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6 Steps To Working In Singapore: A Guide For Foreigners

Singapore is one of Asia’s most thriving economies and therefore attracts both global businesses and professionals. If you are a business trying to break into the Singapore market, or a professional looking for work opportunities in the Merlion City, let this six-step guide help you:

First, look for job postings.
Starting online is a convenient way to look for jobs that suit your qualifications. [email protected] is Singapore’s official job portal and should be the first of your reference sites. The Straits Times, a local paper, also publishes job ads regularly on its website’s Recruit section. Other job sites, such as JobsDB, also list vacancies per country. Don’t forget to look at the companies’ own websites as well. Subscribe to newsletters as you see fit, and fill out your jobseeker’s profile. Make sure to input accurate and complete information about your qualifications.

Second, submit your resume to employers.
If you think you’re a great fit for a particular vacancy, don’t hesitate to forward your application. Before you do so, however, make sure you keep your Curriculum Vitae updated, concise, accurate, and relevant to the position you are applying for. You can come up with a different set of CV depending on the specialisation you want to highlight.

Third, prepare for an interview.
Singapore companies are very much aware that a huge chunk of their applicants are foreigners who are located overseas and, in most cases, cannot be available for an interview right at their offices. If you are shortlisted and invited for an interview and happen to be overseas, you may request for an interview via phone or online. In other cases, companies with a local branch in your home country may do the interview for you. Remember to be prompt for your appointment and dress appropriately even for online video calls. If you’re doing the latter, have a test run to make sure your Internet connection is stable, and that your webcam, speakers, and microphone are working well.

Fourth, review your contract.
Once you are accepted for a job, your employer will offer you a contract. This document contains all the important information about your employment, including your salary, working days and hours, etcetera. Read through this very carefully and ask questions as you see fit before signing. Sign only after you have understood everything that comes with the job offer.

Fifth, apply for a work visa in Singapore.
Your employer will be the one to take care of this on your behalf and should provide you with updates regarding its processing. Once your work visa is approved, your employer will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter. This letter is valid for three months after date of issuance. After arriving in Singapore, you can obtain your Employment Pass from the Employment Pass Service Centre.

Sixth, finalise your relocation to Singapore.
Look for house listings. Familiarise yourself with important routes, such as the train station nearest to your apartment or workplace. Purchase a local SIM card for your mobile phone for easy communication. Acquaint yourself with the basic rules of etiquette in the country.