Hong Kong Job Search

April 17, 2023 0 Comments

Hong Kong Job Search

The prospect of earning salaries that are much higher than what foreigners can earn in their own countries is a major temptation for many foreign nationals who come to work in Hong Kong.

Due to its location, free port status, well-developed infrastructure and low taxation, Hong Kong continues to be a regional investment hub and financial centre. The number of ex-pats working in Hong Kong remains high. However, the recent economic downturn and increasing numbers of well-qualified local graduates have led to a competitive job market. Finding employment in Hong Kong has become more difficult for ex-pats. Particularly those ex-pats trying to find a job without an intra-company transfer have to jump some hurdles.

Consider all national differences if you want those prospective employers will take your job application to be taken seriously. Jobs in Hong Kong demand more than just the obvious Hong Kong CV or Hong Kong resume with Hong Kong cover letter writing and translation – they require thorough preparation.

Problems that in all possibility did not even cross your mind when you decided to find a job in Hong Kong will confront you. Do not take too lightly the influence they can have on the outcome of your adventure! Think, for example, you will experience the unfamiliar immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, bizarre job selection trends and weird management culture.

You should be prepared to take Hong Kong as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges. Do not underestimate those national differences. What is common in one country might be very unusual in another country.

Do your research about job and life in Hong Kong – find people who lived there before or better yet, live there currently. Find out not only the legal requirements but also the local employment culture. Working abroad is one thing, but having a job that does not suit you will definitely cause homesickness!

Most visits to Hong Kong are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against Western interests and civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. In recent years, the Hong Kong authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Ensure that your travel documents and visas are current and valid and secured in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals. Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, and exercise caution while driving. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.

Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is spoken widely and used in public places. While some positions require strong language skills (translator, consultant, etc.) others demand only minimal foreign language skills.

Many people believe that having studied a certain language at school or college means you are able to speak that language – but do not be mistaken. Having to convince your boss or pass an interview in a language that is not your native tongue could prove a lot more difficult than you might expect.

When applying for Hong Kong jobs, you may use either Chinese or English, depending on the company and your fluency. Foreign job seekers are expected to have at least a basic understanding of the local language because knowledge of the local language is considered necessary to cope with daily office life and life outside work.

Accept that most of the successful expatriate professionals are bilingual and many of them bicultural. Because of that, they can comfortably relate to people from different cultures.

Foreigners found working without a valid Hong Kong work visa/permit are liable to prosecution

Any foreigner who wants to work in Hong Kong MUST have a working visa under a Hong Kong sponsor. There is no provision for freelance work.

The most efficient ways to find work in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region are through recruitment agencies, recruiters and employers on the Internet, local newspaper classifieds, job-related trade magazines and recruitment agents. Thursday and Saturday editions of Hong Kong’s newspapers often have expanded classified sections.

In the effective Hong Kong job search, you should complement online job search by methods that are more traditional because Jobs in Hong Kong are advertised in different ways and some jobs are not advertised in traditional forms at all. More than half of all Hong Kong work is not advertised at all and are filled through referrals or networking. We refer to this as the “hidden job market” and it is a very important aspect in the job search process.

Quite often, with Hong Kong job search, it is not what you know but whom you know

Job search resources on the Internet are the easiest way to find suitable jobs and the most convenient way to reach potential employers. You can gain free access to online job websites and recruiters to search for jobs under categories of interest browse job listings and apply online. You can customize searches with desired categories such as salary and position title. CV postings and job databases allow you to receive, via email “Job Alerts” for selected categories. You can also attend virtual and live career/job fairs.

The job search process usually works this way:

  • You find a Hong Kong employer through a recruitment agency, recruiter on the Internet.
  • You fill up the job application and submit required documents like your CV, cover letter etc.
  • When there is a match, the agency, recruiter or employer will agree to hire you subject to obtaining a work permit.
  • The employer applies for a work permit for you. This process usually depends on what country you are from and what your skills or education is – 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Your employer after approval of the work visa/permit will send you a copy.

Check the academic requirements of desired positions as in most cases the Hong Kong government insists on degrees from accredited universities.

Do not pay someone to find you a job

Employers pay the fee at a reputable employment agency. Do not be fooled by ads in newspapers promoting international jobs for a fee. Do not deal with any employment agency that requires a fee unless there is a money-back guarantee and even then think twice. When looking for a job be cautious of fraud. Many agencies and recruiters take advantage of the problematic job situation for foreigners and provide very tempting job offers, which eventually turn out to be false.

Cost of Living

Hong Kong ranks among the ten most expensive cities in the world. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is undoubtedly one of the most expensive places to live in the world. Hong Kong’s popularity among expatriates and its very limited available space drives up the cost of housing and the overall cost of living there. Other living costs such as food and fuel are high as well.

Statutory minimum wage (SMW)

With effect from 1 May 2013, the SMW rate is HK$30 per hour.


Immunizations are not required.

Run Hong Kong job search using the Internet’s most powerful job-search engine!

what:   where:  

Job title, keywords or company   Town or region  
Jobs by Careerjet

For your Hong Kong job search, simply type keywords into the what box describing the kind of job you want, and enter a town, city or state in the where box. Then click the Find button or hit the Enter key on your keyboard.

If you are unhappy with the presented jobs you may use another powerful job search engine covering the different job sources.

Remember that your CV/resume must be targeted, scannable and generate hits. If you have difficulty with your CV writing or resume writing instead of staring at a blank piece of paper, use CV samples and CV templates, resume samples and resume templates.

Most recruiters expect to receive a cover letter together with your CV or resume. So, prepare a cover letter convincing the reader why you are the best candidate for the interview using cover letter writing tips.

In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with current CV/resume. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV/resume you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV/resume.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online CV/resume should not include sensitive information as they could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Other Hong Kong Job Search Info

To be successful in your Hong Kong job search and get the jobs you want, you need to prepare Hong Kong CV or Hong Kong resume and a Hong Kong cover letter which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in Hong Kong.

When you receive an invitation to the Hong Kong job interview, you may apply for a Hong Kong visa and Hong Kong work permit. Then prepare yourself for the Hong Kong job interview and take a look at the Hong Kong dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in being hired.

Check the job interview dos & don’ts and other job search skills pages. Find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Hong Kong job search!

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