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Top Reasons Why Singaporean Graduates Can't Find Jobs in 2019

by Deana Zafir

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There is a growing problem in Singapore. Hundreds of university graduates are finding it hard to land a job in today’s declining economy. In fact, research shows that 61% of entry-level jobs require at least 3 years worth of working experience.  But like most Gen X'ers we believe that those are not the reasons why graduates in Singapore fail to find jobs. Below, we list the real reasons why graduates in Singapore fail to find jobs: 


1. High Salary Expectations 



Graduates often talk about the sheer number of applications they have to send out before getting offered a job or landing an interview. However, some claim that they have rejected offers due to low salary. To be fair, salary should be calculated according to their work experience, skills, and demand within the industry. For instance, someone looking to break into the editorial industry and a candidate looking to work in cyber security won’t get the same pay. 


Curious to find out how much you’ll be earning based on your experience, qualifications, and industry? Download BGC Group’s 2019 salary guide here for free. 


2. Don’t Want To Do “Saikang” Work

Unfortunately for most of us, starting an entry-level job in the working world usually means that you must do some form of “saikang” work. It sucks but always remember, that if you power through and do it well, you’re proving to your supervisor that you can be trusted. By proving yourself to be a trustworthy employee, you will gain the trust of your hirers and soon, be doing the work you deserve.

It’s also important to remember to take the “saikang” work you’ve been tasked to do as a form of “on-the-job” training. After all, it could be useful for your future endeavors. Plus, we all have to start somewhere right? 


3. Lack of Extracurricular Activities  
 


Your parents have nagged you about it. Your teachers might’ve said something about voluntary work once. Your friends are all doing it. And they’ve got the right idea. In a survey by Psychology Today, 91% of hirers stated that it was important for prospective employees participated in extracurricular activities related to their field of study.

Extracurricular activities might make you more hireable. Especially when you’re in a leadership position. Impressive CCA performances might also make you more likable amongst hiring managers. 


4. Not Asking For Help From The Right Places  
 



Unlike Gen X job candidates, Millennials and Gen Z job seekers tend to only look and apply for jobs online. By doing this, they’re effectively missing out on a number of jobs. One way to look for permanent jobs is through the use of recruitment companies in Singapore. 

There are a number of benefits of applying through a recruitment agency. For instance, both recruitment agencies and consultants have access to a number of jobs that might not be available to the public just yet. Additionally, they’ll have knowledge of growing industries and an “in” to the different companies that might be hiring. Not only that, but some hiring consultants will also give you specific interview tips and tricks to make you put you in the good books of different companies.

Learn more about the different benefits of using a recruitment agency in Singapore here

 

5. They’re Not Passionate Enough 

Every candidate is a salesman - to be successful, you need to sell your passion and interest to work with the company. Passion is not only important, but it is also an impressive quality. As a job candidate, you need to construct the many different ways you can inject the word passion or your undying passion for the company/job/industry, in the job interview.

But remember, there are other ways to convey your passion for the job without saying the word passion over and over again. Show the hirers that you’re really interested in the role by volunteering or taking up extra courses related to the position. Doing this also helps you buff up your resume, especially when you have little to no experience. 


6. They Lack The Required Skills 

Face it, some graduates are just not skilled enough to land a job in their respective fields. They may have the book smarts, but not the in-demand skills needed to get the job done. An example is soft skills, which are skills that cannot be acquired from years of study, but rather, from years of working. These range from desired work ethic, to multitasking skills, or even the ability to appear calm.

Learn more about the different soft skills that employers in Singapore desire here

Other times, hiring managers might be on the lookout for trendy hard skills. For instance, a simple Marketing Executive will now need to know not only Photoshop. But basic programming and coding (i.e. HTML, and CSS) might make you a desired hire.

Pro-Tip: Take the time to research the hottest skills in different industries. For those looking to break into the IT, tech, and cyber security industry, click here to learn more about the relevant skills
 


7. They’re Too Scared to Apply 

When I first got out of university, it took me a solid few months for me to start applying for jobs. Why? Because I was too scared to apply for a stable role, as I believe that I didn’t have the experience needed to land a full-time job. Apparently, this is a problem faced by a number of fresh, new graduates. Pair this up with the ongoing job recession and you’ll find it harder to make the first application drop. 

Internships, volunteering experiences, tertiary projects, and freelance positions are great ways to help buff your resume. Alternatively, it’s also best to start applying for jobs whilst you’re young. Part-time and temp jobs in Singapore, are some great ways to help you pave your way to the future. 


8. Bad Resumes 

Unlike your parent’s generation, an aesthetically pleasing resume can get you far, today. In our previous article, “Killer Resume Tips to Step Up Your Job Hunting Game”, we talked about how adding some simple design elements to your CV can help you during your job search. 

For more resume tips, check out our recommended readings here:

What do you think are some of the reasons that 2019 graduates can't find jobs in Singapore? Let us know in the comments section below! 
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