House Feature | Regulars

Trumping The Competition

With higher overall unemployment rates, the competitive job market seems tougher than ever. Here are some ways to beat the odds and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

DData published by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for the first quarter labour market report this year revealed that young Singapore residents aged 15 to 29 show higher unemployment rates compared to workers of other age groups – information that can seem disheartening at first, but before you get too bummed out by your prospects, here are some facts to consider: According to the MOM, higher job search activities of young Singaporeans contribute to this percentage. In addition, MOM’s labour market report shows that there are more positions available than jobseekers, which means that things aren’t quite as bleak as you might think.

Still, it’s undeniable that the job market has always been tough. When you’re competing with job applicants who might be just as qualified (if not more so than you), being able to highlight your strengths and stand out is a definite advantage. That’s why we’ve gathered some simple but practical tips that will hopefully raise your chances.

Relook at your CV

> Have a look at your CV and see if there’s anything that you can trim down to make it more concise in a way that makes your strengths apparent at a glance. Lengthy paragraphs might look more impressive, but when you consider the hundreds of job applications being processed for each role, you really don’t want to be faced with a mountain of text. Human Resource (HR) professionals tend to skim each application, so simplicity is undoubtedly the way to go.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

> The more places you apply for, the more likely you are to hear a response (and if you don’t, it’s time to relook at the fundamentals and make sure your resume is up to snuff). Sending your application for a broader range of positions makes it more likely that you’ll find a good fit sooner, as compared to if you were only sending out two or three applications a day.

There’s no harm in trying

> We get it. It can be intimidating to apply for a job that asks for experience where you have none, and stipulates a list with skills you don’t currently have. Just give it a shot anyway; a lot of the time, this list is for the most ideal applicant, but most companies are willing to take on a suitable candidate even if you don’t tick off all the checkmarks. Trying won’t hurt your chances.

For all your efforts, you might not land the job even after going for the interview. Don’t let this get you down. Instead, use these rejections as learning experiences – how could you better pitch yourself? Where did you stumble during the interview?

When the job market is competitive, try lowering your expectations to widen your hit rates. Consider if you’re willing to draw a lower salary or apply for work that isn’t quite your dream job, and so on. Sometimes, you just need to get more experience (and confidence) before you try again.