Ask senior career coach Cheng Hing Nan about the don’ts of the job-search process, and chances are, he will advise you against firing off resumes aimlessly, hoping an interview lands.
Jobseekers run the risk of flooding the employer with the same resume, funnelled through means such as recruitment agencies and referrals from employees who are friends.
Human resources personnel would then have a problem deciding whom to pay commission or an incentive to for the referral, as has happened to one of his clients, who did not land an interview as a result.
Another mistake? The expectation that lowering one’s salary expectations would land one a job, said Mr Cheng, who joined Workforce Singapore in 2015, and was commended ited in Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say’s speech during the debate on his ministry’s Budget yesterday, along with other career coaches, for helping unemployed workers find work.
“I salute our career coaches at WSG, e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and our career centres for their passion, their professionalism and their perseverance in serving our jobseekers, one to one, one by one, day after day with their heads and their hearts,” he said, noting that Mr Cheng had helped a client who was jobless for a long stretch land a job half a year after taking him on.
Sharing his experience in an interview, Mr Cheng said another barrier facing senior professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) is that hiring managers do not trust jobseekers who are willing to settle for a great deal less than what they had drawn previously. “What if a slightly-higher-paying job comes along ... you resign and I’ve to go through the hiring process again?”
Mr Cheng, 55, was laid off twice from high-paying jobs, most recently about four years ago, when he was made redundant because his Norwegian employer decided to shut its operations here.
Bringing his experience to bear on his work now, the former business development director said he could grasp the mentality, urgency and stress facing unemployed workers. So far, he has successfully helped 75 workers return to the workforce.
His advice for unemployed PMETs — particularly those who have held senior positions — is not to step into an interview as a “jobseeker” but as a “business consultant”.
Jobseekers’ behaviour should reflect their capabilities, shifting attention away from their age.
“You understand the company’s problems, you’re here to solve the problems, and you’re proposing a solution backed up by your track record,” he said. KENNETH CHENG