NUS Career Fest 2018 Features

Success Stories

NUS Career fest attendees share their positive experiences

Making the most of every career opportunity

Mr Tan Jun Xiang feels it is important to be open-minded and well-prepared before attending a career fair

Mr Tan advises jobseekers to be positive and open to all jobs.

Arulnathan John

Although electrical engineering graduate Tan Jun Xiang, 25, landed a job soon after graduating from National University of Singapore (NUS) in July last year, he learnt valuable lessons from the job-seeking process.

As an enterprise network engineer in telecommunications provider Huawei, his main task is to design and implement computer networks, and ensure all the networks are connected to one another.

Says Mr Tan: “I got the job offer through NUS TalentConnect as recommended by one of the advisors at Career Advisors at the Centre for Future-ready Graduates (CFG). As I did not know which engineering field to apply for, I sent my resumé to all the engineering companies that were hiring fresh graduates.

“The day after I submitted my resumé, Huawei called me and invited me to go for a job interview.”

He found the guidance from the CFG very helpful since he was one of many undergraduates who did not know how to write good resumés.

“Fortunately, the resumé critique session and the professional CFG Career Advisors taught me how to ‘repackage’ myself, including choosing the right attire, and having the right attitude and body language,” he recalls.

Mr Tan attended the NUS Career Fair 2017, which enabled him to network with representatives of various companies to learn more about the nature of their businesses.

He says: “Career fairs gave me opportunities to better understand a company. I prefer to listen to employees’ feedback instead of reading online comments.

“I also get a higher chance of an interview as most companies find their employees at career fairs instead of through online means.”

His advice to first-time jobseekers is to have well-prepared questions before attending career fairs so employers can address them. This is also the best way to train one’s communication skills, he says.

“Be positive and open to all jobs. Always accept feedback or advice from your employers, be it good or bad, because they are sharing their perspectives with you,” he adds.

Mr Tan also recommends building good relationships and networks with everyone, as the new friends you make may be your working partners or superiors in future.

“Sometimes, what you’ve learnt in school is not applicable or specific enough to your work and you may need to study again to pick up new knowledge or skills,” he says. “So work hard to adapt to the new working environment.”

Be proactive to get ahead

Making career plans early pays off for NUS graduate Wu Daisheng

Career fairs are a good place to expand your network, says Mr Wu.

Nur Syahiidah Zainal

Firmware engineer Wu Daisheng first heard of the opening for his current position at Schneider Electric Asia via a weekly e-mail from the Centre for Future-ready Graduates (CFG).

His interest was piqued as the job at a leading electrical company was related to his course of study in electrical engineering.

Mr Wu started on his job hunt early — he was already preparing his resumé during his first year in the National University of Singapore (NUS).

He took part in several resumé critique sessions with CFG. It was helpful in crafting his resumé to fit the requirements for different companies and job positions. He also joined several of its recruitment talks and participated in one-to-one Career Advisory consultations.

During his job search, he had the guidance and support of his Career Advisor, Ms Karen Tan, who helped him to firm up his resumé and equipped him with techniques for his job interviews.

When he received the job offer, he consulted her on contract issues too.

“Ms Tan was very professional at every stage. She helped me to identify suitable careers and my skills gap, advised me on where to search for jobs and helped with the application process,” he says.

Mr Wu, who started visiting the Career Fair in his second year in NUS, says that his initial motivation for attending the event was to look out for internship opportunities. After accumulating some internship experience that helped to shape his career goals, he focused on the companies in his preferred industries at subsequent career fairs.

He encourages his juniors to attend the fair as it gives them the chance to learn more about several companies and their cultures at one venue.

He feels that the timing of the fair — usually in February — is advantageous for them as most companies are looking to hire during that period. This is also around the time when people, after collecting their annual bonuses, tend to submit their resignations. Thus the chances of securing a new job offer is higher, he says.

Another appeal of career fairs is the opportunity to expand one’s network. Mr Wu feels that it is important to be proactive to make contact and leave a good impression with company representatives who may be future interviewers or colleagues.

His advice to first-time job seekers is to practise answering sample questions before any job interview.

“Opportunity favours only the prepared mind. Make sure you are well-prepared for every possibility,” he says.