How to get hired

by Belinda Wan (bwan@sph.com.sg)
published on 30 June 2016

Looking to secure your first job or on the hunt for a better offer?

As the competition is keen, you need to distinguish yourself from other applicants by trying new tactics. 

Uncertain outlook

The slow economy may mean you need to wait longer to find a new job.

Mr Paul Heng, the founder and executive coach of a career consulting firm said: “Globally, economies have begun slowing down since last year. One key contributing factor is the falling oil price, which impacts the peripheral industries that support oil and gas businesses.

“Companies are likely to remain cautious with hiring activities and businesses will continue to tighten costs, which mean more jobseekers are applying for a relatively lower volume of jobs.”

But the situation is not completely bleak.

Mr Heng said: “This does not mean that companies are not hiring – they are just hiring only when it is absolutely critical, such as, getting replacements.”

What job seekers can do

Although the economic outlook is uncertain, companies are still hiring and vacancies do need to be filled. So there is no need to be too disheartened. Just keep looking and trying.

Mr Heng advised applicants to follow up on online applications with a phone call to the hiring manager or recruiter to enquire about the opportunity of an interview.

“Jobseekers need to be more proactive. Taking the initiative to make a trip to the hiring company may secure you an interview before anyone else.

“Write in ‘cold’ to potential hiring managers. It may be a long shot in the dark, but you sometimes, need to hit just one target,” he said.

Apart from the right qualifications and skill sets, there are certain traits that most human resource personnel, recruiters and hiring managers look for in candidates during interviews.

Mr Heng said: “Qualities such as a positive mindset, being able to interview well, a pleasant and friendly disposition, and being familiar with technology or social media will help.”