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Expectations: Job Hunting in Malaysia as a Millennial

Have you seen the show, ‘How I Met Your Mother’? In it, we see the narrator (Ted Moseby) going through a myriad of trials and tribulations to find his perfect match.

The same process can be said about job hunting. Finding the perfect job is never a fun process, but if you’re well-prepared for what to expect, you’ll find it less stressful. We’ve listed the 6 things every job seeker should expect or do, whilst looking for their perfect job.

1. Read the job ad carefully  

Most job hunters can read the job description and job advertisement. However, only a select few take the time to understand it before applying. Recruiters and hiring managers will always include information such as the job benefits and compensation upfront in a job ad, to entice job seekers to apply. For ads written by recruitment companies in Malaysia (e.g. BGC Malaysia), this information is always available in the first few bullet points.

Additionally, if you have any doubts about the job benefits, we recommend clarifying them with the recruiter or hiring manager either during or shortly after the interview. This way, you’ll be able to manage your expectations before you accept the position. 

2. Have a clear idea of the job you’re applying for 

Does the job require you to make beverages? Do you need to clean and maintain the appearance of the store? Addressing the job description is a crucial point that most job hunters don’t practice. People often apply for the job without understanding what they’re required to do in the job, which may lead to unwanted surprises, on your first day.

3. You must play the waiting game

This is especially important for job seekers applying for positions through a job recruitment agency. However, seasoned job hunters will know that there is a waiting period when applying for jobs online. The waiting time varies according to the different recruiters out there.

A) For job applicants who haven’t received an interview invitation

If you haven’t heard from a hiring manager, recruiter, or organization after 1 month, it’s best to move on and start applying for other jobs.

B) For job applicants, who have finished their interview  

Completed the job interview? The waiting game continues… However, you should ALWAYS ask your interviewer, approximately how long they’ll take to get back to you. That will give you an approximate gauge on how long you should wait.

*Pro-tip: The waiting game also depends on the type of job you’re applying for. Keep in mind that some jobs (i.e. Government positions) require a security clearance, and may take up to two months to hear from. 

4. Understand what an ATS is

Almost every organization out there uses an applicant tracking system (ATS) to receive and process resumes. Depending on the company, the hr executives will sift through resumes by searching for specific keywords, related to the job advertisement.

5 ways to stand out in an ATS system:

  1. Use Word Documents instead of PDFs

  2. Type out your resume using standard fonts (i.e. Times New Roman, Cambria, Ariel)

  3. Include keywords related to your job advertisement

  4. Stick to short and concise paragraphs

  5. Try not to use symbols (e.g. / ^ & ! ~)

Learn more about how to make your application stand out in the ATS here.

5. It takes time to find the perfect job ad to apply for  

Finding a new job means that you should be looking out for the right fit for you. Whilst a job advertisement might give you some insight into the position, you’ll have to actively look out for reviews and do your own research to see if this job is the right fit for you.

How can you check and see if the job is perfect for you:

  1. See if your personality matches the job. One way to do it is by taking online quizzes or reading articles to see if your personality is a right fit for a particular job.

  2. Find out more about the company culture. Try your best to get the inside scoop on the company you’re applying for. Put those Linkedin connections to good use, or check out Glassdoor and Google reviews for more information.

  3. Understand if the job is a good fit. Before applying for the job, take the time to evaluate yourself, to see if the job would be a good fit for you. Will you be happy with this job? Will it help you progress in your career? And will it give you the flexibility and work/life balance that you need? 

6. Check and see if it is the right time for you to be applying for jobs 

Sometimes we fail to realise that applying for a job might not be the right move for us. For instance, if you’re a student, who only started applying for a temporary holiday job that requires at least a 3-month commitment, halfway through your holiday, you might want to avoid taking up on the offer.

Always remember that it’s important to check and see if you’re able to commit to the job for the entire length stated in the contract.

Here are other things you should check to see if the job is perfect for you: 

  • Find out the type of job you’re applying for. Is it a contract, permanent, or a temp position? 

  • Are you expecting another job offer? 

  • Can you commit to the length of the training offered or the length of the position?

The one piece of advice we’d like to leave you with is that you shouldn’t take rejection personally. The process of acquiring a job isn’t that different from dating, you’ll have to kiss a few frogs and face having a broken heart a few times before you find the “one”. It might be hard to believe – but we bet that you’ll be able to land a job before you send out your 100th resume.