Thank you very much for setting up transitioning.org website. It has been a great support to me when I feel depressed about looking for a job.
I’m Aileen, 27 currently a job seeker. I graduated from NTU with Degree in Mechanical Engineering (3rd Class Honors) in Jul 2006.
Upon graduation, I worked as a business executive in a small local IT distribution firm till Jul 2008 when the owner decided to wind up the business.
The reason why I had taken up the job that is completely unrelated to my degree was because I wanted to improve on my soft skills.
Although I had seen some improvement in my soft skills after working 2 years as a business executive, I have to admit that I am not cut out for sales.
I decided that I should go back into engineering but had difficulties getting a engineering related job as it was the start of the financial crisis at that time.
As a result I took on a temporary administrative position for about 9 months. During these months I continued to send resumes and had went for 10 interviews for different jobs scopes (administration, customer services, engineering.. etc) but failed to land a permanent job.
I left for Sweden to pursue a Masters degree in solar engineering as it was my interest and I reckoned that it would increase my chances of getting an engineering job after that.
I came back to Singapore and have been actively seeking for a job. I had tried applying jobs with REC but to no avail. They seem to prefer people with semiconductor and manufacturing experience.
I have also tried sending resumes to local solar system integrators but most are not hiring and there are only a handful of such companies in Singapore.
So far have been to 2 interviews; one is a local start up dealing with PV module manufacturing (which I think chances are low as they have expected me to have site experiences which I don’t) the other is contract manufacturing firm for account engineer position (I think chances are higher but they are still interviewing candidates for the position).
I was expecting more interviews after applying for about 40 positions because it seems that market is doing well as there are more jobs adverts compared to 2008 and 2009 but getting 2 interviews out of 40 applications is making me less confident about landing a job.
I have seen your report about job seekers leaving out their post graduate qualification to avoid being over qualified. I wonder if I should do it too to increase my chances of getting an interview.. but if I do.. how can explain the one year gap?
I would like to seek help with a career counsellor to identify the types of jobs that I am suitable for and to seek help in improving my resume and interviewing skills .
Hope you can help me with it.
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear about your predicament.
Its true that job seeking can be abit daunting and discouraging. There’s the uncertainty that brings about a sense of insecurity.
I am glad that you have not given up but still looking out for work and sending out applications.
I always believe that it is good to be honest and if employer found that you have omitted something from your resume it may not look very nice on you.
Just include everything that you have and let the employer decide if they want to hire you.
Its also true though that some department bosses may find you a threat if you are too qualified for their liking – that’s the fact of life. and it’s their loss if they didn’t want to hire you.
Solar engineering is also a fairly new industry in Singapore and I am sure that its also a very niche area.
My take is that you may find better opportunities working abroad as our economy is still quite new in this area.
Solar energy has never really take off well here due to the cost factor. In Australia, however, many states have implemented cost-cutting measures using solar energy resources.
The recent carbon tax is another big push for the country to seriously consider using solar energy to reduce electricity cost in Australia.
I will assign you a career coach soon – do give me some time to arrange as we all have full time jobs.
I also seek your permission to post this mail on my site – I will leave out your name and sensitive info so that your privacy is protected.
Lastly, never give up and stay strong. We are here for you.