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theemptyone
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American Resume > Singaporean CV

Postby theemptyone » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 2:29 am

I'm about to start looking for a job in Singapore, and am wondering if anyone has any advice when it comes to creating a cv. I'm used to making resume's in the US, but realize that most area's have unspoken rules on what 'makes' a good one.

Anything to help me get an edge in finding a job would be greatly appreciated.

Also, does anyone know of any hiring firms or places in Singapore that would be a good place to post my resume, besides the various online resources *monster.com.sg etc*. I've seen a few hiring firms, but none seem to want to work with expats. My field is IT, and IT management.

One last thing, I'd greatly appreciate any idea's on where to look to determine requested salary. Both top and high level. Would it be best for me to find the appropriate category on this forum and just post my resume for peer critique?


Thanks much for any assistance.

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Re: American Resume > Singaporean CV

Postby bogdang » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 11:40 am

theemptyone wrote:I'm used to making resume's in the US, but realize that most area's have unspoken rules on what 'makes' a good one.


People would mention to me during interviews that my age was not stated on my resume.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 1:23 pm

For Singapore you have to include everything that is forbidden on a US Resume. Age, Race, Religion, Gender, sexual proclivities, whether you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant and anything else that can possibly be used to discriminate against you. There are no laws against discrimination here. The Government will only come as close as "You should not hire based on these things" but stops short of making it a law or giving any teeth to it. Therefore is somewhat of a joke here. In addition, most positions will have things like Mandarin Speaker required when the position has nothing to do with dealings with China or Taiwan or Hong Kong. Also, if you don't include a picture your odds are drastically reduced as well. Looks count. Forget how much you know.

Of course if you are looking to be hired for a senior level position at an MNC, you will probably be hired in the US or at least interviewed there so it's a little bit different. But, unfortunately, most MNC's here also have local HR departments (staffed by Locals and with a Local HR Manager) so tend to have the same mindset as a local company. Often the HR practices here are unknown to the corporate HR Director in the parent country.

Most employers here are not equal opportunity employers.

sms

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 1:24 pm

Contact Strong Eagle, one of the Moderators here. You will need 5 posts before your PM function activates (Spam control).

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 5:17 pm

What is IT? Or IT management? That's like the cashier at the checkout being in the 'food service business'. You need to be much more specific. Are you a hardware guy? Software? OS? DB? Apps? Security? Networks?

Are you Windows? Linux? Mainframe? Are you an implementer (plugging in the pieces that someone else has designed) or are you an architect (can you create a server farm, or an AD security policy)?

Can you manage a project? Or a P&L? Do people like to work for you and are you a good leader/manager? Can you communicate and write well? Are you comfortable dealing with top management, telling them, 'no'?

My views:

1) If you are a techie, there are many local techies and a company will not have much incentive to hire you.

2) Tech IT salaries start low because there is a lot of competition.

3) Getting hired by a local company is hard and you probably won't like working there anyway, nor the pay. Local companies that do hire expats usually do so because they want to go in a direction but lack the expertise that an expat might have.

4) Your best bet is with an MNC but you better have some skill sets that differentiate you else it will be locals that will be hired (usually a part of an MNC's ethics policy - hire locally whenever possible). If you have architect experience it would be a good thing since there are not a lot of people who actually know how to put sh*t together... and I'm not talking 2 or 3 servers... I'm talking projects like consolidating and virtualizing 200 servers, or building a security system for 5,000 people.

If you can manage projects or a P&L then maybe you're ready to get out of the techie end and you will have a value add. If you know how to manage service operations and know how to compute a TCO maybe there is hope. Far too many techies forget about the business case, the problem that is being solved, and the costs and benefits. Bigger thinking might get you a job.

5) Then again, virtually all MNC's have cut back on capital projects. No money, no projects, so the staff that they have on board is being assigned to operations to try and avoid cutting staff. It will be hard to get on board right now.

6) You can look at jobs with purveyors of IT... the computer companies. They are all hemorrhaging cash right now and they are trying to expand their offerings... professional services, managed services, app development... so if you know how to do these things you might get a job. But pay will suck.

Bottom line: You need more than just a technical background in this day and age. You need complementary business skills. You need to be mid level at least, and creative. You are not only competing against Singaporeans you are competing against well educated Asians from all over the place who really will work for next to nothing in order to get their foot in the door.

Identify the MNC's with major operations in Singapore and approach them locally in the US to get contact information... or go to work for them with the express intention and understanding that you want a transfer.

Virtually all the non-Asian expats I know ended up in Singapore by first working for a company elsewhere then getting transferred here.

SMS is right about the CV. Put a picture on it. Put in your age. Interests. What matters more though, is the cover letter. The CV says what you have done. The cover letter says what you will do. Recruiting firms here are truly a waste of time for standard positions. The job boards are about as useful as a bucket of warm spit for someone like you.

You really do have to customize you own search and MNC's are the place to start. Look at computer companies and telcoms. Check out bio and pharma. Extraction industries are down right now but are still doing better in Asia then elsewhere.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 26 Mar 2009 9:09 pm

Oh... and one more thing. Do you have any industry specific experience? Do you know how an oil company runs its exploration or retail divisions. Do you know how a miner gets its ore out of the ground. Do you know logistics for container shipping?

This kind of experience, too, will help... an indicator that you might contribute to the company as a whole... as opposed to being a replaceable 'round peg in a round hole'.


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