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New to Singapore, how to look for Accounting jobs

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kiko
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New to Singapore, how to look for Accounting jobs

Postby kiko » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 2:23 pm

I have moved to Singapore a month ago with my husband and son (my husband was transfered from London) and I started looking for a job couple of weeks ago. I'm a bit lost as back in London recruitment agencies would normaly contact you to have a chat and get you to come and register when they receive your CV but here I find that I haven't been able to get a reply (emailed about 5 or 6 agencies and called a few times as well). I also applied directly online but no luck (although it's only been two weeks, so may be too soon).
Can anyone tell me what's the best way to approach this problem?
I am part qualified Accountant (CIMA) and have three years of experience.

Thanks in advance

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 2:57 pm

There will be a lot of tough sledding for you, I am afraid.

Do a search on 'accounting' and 'dependents pass'. You'll find that there are many, many qualified locals for accounting jobs, and the best you will probably be able to do is a local package, which won't be much.

Second, agencies here are so worthless it is incredible. Search for 'agency' and read the posts... most people are ignored all the time.

Third, I assume you are on a dependent's pass. Actually, this is good because it means you and the company don't have to qualify you to work. But, it is also bad because nobody, agencies in particular, seem to know that you can be easily put to work.

Do some searches, come back with more questions.

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Postby kiko » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 3:32 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:There will be a lot of tough sledding for you, I am afraid.

Do a search on 'accounting' and 'dependents pass'. You'll find that there are many, many qualified locals for accounting jobs, and the best you will probably be able to do is a local package, which won't be much.

Second, agencies here are so worthless it is incredible. Search for 'agency' and read the posts... most people are ignored all the time.

Third, I assume you are on a dependent's pass. Actually, this is good because it means you and the company don't have to qualify you to work. But, it is also bad because nobody, agencies in particular, seem to know that you can be easily put to work.

Do some searches, come back with more questions.



Thanks a lot. A few people share your opinion as well. Also I have been advised that I should meet as many expats as possible, apparently in Singapore there is a bit of "It's not what you know but who you know" :)
Is that really the case?

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 30 Mar 2010 4:40 pm

kiko wrote:Thanks a lot. A few people share your opinion as well. Also I have been advised that I should meet as many expats as possible, apparently in Singapore there is a bit of "It's not what you know but who you know" :)
Is that really the case?


Yes. It is a relatively small community. You can join various expat organizations. You can join CRCE at American Association of Singapore. Dropping resumes off at employment agencies is, IMHO, a waste of time for what you are looking for.

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Re: New to Singapore, how to look for Accounting jobs

Postby carteki » Wed, 21 Apr 2010 10:33 am

kiko wrote: I'm a bit lost as back in London recruitment agencies would normaly contact you to have a chat and get you to come and register when they receive your CV but here I find that I haven't been able to get a reply (emailed about 5 or 6 agencies and called a few times as well). I also applied directly online but no luck (although it's only been two weeks, so may be too soon).
Can anyone tell me what's the best way to approach this problem?


Unfortunately you will find that you are just a commodity here and the recruitment agencies don't care about you - one refused to even give me the courtsey of speaking to me when I called. Having said that - your best bet is the multi-national agents who have had experience in the west.
I've found that e-financial careers is a great website to look at for jobs and make your cv searchable there. Make sure your Linkedin page is up to date as recruiters also look through that.
Good Luck.

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Postby Tanama » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 2:33 pm

Hey,

I have been in SIngapore for more than two months and with CIMA it was nearly impossible to find something in Accountancy because they mostly recognize ACCA.

I'm an ACMA with Management Accounting experience but found it very hard to even get a call. Finally I had registered with a job agent and they called me after which I was taken in. The well known agencies don;t really bother with your CV if you're a foreigner. BUt the key is DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Keep applying for jobs online and speak to them where ever possible so that they can judge your communication skills. If possible keep mentioning that CIMA is considered an equivalent to an MBA. Also try your luck with business analyst/ financial analyst jobs, they are more relevant to CIMA.

Good luck :)

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Postby Nath21 » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 9:28 pm

Tanama wrote:Hey,

I have been in SIngapore for more than two months and with CIMA it was nearly impossible to find something in Accountancy because they mostly recognize ACCA.

I'm an ACMA with Management Accounting experience but found it very hard to even get a call. Finally I had registered with a job agent and they called me after which I was taken in. The well known agencies don;t really bother with your CV if you're a foreigner. BUt the key is DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Keep applying for jobs online and speak to them where ever possible so that they can judge your communication skills. If possible keep mentioning that CIMA is considered an equivalent to an MBA. Also try your luck with business analyst/ financial analyst jobs, they are more relevant to CIMA.

Good luck :)


You might be more successful if you dont tell them that CIMA is equivalent to an MBA because its not and they will know its not. Also management accounting jobs in Singapore are generally lower paid than other accounting jobs and especially compared to that in the UK. My wife has been trying to get a job here for a bit and all the management accounting roles are in the SGD$2500-4500k per month range, well below the AUD10-15k she could earn in Oz. If I were you I would focus on financial reporting roles as well as analyst roles as these are both more in demand and pay more. Financial Services are the big boys here and they are closed shop to outsiders with no financial services experience. Also if your a spouse here without an EP its even tougher. What they want are people with FS and western MNC experience, everything else is competing with locals who are cheaper.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 26 Apr 2010 10:07 pm

Thanks Nath21. I was going to tell him, regarding the CIMA / MBA thing but though, nah, I'll stay out of it for a change! :wink:

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Postby neconomist » Tue, 11 May 2010 5:06 pm

Nath21 wrote:
Tanama wrote:Hey,

I have been in SIngapore for more than two months and with CIMA it was nearly impossible to find something in Accountancy because they mostly recognize ACCA.

I'm an ACMA with Management Accounting experience but found it very hard to even get a call. Finally I had registered with a job agent and they called me after which I was taken in. The well known agencies don;t really bother with your CV if you're a foreigner. BUt the key is DO NOT LOSE HOPE. Keep applying for jobs online and speak to them where ever possible so that they can judge your communication skills. If possible keep mentioning that CIMA is considered an equivalent to an MBA. Also try your luck with business analyst/ financial analyst jobs, they are more relevant to CIMA.

Good luck :)


You might be more successful if you dont tell them that CIMA is equivalent to an MBA because its not and they will know its not. Also management accounting jobs in Singapore are generally lower paid than other accounting jobs and especially compared to that in the UK. My wife has been trying to get a job here for a bit and all the management accounting roles are in the SGD$2500-4500k per month range, well below the AUD10-15k she could earn in Oz. If I were you I would focus on financial reporting roles as well as analyst roles as these are both more in demand and pay more. Financial Services are the big boys here and they are closed shop to outsiders with no financial services experience. Also if your a spouse here without an EP its even tougher. What they want are people with FS and western MNC experience, everything else is competing with locals who are cheaper.


That is true, I see that most of the people here are rather CPA or ACCA so you would have some more chances by specializing in financial services. Try to see some accounting firms or if you have some experience in a specific sector try to work on it.

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Postby kiko » Mon, 28 Jun 2010 9:33 pm

Thanks to all of you for the replies. I have been busy with exams so haven't been able to write anything. Sadly I am still looking and it's getting quite depressing.
Only succeed in registering with one agency, they call and send my CV around but no luck so far. I have applied to numerous employers directly in the last month or so but haven't heard back.
It's very stressful I must admit, I wasn't expecting to be looking for such a long time (3 months now) and it's even more worrying when I think about how much longer may take me to get a job. I haven't had a single interview and don't know what to make of this anymore.
Will keep you posted
Thanks again

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Postby louy » Tue, 06 Jul 2010 11:24 pm

I have been here for 2 years and I have found my CIMA pretty useless here. It feels like that it has added no value to my prospects. Even on the Singapore pages of the CIMA website, there is nothing there.

Although I have passed all my exams, I have not yet spent any effort in converting into full membership, yet.

I am considering doing a CFA next and plan to try my luck in the finance and banking industry.

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Postby melren » Wed, 07 Jul 2010 12:04 am

kiko wrote:Thanks to all of you for the replies. I have been busy with exams so haven't been able to write anything. Sadly I am still looking and it's getting quite depressing.
Only succeed in registering with one agency, they call and send my CV around but no luck so far. I have applied to numerous employers directly in the last month or so but haven't heard back.
It's very stressful I must admit, I wasn't expecting to be looking for such a long time (3 months now) and it's even more worrying when I think about how much longer may take me to get a job. I haven't had a single interview and don't know what to make of this anymore.
Will keep you posted
Thanks again



I'm a certified CPA and was told (by some headhunter/s and interviewer/s) that it's pretty useless here in sg.
It's depressing, yea, esp when u actually work ur a**e to get the qualification but don't give up, keep trying and u'll get a job eventually.


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