A COMPETITIVE salary and employee benefits, pleasant work atmosphere, good work-life balance, long-term job security and career progression opportunities are the top five factors for employees when choosing an employer, revealed the 2014 Randstad Awards survey. Companies that are perceived to offer these perks will be popular among job seekers.
Take Singapore Airlines (SIA), for example. The Randstad Award, which recognises Singapore’s most attractive employers, has been awarded to SIA for three years running — with seven in 10 employees in Singapore expressing their desire to work there this year.
Meanwhile, 64 and 62 per cent of employees would like to work for Shell and Changi Airport Group respectively. These numbers clearly reflect the fierce competition you will encounter when vying for a vacancy at these award-winning companies.
The question is: How can you impress the recruiters and HR managers enough to land a job at one of Singapore’s most desired companies?
Research your target
In Singapore’s booming job market, it is not uncommon for new graduates to have multiple job openings in their chosen field.
Before reaching out to any company, make sure you adequately research the organisation and the skills required for the position on offer. Tailor your resumé and cover letter for each role to ensure they match the skills and attributes listed in the job advertisement.
Recruiters and HR managers constantly receive many applications, and can easily spot your sincerity and eagerness for the job just by glancing at your resumé. Generic CVs will undoubtedly be the first on the “reject” pile.
Build a compelling brand
Often, recruiters face two or more candidates with similar qualifications and work experience. At times like this, how do you distinguish yourself from your peers?
The key is to build a personal brand by packaging your experiences and telling your story in a compelling manner. Instead of simply outlining your work history, you need to underscore your selling points and illustrate your skills with relevant examples and measurable results.
As well as the “hard” skills commonly demanded by employers, such as technical proficiency and language skills, “soft” skills are equally important when it comes to impressing recruiters.
It is important to demonstrate, for instance, your ability to take on new challenges and collaborate with others as a team player. Good communication skills are key, as is the ability to motivate others and manage your time effectively. Be sure to highlight these qualities on your CV and during interviews to create a well-rounded brand.
There are multiple ways to connect with a potential job opportunity.
One option is to seek an internship placement or voluntary work, where you will gain valuable first-hand work experience which will distinguish you from your peers, while getting an idea of what your chosen industry is like out in the real world. Needless to say, the biggest perk of interning is the possibility of a full-time job offer.
Joining a professional association is another good way to broaden your opportunities. At professional associations such as the chartered communities and Chambers of Commerce, you get to network with experienced industry players who have plenty of on-the-job advice or even potential employment opportunities. Ensure you have your one-minute sales pitch ready at all times — who knows when an opportunity will arise?
In a nutshell, to get into one of Singapore’s most desired companies, it is essential for you to show sincerity for the job, effectively tell your compelling brand story and convince HR managers and recruiters of the value you bring to the company.
It requires a lot of effort, but it will lead you down a bright career path.