Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Thursday April 19th 2018

Australian marketing coordinator enquiring on how to get work in Singapore


I’m an Aussie marketing coordinator (community/events/digital) hoping someone out there can share some tips regarding expat recruitment companies or finding roles through another source?

- Are there any recruitment agencies that tend to work with companies that offer sponsorship roles to expats & foreigners?
- If job boards, which? Are there specific search keywords to use, rather than simply ‘expat’/ ‘foreigner’?
- How do you know if jobs listed on job boards are open to foreigners? Sometimes they do not specify either way.

I’ll be coming with my Aussie partner (we are defacto – is this considered any benefit in SG?) and will have a sponsorship offer for himself.

[What is the best way for me to come and look for work if I don't have anything set up by that time?]

I understand it has become more difficult for foreigners and I will need to network, however looking for advice on the BEST way and channels to do this.

I welcome any constructive feedback/advice, thanks for reading.



This has been asked and answered many times, in various forms, throughout threads on this board.

a) The vast majority of employment agencies in Singapore are not worth a bucket of warm sh*t (and no, the originator of that phrase did not say “spit”). You will waste your time with job boards and recruiters. And yes, most all companies, for most all positions, must advertise locally and then attest to the fact that they cannot find local talent before they can even entertain the notion of hiring someone on EP.

b) Most companies that import foreigners on EP’s are bringing in their own staff from other offices in the world. If they are hiring expats, it will typically be an expat already in Singapore, for example, in my industry, it was common for expats to move from one managed services firm to another. It will be quite rare for any company in Singapore to hire an expat who is not already present in the country under his/her own DP, LTVP, or EP. It’s too much of a hassle, given all the “hire local” pressure that the government is putting on companies.

c) If you do not get an EP on your own merits, you’re going to have get a DP or LTVP on your partner’s EP, and anecdotal evidence on this board suggests that this will be quite difficult if you are not formally married. The Australian High Commission won’t issue a letter stating that you are legally common law married, and the Singapore government won’t consider you common law married and thus qualified for an LTVP without such a letter.

Bottom line: Your profession of “marketing coordinator(community/events/digital)” is something that will be seen by the government as job opportunities for locals; moreover, local companies won’t be very interested in hiring an expat such as you… language, connections, cultural knowledge, and race being your primary problems.

My judgement: The only way this works is that you get married for real so that you can get a DP or LTVP so that you can live legally in Singapore, so that you can begin to network and meet people so that you’ll eventually make connections that will lead to a job.

I’ll give you but one example. There are multiple country associations in Singapore… I am most familiar with the American Association of Singapore. It puts on quite a few events each year. I used to volunteer for and run the “music in the park” event which brought about a thousand people out to Fort Canning for a night of music, drinking, and eating. I worked with many event planners, caterers, equipment rental companies, and beverage distributors.

Can you see that if you were in the country, and volunteering and networking, you’d open yourself upon to a variety of possibilities that might lead to employment, whereas, if you are trying to apply from “out there”, you are essentially trying to get into a closed ecosystem which doesn’t know who you are and doesn’t really care.

Strong Eagle

Editor’s note: This article is retrieved from Singapore Expats forum.

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