been looking for a job for a considerable amount of time, then you’d know how challenging it can be, particularly in 2020, where the world’s economy is facing one of its toughest years yet.
You are not alone.
Millions of job seekers are as frustrated.
Getting a job will continue to be a hurdle moving forward. Why is that the case?
Why is it a Challenge to Find a Job Today?
We believe you need to know the facts.
Then, only can you improve your odds once you understand the reasons behind this exasperating endeavor.
1. There are more job seekers than ever
In Singapore, 2018 alone saw 16,823 graduates.
That, plus the talents around the world flocking into the country aiming to land better opportunities in Singapore, particularly Southeast Asia.
Despite higher job seekers, we also see higher unemployment. According to the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore, in 2019, the overall unemployment rate went up to 2.3 per cent from 2.1 in 2018 (source: MOM).
Fortunately, Singapore is still undergoing an economic transformation where new jobs are being created. Unfortunately, there are no skilled talents to fill the growing gap (source: Channel News Asia).
2. Companies no longer hire for life but for results
Companies have been becoming overly selective as the job market changes. What used to be hiring a graduate for a lifetime until retirement has now become hiring for instantaneous, impactful results.
Back then, when a company hires, there is long-term loyalty involved. The company will gradually nurture the talent as they climb the proverbial corporate ladder.
However, it is a fact that talents today do not stay in a job for long. They prefer moving about, acquiring vast experiences, and exploring their interests. Thus, companies too would rather not spend resources on talent nurturing.
Besides, the business landscape is getting highly competitive. So companies are fighting for cost efficiency and shortening time to results. They can’t afford to slowly nurture a talent until they are ready. Businesses need to hire the best and scale fast.
Due to the change in the dynamics, businesses only select candidates that give a higher return on their hiring investment.
3. Automation kills resume faster than you could push it out
If you’ve never heard of ATS or Applicants Tracking System, you should after this.
As the world moved towards progressive improvements, automation became a norm.
The recruitment and hiring of companies became so much easier with ATS. The software generally comes with various essential HR tools. One of which includes the collection and processing of resumes.
The unfortunate reality for applicants is that most ATS screen resumes according to specific keywords. Besides, ATS also rank the resumes processed based on a scoring mechanism that matches the job description.
Though there are AI variants today. What’s more, ATS can also predict competencies, skills set to match organization values, business goals and the skills they are looking for.
But, I doubt the adoption is wide.
Companies use ATS because they reportedly received on average 250 resumes for a job opening. Here are some statistics for you to understand how saturated the job market is.
- A company receives 250 resumes for a job opening on average.
- 75% of them will be rejected.
- Out of the 250 applicants, only around 4 to 6 will be contacted for a job interview.
- Eventually, only 1 gets the job.
How can you be better at getting a job?
Experience can be a boon. But, what if you don’t.
You’ll need to find ways to stand out from your so-called “competitors.”
For more than 9 years since we started Hatch Asia, we have seen our fair share of what makes a candidate stand out or drown out.
Besides, being in these specialized industries prior, we undoubtedly have pointers to share that will benefit you.
Here are some tips and tricks to improve your odds of landing the job you’ve been aiming for.
1. Customize your resume for the job
Knowing that your resume has to fight against so many for a job opening, you’ll want it to stand out.
Create a powerful resume that is customized for the job offered. It will not just pass the screeners but the system as well.
A few quick tips to good resumes are
- mind what is on your first page to get the attention of a hiring manager
- don’t ever forget your contact details
- ensure to include a quick and precise summary of yourself
- tie your achievements to the job you are applying
- remember to include relevant keywords
Want to know more? Head on to our article on how to write a winning resume to pick up this invaluable skill of resume writing.
2. Build yourself an extensive network
Having a network of people who you can learn from and share experiences is an important advantage.
Most companies before opening up a job offer to the public, they would offer it either internally or get recommendations from people they know. So the more connected you are, the higher your chances to land a job that you want.
3. Be out there and have a positive social presence
In this hyper-connected world, one of the best ways to show your capabilities, capacity, and humility is to be present online.
However, being online is a double-edged sword.
You have to be careful of what you share, what you do, and how you present your best self.
So be socially active and be seen online in the respective areas relevant to your career goals. If you do not like to write blog articles, you can reshare, like or comment on others’.
4. Personal branding and digital profile
Part of having an online presence is to ensure positive personal branding and build connections.
Start with your digital profile. It is the quickest way to build your personal brand and reach out to a wide audience.
You can run a quick social brand audit to see where you stand. If your professional profile is not found online, or your personal brand does not reflect on your career goals accordingly, then it is time to change.
5. Know and focus on your motivation for the job
According to the CTO of Glints on job search in Singapore, one of the most unfavorable traits to him is the source of motivation for joining a company. Sure money or a job title is important. However, if these are the only motivation they have, it will set off red flags to many interviewers.
So what you need to do is to explore and understand why you want the job. Be genuine about it.
6. Research your employers before your interview
Reading about the company through the job definition is not enough. You need to show your interest in the company you’re hoping to join. Ask questions about the company as needed during the interviews.
Remember, though companies are choosy of who they hire. You too have the right to choose. As you may discover that their culture or philosophy doesn’t match during the interview.
7. Be there, be present, be ready and be yourself during interviews
Interview sessions are critical. We all know that. It helps interviewers form an initial impression and understand who you are and how you can help the company. Therefore, it is a critical opportunity for you to present the best version of yourself.
So how do you achieve that? [interlink] Stay tuned for our upcoming articles as we share tips and advice on this topic. [OR] Get more of our tips on acing an interview here.
8. Be proactive and do follow-ups or get updates on your hiring status
You’d probably never realized this. Sometimes a small action can lead to a chain of positive changes. That could be a simple email from you to check in on the status of your hiring.
Even if you are rejected for the role, it is common courtesy to send a thank you note.
From my experience, I have only seen one thank you note out of five rejected applications. Besides, I have also experienced cases where the hiring manager rehired the person that was rejected.
In other words, you don’t burn your bridges. We are in a highly connected world and manners are still important.
9. Get help when you’re going nowhere despite acing a few of the above
Help could come in many forms. You can tap into your number 2 and get access to the people that can help you.
You may also work with recruitment agencies to improve your chances of landing the job you desire.
This is where you get to open up the doors to more opportunities and possibilities.
How do you know a hiring agency can help you?
But, how do you go about selecting a recruitment agency that suits you?
Here are some evaluation pointers to understand if they fit your needs.
1. Search and recruitment methodology. What are the techniques and methodologies used to get you hired? Do they get your resume to push it out to companies? Do they spam you with job positions? Do they try to convince you a position is for you despite your uncertainty or rejection?
When a recruitment agency wants to know your motivation, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and offers you professional advisory, you will know that they have your interest at heart.
In helping candidates, we always believe in creating a meaningful partnership. It is the only way we can truly help them, that by getting to know our candidates better first.
2. Support. How do they help you in increasing your chances of getting hired? Such help could be in the form of classes and webinars on resume writing, speaking confidently, or other required soft skills.
3. Post-hire. What happens after you get hired? Is there continued support like industry updates or connect with industry experts?
4. Network. Do they have the expertise or access to experts that can help you in building a career in a specific industry?
What else can you do to get the job you wanted?
In conclusion, on top of the above tips on finding a job, you can
- Explore what else you are capable of or interested in
- Leverage on your strengths to thrive in what you do
- Expand your capabilities and opportunities through continuous learning
- Learn how to recognize opportunities
- Discover the successes of others and replicate what works
Come share your experience in finding a job in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you
Amos Tay is the Managing Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching business across the region.
Amos has helped international clients obtaining quality hires through proven assessment methodology and specialised in supply chain and logistics sector across Asia. He has over ten years of experience as an in-house HR professional and an external recruiter.
His vocation to augment success through business intelligence, continuous improvement and technological advancement has led him to implement various recruitment processes and solutions for companies of all sizes and help many individuals in their career.
He believes that “people matters”. Therefore, he wants to change the way many perceive recruiters as paper-pushers. He delivers quality hires for his clients while helping candidates by building strong partnerships among stakeholders focusing on individual strengths.