While competence and skills were not an issue, Kamal Kumar still had to face an ordeal while hunting for a job in Singapore. He shares the lessons he has picked up along the way to help other Indians hoping to relocate to Singapore in search of a better career and higher salary.
Problems I faced as an Indian looking for job in Singapore
by Kamal Kumar
It was 2nd Sept’15, when I quit my job in India and moved to Singapore (SG) for my job search. The reason was a bit personal. My wife had relocated to Singapore 2 years ago.
Before leaving my job in India, I completed my basic search about the job market and industries in SG. I also spent a 1-month vacation in SG during June’15. During that period, I was selected by 2 employers in SG but offered a salary that was lower than my expectation. So, I declined the offer. But that gave me the confidence that I can get job in SG without any problems.
I went back to India, resigned after a 2-month notice period and shifted to SG as a full-time job seeker. I came here with expectations of getting an opportunity that was better than my Indian job. I was in manager position in the manufacturing industry in India.
During the first 2-3 months, I was getting jobs of lower salary compared to my Indian job. I kept declining those offers. After 3-4 months, the interview calls drops and the tough time began.
One thing that kept me calm and balanced was that I was actively involved in the local community services and participating in the events organised by ‘InterNations‘. These activities not only helped me in utilising my time productively, but also in creating a local community network.
The gap in my career was increasing day by day. That’s when I started looking for jobs back in India through my contacts. I’ve got good offers from India. I am now looking ahead to move back in India and get my career back on track.
During these tough times, I learnt many lessons that I would like to share with other Indians who are looking for jobs in Singapore.
How to get a job in Singapore from India
What makes Singapore a good country for Indians to work and live in?
Singapore is developed country with one of the most successful economies in the world. SG is an attractive destination for Indians to work, as one can fulfill the dream of earning a salary in dollars while staying close to India. There is good competition between highly-skilled natives and expats.
If you are looking for job in SG, here are some topics and questions that may cross your mind.
- How to get a work permit for Singapore?
- Which is better – search for a job in Singapore while working in India? Or go to Singapore and then search for a job?
- Are my skills or experience in demand in SG?
- Will I get the job in SG? What’s my backup plan if I don’t?
Getting a work permit in SG
The primary question that may come to your mind is – do I need work permit as a foreigner in Singapore?
Unlike in USA or Canada, in Singapore, firstly you need to secure a job, and then a Work Pass will be issued by employer.
For foreign professionals searching for manager and executive level jobs, candidates need to earn at least $3,300 a month and have acceptable qualifications. For high-earning existing Employment pass holders or overseas foreign professionals, the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) offers greater flexibility than an Employment Pass.
You may be thinking. “Can I search for a job if I am living in SG on a dependent pass?”
Yes, you can apply for Singapore jobs even if you are there as a dependent. After securing a job, the employer can issue a letter of consent with Ministry of Manpower or the employer may apply for an employment pass.
Search for Singapore jobs from India or after going to SG?
Can I search for job in SG while working in India? Yes, you can. However, employers prefer face-to-face interviews and they also prefer foreigners staying in SG.
It would be little bit difficult to find a job in SG while staying in India, unless you already have strong network in SG that works for you and prospective employer agree to complete the selection process online.
How to find jobs in Singapore?
To start with your job search, there are lots of online job portals that provide lot of information such as JobsCentral.com.sg, sg.JobStreet.com, JobsCentral.com.sg.
Another important source is the main English language newspaper in Singapore, The Straits Times, publishes a “Classified Jobs” and “Executive Appointments” supplement every Saturday that lists a wide range of job opportunities. The online version of these job listings can be found in the ST701 portal.
Some companies hire recruitment agencies to help them find candidates. Some reputed recruitment agencies include GMP, Adecco, Kelly Services, Hudson, Michael Page, Robert Walters and Recruit Express.
While searching online for jobs in SG, you will notice many job postings stating that Singaporeans/PR should apply. There are fewer job openings for foreigners. The reason is that Employers in Singapore are granted some quota from Ministry of Manpower, in which they can hire foreigners. In simple terms, if there are 10 job openings in the market, it may be possible that only 2 are open for foreigners and the rest for Singaporeans/PR holders.
Another important point is that in India, you can find thousands of job consultants who promise you jobs and extract a good amount of money from you for resume services and job search.
There is no such thing as a paid consultant to find jobs in Singapore.
You can hire consultants for resume services, career counselling and coaching services in SG to advise you on the right path. But the job consultants work for the company not for the candidates. They look for the right people for the job, not jobs for the people. You can contact recruitment consultants to discuss about the job opportunity.
Are my skills & experience in demand in the Singapore job market?
Before jumping into the job search, it is very important to take a closer look of the job market and prepare for the sector that offers best employment opportunity.
Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore Work Force Development Agency publish a labour market guide, listing jobs which they expect to be in demand in the upcoming year. It includes information on expected labour shortages in different industries, average wages, and the relevant skills and qualifications for these jobs.
It is advisable to consult the skills in demand list on Ministry of manpower website.
Will I get a job in Singapore? What’s my backup plan?
One of the main reasons of not getting the first job in SG is being inflexible and not willing to compromise with a low salary jobs that you are offered. So, it is advisable to accept the first job even if it is lesser than your expectation.
It is important to first get your foot in the door. You should try to remain flexible and keep the options open. However, you should also keep cost of living in SG in mind before accepting any offer.
It is advisable to keep in touch with your previous employers and other contacts in India. It might be possible that after 6 to 7 month of job search in SG, you have to come back to India to have your career on track.
So be flexible, act smart, be ready to learn new things, expand your professional network and take right decision on right time.
Good luck for all Indian professionals, looking for job in Singapore.
Image source: Singapore Air
19 thoughts on “How to get a job in Singapore from India?”
Quite true..and gd advice from you mr. kumar , also is pretty similar to my condition as of now i m seeking to go sg since last 2mn , taken paid consultant ( online portal help ) for resume development and display into to SG job portal but however, as you mentioned above due to no work visa/ permit i dint got single response yet. as off now Indian retail market is been also on down size after CURRENCY CALL FROM OUR PM. further, my non-employment period is increasing day-by-day.
with this letter i would like to know from your end that it is advisable to visit on SG and search for job will be better option for me or not ? ( pz note i don’t have any dependent visa ) if yes, i have to take risk on tourist visa to find employer to hire me and sponsor work permit for me.
Kindly suggest i m professtional veteran from 10+ yrs exp in indian luxury retail ( manager post ). seeking to work in SG.
Your valueable feeback will be higly appreciated.
You can go to singapore and try for job. If you have some relative or friend staying in SG , then that will release your burden of living cost, otherwise living cost is really high in SG.
Rest depend upon your profile and networking.Explore your network and dig deeper to find one who can help you in getting first job in SG.
Last but not least, it is very common in unemployment period to stay on PC and make connections on Linkedin.Your connection through common friend will better than your virtual linkedin connection.So try to meet more persons physically. You never know who might be helpful in future.
Best of luck for your job search
dear job seekers, hold your horses, do not look or jobs anywhere outside. as our PM is developing our India to match with other countries so even our India will become like Singapore and US or Switzerland soon. So please stay calm, hand in here and all our life will be improved and we will get good salaries, infrastructure, roads, building, complexes and etc. Our India is no less than any other countries so do not disappoint in anything. you can see foreigners are following us now, and are coming to India to live our life, so why should we go there. Let us make them come here and live our life. as an India we all should be proud of ourselves and we should develop our country for our future and kids. so we should stay here in India so do not leave for any reasons. We are proud enough to be born in India and serve our nation. Under Pm Narednra Modi ji, our india is going to be twice better than Singapore and US. so please stay back and serve our country. Jai hind, vande Matram. One good example: see our film industry is also developing, they are making 350 crore budget movie like SAHOO and it has become the talk of the town now. We all should be proud to have such hero Prabhas, and its our luck that he has become our loved grateful actor. and we all should be grateful to him. So my request, please stay here in India and develop our nation, there is nothing in other countries other than good roads and building but humanity is where India is famous for. look at the begger singer who has become a celebrity in overnight, its just because our good humanity. so be India and be proud and at Jai Hind.
Dear Jai Moorthy,
Have you even been to a foreign country like SG. I suggest you visit first. India is not underdeveloped due to lack of jobs. Its the corruption which stems right from the lowest levels to the highest officials of parliament. Lack of education, corruption, cleanliness, pollution, even basis amenities like roads sick here in India. Patriotism is a separate value but reality defines what we are today.
I am looking for job in Singapore. I dont have any relatives in Singapore to stay and search, please suggest me some best consultancy to approach them. For me, its important to get job in singapore due to some personal commitments, please help me.
Thanks for sharing your experience on Singapore job search, will you be able to suggest how it would be going to Singapore on a Tourist Visa and do a job search…..?
I am looking for an IT job in Singapore. I have my uncle there, he is PR. He can provide me a work permit as a normal worker, but is it possible to search and get a job as work permit employee to get an EP job. Is there any restrictions from MOM to get an EP for work permit employee. Please suggest me.
Earlier I stayed for one month and tried for job on visit pass but didn’t work. I thought one month stay is not enough get a job there.
Thanks in advance..
I am currently working as a IT Project Manager in India with 11 years experience. I have a dependent pass holder as my wife has an Employment pass. What is the possibility of getting calls for Dependent pass holders, for me?
Hi Kamal bhai
I am looking for laboratory technician job in Singapore. I dont have any relatives in Singapore to stay and search, please suggest me some best consultancy to approach them. For me, its important to get job in singapore . please help me.
I am Venugopal looking job in Singapore can u help me to get job please suggest or refer me any placement consultancy or any other
I am looking for job in Singapore. I dont have any relatives in Singapore to stay and search, please suggest me some best consultancy to approach them. Pl help me.
Really a valuable information… Thank you sir. Please suggest what would be an ideal min pay required for a single person and save around 30k-40k to send home India.
Through one of the consultant .I have attended the interview and got selected. Now the consultant asking to pay 12000 for Documentation verification and 15000 for medical exam. After that only company can issue the offer letter for me. Kindly suggest is this process or it is fake
Hi , Reason being my husband is currently working in Singapore I am actively looking for job there. I might travel there in the month of January 2018 on visit visa. I just wanted to know if I will be able to face Interviews on visit visa. If YES how is the market for my experience (6 years in Recruitment/Administration ).
Also if i can extend my stay from 30 days to 90 days when in Singapore on visit visa ?
a country so pathetic in 70’s , but became one sought destination for work and living by Indians, so funny but true
Thank you for this valuable information. However I have a question : Recently I was contacted by an Agent in India who has sent me an interview call letter stating I have been selected for interview for Singapore and asked me to submit all the documents and come in person to attend the interview. However when I went there (chennai) they said my profile has been selected and he would work on E pass / S pass with a salary bracket mentioned. He asked me to get my medicals done and after that he is asking 1 lakh rupees to initiate the visa process and once I get the visa then I have to pay him 2.5 lakhs. How legitimate is this process and how to trust this process. I appreciate if you can help me on this matter.
Please IGNORE them and refrain from such consultancies. Be vigilant in paying money in exchange for job offers or Visa.
As a legitimate process, first they should ask your resume and discuss the job requirements, arrange an interview, release the offer letter if selected and then your EMPLOYER in SG should apply for Work Visa. All these without any charges.
Dont go to any foreign countries. You can save money in India when compare to Singapore or other foreign countries. Can u anticipate a life which is cosy in your motherland will happen in other foreign countires too ? Think before u act. All the best.
I am looking for a job opportunity in Singapore. One consultant is promising me to give work visa and also job after submitting my medical reports and documents. They are charging 160,000 INR after joining deducting from my salary there. Is this the right way of getting job or this is also fake like most of the others.