Singapore Job Search

April 17, 2023 0 Comments

Singapore 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 Singapore.

Due to its location, free port status, well-developed infrastructure and low taxation, Singapore continues to be a regional investment hub and financial centre. Singapore has a large expatriate European/US community, a reflection of the large representation of overseas companies here.

Singapore is known as one of Asia’s “Little Tiger” economies, ranking alongside Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. The Singaporean job market is robust and healthy. Employment prospects are strong for job seekers. Talent shortages exist, especially in IT, health, education, construction, finance, insurance, real estate and services.

Some companies and public-sector organizations, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the Land Transport Authority, advertised and conducted interviews in other countries.

Consider all national differences if you want that prospective employer will take your job application seriously. Despite globalization, you need to be aware that national differences manifest themselves not only in different languages. Jobs in Singapore demand more than just the obvious Singapore CV with Singapore 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 Singapore will confront you. Think, for example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, bizarre job selection criteria and weird management culture.

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

Do your research about job and life in Singapore – 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 Singapore 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 Singaporean 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, 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.

Singapore’s constitution declares four official languages in Singapore: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. English is the primary language used in business, education, science and technology. The majority of businesspeople speak it rather well. Most Singaporeans are at least bilingual and many speak all four languages. English and Mandarin are the most commonly-used languages in daily life.

A lot of 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 a job in Singapore, you may use either English, Malay, Mandarin or Tamil, 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.

The most efficient ways to find work in Singapore are through recruitment agencies, recruiters and employers, local newspaper classifieds and job-related trade magazines on the Internet.

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.

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

Foreigners found working without a valid Singapore work visa/permit are liable to prosecution. Authorities in Singapore may also impose caning for immigration violations. Any foreigner who wants to work in Singapore MUST have a work pass/permit under a Singaporean sponsor.
There is no provision for freelance work.

Networking is a very important part of finding Singapore jobs. This can be difficult for a foreigner looking for job openings in Singapore, but there are social networking websites for professionals such as LinkedIn, XING or Facebook, where you may search for jobs and have your profile with your current CV or resume.

The job search process usually works this way:

  • You find a Singaporean employer through a recruitment agency, recruiter on the Internet.
  • You fill up the job application online or submit required documents like your CV, resume, cover letter etc.
  • When there is a match (you pass interviews), the agency, recruiter or employer will agree to hire you subject to obtaining a work permit/pass.
  • The employer applies for a Singapore work permit/pass for you. This process usually depends on what country you are from and what your skills or education is – 1 to 6 weeks.
  • Your employer after approval of the work visa/permit will send you a copy.

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 jobs 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.

Make sure you know in advance in what currency you will be paid in Singapore

Cost of Living

In 2014 Singapore, become the most expensive city in the world. It ranks as the first-costliest city in the world for expatriates and is one of the most expensive cities in Asia. With limited available space, Singapore has expensive housing, which is one of the primary drivers of its cost of living. Not only do many expatriates in Singapore spend more on their accommodations than ex-pats in other countries, but they also find the cost of cars, fuel, food and drink much higher.

Statutory minimum wage

Do not exist.


Immunizations are not required. Depending on which country you are coming from, a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate may be needed. There is a risk of Dengue fever in Singapore. You should take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

For Singapore job search use the most powerful job-search engine!


what:   where:  

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

To run your Singapore job search, simply type keywords into the what box describing the kind of job you want, and enter a city, a province or postal code in the where box. Then click the Find button or hit the Enter key on your keyboard.

Careerjet runs Singapore job search on all of the major job boards, newspaper sites, niche industry sites and corporate job sites. Those include:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and hundreds more.

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 Singapore Job Search Info

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

When you receive an invitation to the Singapore job interview, you may apply for a Singapore visa and Singapore work permit/pass. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at the Singapore dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in not being hired for available jobs.

Check the job interview dos & don’ts, job interview tips and other job search skills pages.

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 Singapore job search!

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