Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Finding Jobs in Singapore

Many friends are asking me on how to find jobs in Singapore, so I am writing these tips to help them know and everyone else who happens to be interested in landing a job here in SG. These are all based on my experiences and from others' as well that I've accumulated from the different filipino groups, discussion forum and any form of online filipino community in Singapore.

How to Apply:


You have the option either to apply online or via personal visit as tourist. If you are looking for the safest then I suggest to apply online. I consider it safe because you don't need to take risks like, resigning from your current job and maybe later going home empty handed. Normally, the employer will just schedule a phone interview, and from there if you will make it, they will process the application of your Employment Pass (EP). Once approved, they will send you the approved-in-principle letter for the EP, then you will be good to go.

The easiest way to proceed by then is to go as Tourist, then you will process everything from here, from your medical examination, to submission of requirements for the issuance of EP Card, to the processing of OWWA membership. This would only take you 5 days to process everything.

>> Some of Reliable Online Job Sites (in no order of preference)

  1. www.monster.com
  2. www.st701.com
  3. www.jobstreet.com.sg
  4. www.jobsdb.com.sg
  5. www.singaporejobsite.com
  6. www.myjobsearch.com


If you have Filipino friends working here then that would be another advantage especially if they are performing well in their fields of work, as most likely their employer would ask them to recommend someone whom they personally know and of course a Filipino. Then everything would be the same as the procedure in Online Application.

By the way, this is the process that I went through, I was referred by a friend working here in SG, and so I went here as Tourist and process everything in less than a week. Thanks God for sending me a blessing in a form of a friend.

Social Visit (Tourist)

This is the riskiest way to go in hunting jobs here in Singapore, but that's the purpose why this article is created, for you to have a guide and idea on how to do it right and to minimize the risk that you may go through. As an introduction please only consider this option if you have a friend or a relative here, with their respective names and addresses ready. If you don't know anyone from here then I wouldn't be suggesting for you to come here and I don't have any tips for you on this matter. So you really have a friend or a relative here? Then continue reading..

>> Plane Tickets

When you enter Singapore as Tourist you will be required to have a round trip ticket. This is necessary, you will not be allowed to enter if you only have a one-way ticket. So book for a round trip ticket, I suggest that you will schedule your returning ticket two weeks from the date of your arrival. That means that you will be staying in Singapore for two weeks. Well, not really but just keep it that way for them to believe that you will be here for a vacation only. Later on you can re-schedule your return ticket to a later date once you are in Singapore.

>> Pocket Money

Others would say that to bring S$1,000 is already enough but I would say that the safest would be S$1,500 or approximately equal to 50,000 Php. That would mean that you will be spending here S$100 a day, that's more than enough actually as the food per meal here would only cost you S$2.50, if you will be eating at public food places like our carenderia in the Philippines. But to consider that you will be here for a vacation then you will be spending a lot more than that. We are talking real money here alright, in cold cash. If you also have credit cards then bring them with you.

>> Dress Code

If you are a guy then just wear anything you are comfortable with and decent. If you are a she, then please wear semi-formal or formal (not the gowns alright, i'm referring to corporate looks here) dress. Recently they have been doing random checks on ladies as there are reports that a number of filipina prostitutes is growing in alarming numbers here, so make sure to dress properly. What is semi-formal or formal, please do your research and ask your folks at home or your not-so-friendly neighbors. Just kidding, I know you are very well verse on this one.

>> Place to Stay

You will be asked on the address and name of a person that you will be staying here. You have no name or address to present? Then read back 3 paragraphs above, only go here when you have a friend or a relative.

>> Length of Stay

When you enter singapore as Tourist, you will be allowed to stay in the country for 30 days. Yes, even if you say that you will be staying here for only 2 weeks, the days that they will allow you to stay and will be stamped in your passport is 30 days. So don't waste time and start applying from Day 1 to Day 30, don't be a lazy ass (sorry for the word, i was carried away, hehe).

On the 27th day, if you haven't bumped any luck yet then you can apply an extension online through their website and you will be given an additional 30 days to stay.

>> Exit Strategy

This is a tricky way to extend your stay here after the extension expires and you still didn't find any job. You are not ready to give up yet, aren't you? After all you are already here playing with the risks. Ok good.

The nearest country and the cheapest to make your exit is of course Malaysia, it is just a train ride and bus ride and *poof*, you're already in another country. The food and accomodation in Malaysia is very much cheaper compare to Singapore so the little extra money that you have would still be enough, there are even filipinos there that could offer you a place to stay for $4 to $10 a day.

Now stay there for at least a week before you enter back Singapore. Ja-ran!!! another 30 days for you to stay, what a lucky earthling you are. Now, that's if you are lucky, I've heared stories that others have been given a 7 days extension only, but that's a very small number of unlucky ones, but still possible.

After this if you haven't found any job yet then there's no other way for you to go but to go back to our homeland. And when you're there, try to weigh things again, your competency and skills, your experiences in job hunting, do you think you'll get it the next time. Evaluate all these risks and after a minimum of 3 months, maybe you could try your luck again or maybe you will just find rocks that you could turn into gold in our beloved country.

>> Perfect Timing

Well there's no such way as perfect, but an ideal time to be here is January to April as a lot of employees will be resigning on this period after getting their bonuses.

Documents to Bring

1. Passport (will not expire in 9 months time)
2. TOR and Diploma - certified true copy from registrar (authenticated or not, mine is not but if you have time to get it authenticated to go)
3. PRC Certificate (if any, i don't have mine but still make it authenticated if you have)
4. Any other certificates you have accumulated

Cost of Living (Per Month)

>> 1 room's average rental: S$600
>> max. head per room is 2: $650 / 2 = S$350 (hehe, you got it right there's nothing wrong with your calculator)
>> other expenses: S$ 300 per month (includes food, internet, cable, water, electricity, gas)

Singapore Currency and Rate

Currency is Singaporean Dollar (SGD or S$)
1 SGD ~ 32 PHP


So, I think that would be all, if you have questions then please feel free to leave a comment on this article or leave a message in my message box. I will try to answer them all.

Don't forget to pass this on to someone you know who is interested to work here in Singapore.

Happy Hunting. See you here in SG.

F.A.Q. (12/16/2010)

Q: For fresh grads like me, do i have a chance?
A: It is always good to arm yourself with real work experiences. Build up your skill sets, this will color your resume/CV for you to get the attention of Head Hunters/Employers. Always remember, the competition is tough.

Q: What if I don't have relatives or friends in Singapore?
A: I published this guide to help people find their way into landing jobs in Singapore in the safest manner. Having friends or relatives in Singapore to back you up in case something goes wrong is one thing you would be thanking once you are in the real situation. Plus the situation now gets even tougher not to have contacts here in SG. (see the next item)

Q: I've heared about Invitation Letter being required?
A: Philippine Immigration Officers (IO), sometimes require Invitation Letter from your friends or relatives in Singapore when you leave the country. This is a new protocol, just to make sure, ask your friends/relatives in Singapore to secure a certified copy of this Invitation Letter from the Philippine Embassy in Singapore and mail it to you. I've heard stories that some IO will not honor scanned copy of this Invitation Letter.

Q: I've scheduled my return ticket more than 2 weeks after my arrival date in Singapore, is it okay?
A: Inorder to avoid suspicions from Immigration Officers, an advisable and believable holiday duration is 2 weeks only. And your pocket money will convince the IO that you will not get into financial trouble during your stay.

Q: How to get Employment Pass/S-Pass/Work Pass?
A: Your employer will apply whichever pass that will suit your salary grade. You don't have to worry this when you come as you will be concentrating more on finding job first, but make sure you have the requirements listed in the post above.

Q: What about Medical Examination?
A: You need to pass the Medical Exam conducted by Singapore Authorized Testing Centers as requirement to get your employment pass/s-pass/work permit. Tests include but not limited to Tubercolosis, Hepatitis, HIV, Drug test.

07/20/11 Update: Regarding Invitation Letter

There are instances now that the Immigration Officer in the Philippines would require an Invitation Letter to be presented upon leaving the Country to Singapore. Please read my blog post about this policy.