Finding Jobs In Singapore In COVID Times: 7 Essential Tips

  • Singapore’s overall unemployment rate has hit a new high owing to the COVID-pandemic.

  • Many companies have announced layoffs and wage cuts. Some have asked their employees to go on no-pay leave.

  • For those affected by the current job crisis, here are some great tips on finding jobs in Singapore.

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    Posted on 28 August 2020

    Finding Jobs In Singapore

    Finding jobs in Singapore post-COVID-19 is proving to be a challenge for many. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

    The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the job market really hard. Singapore is heading towards its worst recession in two decades, with the gross domestic product (GDP) expected to shrink between 4 and 7 per cent in 2020.

    Retrenchments have more than doubled - Singapore's overall unemployment rate has jumped to 2.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, up from 2.4 per cent in the first quarter.

    Many companies have also announced wage cuts or are signalling their employees to go on no-pay leave.

    If you have lost your job, or are in search of new employment opportunities, here are some options to overcome the challenges of these tough times.

    Finding Jobs in Singapore: Try These Options

    1.   Develop your skills using SkillsFuture Courses or other free courses online

    While you are looking for jobs or waiting to hear back from employers, upgrade your skills to gain a competitive advantage in your job search.

    To encourage Singaporeans to upskill, reskill and seize new job opportunities, a one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up of $500 has been provided to every Singapore Citizen aged 25 years and above (by 31 Dec 2020).

    From 1 April 2020, eligible Singaporeans can use their one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up on more than 8,000 courses offered by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and NTUC LearningHub.

    Visit SkillsFuture Credit for more information on eligible courses.

    Meanwhile, several renowned institutes across the world are offering free courses and certificates online to help people tide through this challenging period. Here are some resources you should check out:

    Finding Jobs In Singapore


    2.   Look for jobs under the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package

    The SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package aims to expand job, traineeship, and skills training opportunities to support Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.

    TheSGUnited Traineeships Programme supports those who have recently graduated or will soon be graduating from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Polytechnics, Universities and other private educational institutions in 2019 or 2020, to take up traineeship opportunities across various sectors. This includes those who graduated from the above institutions and recently completed National Service in 2019/2020.

    Trainees will gain valuable industry experience and receive a training allowance for the duration of the SGUnited Traineeship Programme. Find out more, here.

    Jobseekers can explore these new job opportunities by searching for the #SGUnitedJobs and #SGUnitedTraineeships hashtag at

    Finding Jobs In Singapore

    The Government has announced new initiatives to help people in finding jobs in Singapore. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

    Early to mid-career employees can check out:

    - A full-time modular training programme conducted over six to 12 months. It comprises certifiable courses delivered by the CET Centres, including Institutes of Higher Learning.

    - Courses are designed in partnership with the industry to ensure that skills are relevant.

    - Trainees will receive a training allowance of $1,200 per month for the duration of the programme in which they are enrolled.

    - This programme was introduced to provide mid-career individuals with traineeships and training opportunities at companies and public sector agencies. You may choose either an enterprise attachment or training while receiving a monthly allowance.

    3.   Place-and-Train under the P-Max programme

    P-Max is a place-and-train programme to help professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), including older workers aged 50 years and above.

    Jobseekers applying for job placements under this programme will be screened and matched into suitable positions in SMEs by Programme Managers. They will then attend a 2-3 day PMET workshop to allow them to better acclimatise to their new SME jobs.

    In addition, supervisors from the SMEs will also be required to attend a 1-day workshop to help them better communicate with their newly hired PMETs and to adopt best HR practices.

    Stay updated with the latest stories!

    PMETs must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this programme:

    PMET Eligibility criteria (For P-Max)

    • Be a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident;

    • Seeking employment in an SME, or working in the current SME for not more than three months before programme enrolment;

    • Possess educational qualifications that are Diploma or higher, and/or is employed or have prior work experience in a PMET position; and

    • Completed National Service for a minimum period of 12 months (if applicable) or graduated from a tertiary institution

    PMET Eligibility criteria (For P-Max for Older Workers)

    • Be a Singapore Citizen; aged 50 and above.

    • Seeking employment in an SME, or working in the current SME for not more than three months before programme enrolment;

    • Possess educational qualifications that are Diploma or higher, and/or is employed or have prior work experience in a PMET position; and

    • Completed National Service for a minimum period of 12 months (if applicable) or graduated from a tertiary institution

    To apply for the P-Max Programme, you can get in touch with ASME by contacting them at:
    Tel: 6513 0349 / 0366 / 0368 Email:

    For more information on the P-Max programme, please visit:



    4.   Opt for a contract job or short-term role

    If you are in dire straits and badly in need of a job, consider applying for a contract position or even a short-term role. Look at it as an opportunity to prove your worth. Plus, it’s something to add to your resume.

    If you do well, you might just be able to convert it into a permanent position. These are tough times, so be realistic about your salary expectations.

    Finding Jobs In Singapore

    Finding jobs in Singapore: Ace that video interview PHOTO: PEXELS

    5.   Be well prepared for that phone/video interview

    With all the safe distancing measures that are in place due to COVID-19, recruiters and HR managers today are most likely to opt for phone and video interviews. Make sure you are well prepared for this new normal.

    Start by getting comfortable with web-conferencing tools like Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom. Make sure you know how to set up your microphone and speakers. Get comfortable with speaking to a webcam. It helps to do a test run with your friend or family member, to check your sound and visual quality and tone.

    Always dress professionally for an interview. Find a quiet location, with good background and lighting.

    6.   Get comfortable with networking

    Networking is important, especially when it comes to getting job referrals. In fact, employers are more likely to trust referrals than resumes.

    Reach out to more professionals through virtual events or webinars. Boost your LinkedIn and social media presence.

    Here are some tips to up your game on LinkedIn:

    • Connect, connect, connect.

    • Use keywords in your headline, summary and profile, that hiring managers and recruiters are searching for.

    • For greater visibility, publish amazing posts and content regularly.

    • Consider promoting your work online. Write articles to express your knowledge in your area of expertise.

    • Find and join LinkedIn groups

    • Ask for recommendations from your ex-colleagues. Also, give a great recommendation to someone you’ve worked with.

    7.   Seek professional advice/career coaching

    If you are unsuccessful in finding jobs in Singapore and are feeling a little stuck, get career guidance from professional Career Coaches at any of Workforce Singapore’s (WSG) Careers Connect and NTUC's e2i centres located around the island.

    WSG has also brought its career workshops online. These include essential job-search knowledge such as resume writing and interview skills, effective job search techniques and tips on building a professional network.

    You can get more information here.

    We hope these tips on finding jobs in Singapore were useful. Don’t give up hope - remember to keep applying for jobs. The tide will turn.

    About the Author

    Jaya Mahesh