I have just come across your website today and I found some of the posts to be an eye opener. Keep up the good work!
I am interested to read your book so it would be great if you can email me the online copy of your book.
Some background info on myself:
I am a Singapore PR (Indonesian nationality) who has been living here for 16 years.
I am 31 years old and I have just graduated with a Master of Science in Finance in March 2011.
I took up the part time Bachelor and Masters programme with Kaplan Institute while I was still at my previous job.
I have always had the desire to enter the financial sector and I wanted a career switch after my graduation which led me to the decision to resign from my previous job rather abruptly.
My last position was a Customer Service Manager in a printing and publishing brokerage and I was earning SGD 4,100 per month.
That was my first and only job upon graduation from Singapore Polytechnic (with a Diploma in Marketing) and although I was earning a pretty good salary, the company was going nowhere and I had no room for career advancement due to the small size of the company (10 staff in total).
After being with the company for more than 8 years, I decided to leave in April.
I have been unemployed and looking for work for 2 months now, and there are several areas that I hope you can offer some advice or comment on.
1) I have seen many advertisements from recruitment agency for entry level positions in local / foreign banks and while some say Fresh graduates are welcome to apply, there are others who specify or require “Fresh Graduates with relevant experience”. I attach one example here for your reference.
This is quite baffling to me because I had thought that Fresh graduate means someone who just comes out of school and has no working experience?
Is it fair for recruiter to put a requirement such as this?
2) I have sent numerous job applications for banking positions (non-sales) and I have not received a positive response thus far.
I am aware that switching from a printing industry to a banking industry would require me to take a considerable pay cut as I have no relevant experience in and I will be competing against fresh graduates who are much younger than myself.
I have been gradually adjusting my salary expectations downwards and it is now at SGD 3100 per rmonth (negotiable) which is already 25% lower from my previous salary.
I am interested to work in the middle office or operations position within a bank (i.e. non-sales), so I wonder if you can offer some advice on the appropriate salary range that I should expect?
3) I attached my cover letter and resume here, and I would be grateful if you can offer any input on how I can improve or make them more effective.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks in advance.
Thanks for your mail.
Normally we won’t assist PR here and our services are catered more to jobless Singaporeans.
Nevertheless, I will try to answer your mail regarding the advertisement part.
Though we have strict legislation on proper advertisement here it is seldom enforced.
In one particular instance, our Manpower Minister even has to ask the management to take down a discriminatory advertisement that only wants to hire PRC executive!
Regarding your next question on working in the banking sector, I realise that the banks use a lot of recruiters to bring in foreign executives so my take is to check which particular recruitor they use and then apply through that recruiting company.
Banks actually pay the best salaries here due to a expansionary trend and lowering your salary may not be advisable.. Of course, you may not be able to get back your decent $4100 pay check earned previously after working for 8 years.
Of course, foreign banks will pay much better salaries than our local banks so do aim for foreign banks that want to expand their presence in Asia.
There is also some regional travelling if you work with foreign banks as they may want to spread their wings in the surrounding region.
However, its your personal choice if you want to ask for a reduced salary in order to easily grab the next job.
I always believe that banks can pay if they want you.
Do also check around with friends who are working in the banking sector as a lot of jobs go by word of mouth to reduce manpower staffing charges and also normally staff will want to recommend friends who are better workers so that they will not be implicated.
I apologise that we are not able to extend any of our services to you due to the fact that you are a PR. I hope that you won’t feel offended.
All the best for your job search ahead.