Maybe you are having your school holidays right now, just finish serving National Service or waiting for University. Life’s getting a bit dull and you have a sudden urge to find a part-time job to make yourself more useful. You’ve came to the right place.
Write up a Resume the Right Way
Like many, I have been forced to go for Career Guidance Talks/workshops during school. Outside visitors will be presenting and giving tips on how to write a resume. If you are like me, you are probably asleep by now or busy chatting with your friends. So what now? Luckily, we are living in this era with something called the Internet. There are tons of good sample and templates online. Here are some basic pointers when crafting your resume:
- Short, Sharp, Sweet – You are not writing an essay, keep things short and try to keep everything within or less than 2 pages.
- Tweak your resume for the job you are applying – If you are trying to be a waiter, it’s pointless to tell the HR that you are good at Microsoft Office.
- Grammar and typos – Showing how interested you are in the job.
- Emphasise your accomplishments – Instead of saying what your duties were, say what you had achieved! (I understand most students have little to no working experience. But try to tweak your school achievements so they can fit in your resume)
- Formatting – Stick to the standard font. Don’t use any funny font or have ten different font sizes in a 2-page document.
If you still have no idea how to write one, you can take a reference to online generated ones. Many online job portals help you to create a resume after signing up. However, do note that copying templates from the internet is not recommended as most of them only serve as a rough guide. Write it with your style.
Useful Link #1: You can use Canva actually to create a classy resume template for free!
Useful Link #2: You can insert these 185 Powerful Verbs into your resume to beautify and impress your future employers.
Everyone who is first introduced to LinkedIn will be puzzled and confused. What the hell is it for and is it even going to help in any way? You are dead wrong if you do not believe in the power of social media and in this case, a social media platform for your business profile.
LinkedIn is like having your resume published online for the public. You can post and share links like a regular Facebook profile (Please post professional stuff only), education background, working experience, work-related skills, accomplishments and your volunteering experience. You and your connections can also endorse skills and leave recommendations to decorate each other’s profiles and look more professional. Yeah yeah, it’s just a cool platform for me to look good, can you just tell what’s the use of it now?
For a start, you make yourself more discoverable, and companies have been going on LinkedIn to find candidates for job postings without the need to go through recruitment agencies. Those endorsements and recommendations left by your colleagues, peers at school, etc. also builds trust and validates your professional profile.
Even if you think you don’t need a LinkedIn profile to get a job now, you should probably still create it anyway. Building that Linkedin presence allows you to tap into your massive network which you have built over time later on. You never know when things might go wrong, so why not create that safety net which you can fall back on later, just in case.
Fun Fact: Your LinkedIn Profile almost always appears at the top of Google search results if you were to search your name.
Clean up your Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are not just for you to stalk your crush! It’s no secret many HRs look up your social media profiles too before even asking you in for an interview. For those people whose profiles are flooded with extreme content, posts that hint at trying to conspire against the whole world, hating the world or any other stupid stuff, you should delete or hide them from your timeline. It is better for your future and the eyes of those who still remain on your friend list anyway.
The MRTs and buses are one of the most popular places to sleep at. But very few people like to spend so much time just to get to work! Imagine those living in Pasir Ris having to travel to Tuas just to get that extra $1/h for your job. According to Google, the furthest one way trip to Singapore is around 150 minutes. Adding up waiting and congestion time, your total travel time could easily hit 5 to 6 hours. I would personally choose jobs with a workplace that takes at most 45 minutes of transportation time. Yes, I am lazy but it makes my Monday and weekday blues a lot lesser. Waking up at 7.30am and coming back home by 6 pm will finally be a dream come true. Not forgetting almost halving your transport fares.
Do Proper Research on Your Future Company
Your employer is not the only one that needs to get to know you. Knowing a little about your company is a big boost to your chances of getting the job. Visit their website or Facebook Page if they have one. Learning their work culture, values and mission are crucial to know whether you fit in the first place. No one likes to work at a place they hate. Having a firm idea of the company can also help you out in your interview.
To add on, no one likes to work at a place they hate. It may only be a few months, but choose one that you can align yourself with.
Preparation for the Interview
The first thing you need is a nice shirt and pants. Many students will lose out to you as they might not take part-time interviews seriously and lose their impression marks. This is the minimum dress code for interviews. Of course, they won’t tell you what to wear when you are invited for an interview. Why? This is common sense. Also, always turn up for the interview well-groomed. Presentation and first impression. These are the fundamentals. Wear a tie for even more bonus points.
After spending around $100 on your attire, let’s discuss your oral skills (That’s what she said). Prepare for some common questions beforehand:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want to work here? (This is where your research of the companion comes in)
- Why should I hire you?
- What can you offer us?
- Do you have any questions?
Have a good idea of how to tackle the common interview questions. The interviewer is trying to get to know you! Do not memorise answers found on the internet. You can take references to them, and it may help you come up with a better answer. Another important thing is to be confident. Try practising in front of the mirror or get someone to conduct mock interview sessions for you.
- Maintain a good body language
- Lock your hands together
- Think calmly before opening your mouth
- Maintain Eye Contact
- Lean too much forward or backwards
- Fidget around
- Play with your hands or any item on the table
- Brag too much and act like a cunt
- Cross your legs and then shake uncontrollably
Consider Whether to Engage an Agent/Third-Party
Personally, I have tried this method. There are a lot of bad reviews out there for any agency. Of course, it’s all down to luck to find a good agent. And well, Singaporeans tend to complain when things go wrong and rarely gives the thumbs up when things go their way.
Those wanting to part-time at an MNC, engaging an agent is your best bet. MNCs usually outsource part-time jobs to agencies since it’s fast and flexible to do so. Or maybe you are plain lazy and want to let the agency do the job for you. Google which agency can better cater to your needs and send them a resume. Agents usually get back to you fairly quick.
An agent will guarantee you a job within the shortest time but also takes some commission from it. This might lead to a lower salary even though the company you are working for is paying a higher amount. In my opinion, engaging an agent is your last resort.
After you get the job…
Respect yourself and Take Every Job Seriously
Never have the mindset that you are taking any part-time job for fun or passing time. You are here to learn the good and the bad from people who are already in this depressing stage of life. Start to build your networks and maintain a healthy working relationship with your superiors and colleagues. You never know, they might help you someday or leave you a recommendation on LinkedIn.
No matter how experienced you think you are, treat every job like your first every day with the right mind and attitude. Your working style will be passed on to your next job and the next… meaning if you think it is okay to slack off at your part-time job, you might just end up being a full-time slacker in future.