I am a fresh grad, but similar to most of my friends, I am unable to secure a job in this COVID situation. What can I do? Should I take up an internship or are there better ways? - Seedly
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SeedlyTV S2E10

Anonymous

Asked on 27 May 2020

I am a fresh grad, but similar to most of my friends, I am unable to secure a job in this COVID situation. What can I do? Should I take up an internship or are there better ways?

My family's income is also struggling in this period of time, and I was hoping to chip in after graduating but I cannot secure a job. Any advice?

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Zi Shuen
Zi Shuen
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jun)

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 28 May 2020

Hi,

In my humble opinion, there are 3 things you can do:

  1. Get an internship yes, but 'negotiate' with the HR and see if there is opportunity to convert to full timer once your internship ends (of course, make sure that is the job you want)

  2. I am very sure there are still companies that are hiring full timer despite the covid-19 situation, but you have your foot in the door first by just taking up a job in any company that is relevant to your interest and passion. Put salary aside, the most important is still to get a job

  3. While you are seeking for a job or waiting for this situation to ease, upgrade yourself. Take up online courses, read books, attend webinars, etc. Do whatever you can to upgrade your skillset in the relevant industry. This will prove to your employer that, while 80% of people who stuck at home are just wasting their life away by watching Netflix and playing games, you actually take the time to improve yourself and grow personally and professionally. This will make you stand out from the sea of other desperate candidates for sure.

I wish you all the best!

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Sharon Yeo
Sharon Yeo, Co-founder at TalentTribe
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 28 May 2020

If you are unable to find a job or traineeship, it's a good idea to take up an internship first. With companies cutting their full-time headcount or freezing full-time hiring, some companies are relying on interns to support their manpower needs.

Even though you'll be drawing an intern salary, you'll have relevant experiences to 'sell' to your next employer and still able to develop relevant skills. If the company you're interning for has resumed hiring after your internship, there's also the chance they might convert you to a full-time position.

Before this pandemic, post-graduation internships were actually becoming increasingly common among graduates who wanted to get a better understanding of an industry they were interested in before jumping into a full-time job.

Here's also a useful list of curated Covid-19 career resources. Hope it'll be helpful for others who's been job hunting for a while.

Includes companies & jobs that are still hiring, recession job hunting tips, interview prep, mental wellness, etc.

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👍 4
Clara Ng
Clara Ng, Community Manager at Seedly
Level 6. Master
Answered on 02 Jun 2020

Hi Anon,

What a difficult time to be in as a fresh grad amidst all these uncertainty.

If you’ve been actively applying for full-time roles but still unsuccessful, there are a few routes to go about:

  1. Apply for apprenticeships or traineeships

Following the latest Fortitude Budget, the Government has a new $2 billion package to create 40,000 jobs, 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training opportunities. The monetary support given by the Government will be able to provide some financial support for companies or businesses looking to employ fresh graduates through traineeships or apprenticeships.

  1. Take up internships

Understand that your family’s income is struggling and you were hoping to help chip in after graduation. Fresh graduates taking up internship roles after graduation isn’t something new. And unfortunately it seems highly likely that more fresh grads will be forced to do so during a trying time like COVID-19 with a lack of employment opportunities. If you are really struggling to find a full-time job or apprenticeship/traineeship, consider internships. While the pay will not be as much as you would have with a full-time job or apprenticeship/traineeship, having a monthly income from an internship is better than having none. Plus, if you are a good fit and your employer likes your performance, there is also the possibility of getting converted into full-time afterwards.

  1. Part-time jobs for now

This is not a long-term solution but consider earning some cash from part-time gigs now while you’re still looking for a job. This goes back to your need to help the family finances out.

All the best!

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Lim Qin Da
Lim Qin Da, Community Lead at Seedly
Level 6. Master
Answered on 02 Jun 2020

Hey Anon!

If there are internships available, I would say that there is no harm taking it up! Even before COVID-19 happened, I have a few friends who managed to secure their full time jobs after taking up internships because the company valued their contributions and in turn offered a full time job to them. Even if it is in a new sector that you are unfamiliar with or something that may not be your interest as of now, take the internship as a learning opportunity and find out more about the industry/workplace that you are in - perhaps you could even be interested after you find out more!

Besides internships, there are also graduate apprenticeships or training programmes offered by companies. Although the pay may not be high, these programmes will be able to provide you with several soft skills and hard skills that could benefit you in your career.

Lastly, THE FORTITUDE BUDGET! The government recently announced the opening of 40,000 jobs, as well as 25,000 traineeships for individuals to learn new skills and embark on new careers. With more salary subsidies for employers, the government has helped to ease the situation for the country and make it easier for individuals to reskill and upgrade themselves.

Equip yourself with more skills and show that you can make valuable contributions to a company. Or you could see it as - make employers want you! Hope this helps and never give up!!

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Tay WenHao
Tay WenHao
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jun)

Level 7. Grand Master
Answered on 27 May 2020

Hi. You can look into yesterday's fortitude budget. They are creating more jobs opening.

However, the job may not be 'suitable' for you in the long run. Perhaps different from what you have studied or differs from your interest. But my advise is to take them up first to tide through this period. Trade your time for money first since your family is struggling with finance.

Maybe after 1 year after the economy stabilized, then go and find jobs that are suitable for you.

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A
aL
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 01 Jun 2020

Hi ,

would be best to get into internship instead of wait ..since you just graduated... its impt to know abt the prospect of the company and understand things from the very bottom in order to outperform your peers later on .. press on and wish u luck

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Carrie Sim-Goh
Carrie Sim-Goh
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 01 Jun 2020

Hi there,

My advice is to understand truthfully where your real value lies and what are the risks you can afford to take to show that value.

Coming fresh out of school in your 20s, your resume may look pretty clean unless you've already been focused on working on the right projects during internships or through case competitions, measuring results, and having that on your portfolio.

If you're the latter, good news, keep applying and refining your portfolio. It's now a numbers game and there will be a company out there who is looking for contract employees or freelancers in the worst case. If those opportunities come, my advice is to grab them and use them to keep your portfolio nice and warm with new projects that you can continually use to experiment and hone the way you think.

If you are starting fresh with no relevant projects or experiences, you need to dig deep into your own personal projects you've done for FUN outside of work. It doesn't have to be something crazy, but it should be something you're passionate about, that you can reflect on and distill what you've learned. These should be realistic lessons that can be applied to the job you're applying for and I recommend against big "stretches" in imagination of how what you've learned can be applied. Most hiring managers can tell when fresh graduates are stretching the truth if not from the CV, at least from the interview process.

If you haven't done this before or have nothing relevant, you may wish to seek mentorship during this time from someone with the right experience in what you hope to do in a full-time role. If you're someone with the right attitude, mentors can link you up projects that may be pro-bono/non-profit within a community that needs volunteers, or with contract or freelance work.

Personally, my approach when I graduated from poly, the job market was bad and I had a really unimpressive GPA. I just took any role I could find even in a small company and I tried to show even in an administrative role how I could also do marketing, operations, customer service, etc. To be fair, this was a risk I could afford as:

(a) I was not supporting my family financially apart from small allowances to my parents

(b) I did not have student loans (as I did not take one to pursue a private degree)

(c) I was living on my own and needed to focus on supporting myself instead

This helped me gain some knowledge in a real work environment, get paid a low salary that covered basic needs, and kept my creative mind active. To this day, that 1.5 years set some foundations for me in terms of how to handle people, understand their concerns, and find solutions with very little resource or support. This adaptability is something that you get used to when putting yourself in less favorable situations.

Wishing you all the best and feel free to reach out personally on LinkedIn if you need more help and guidance.

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BC
Bill Chan
Level 3. Wonderkid
Answered on 31 May 2020

Don't give up on job hunting. Stay resilient. The first step is to look for opportunities within your field sector. Start reading up about the Fortitude budget, contact your University career team to enquire on available jobs, attend career fairs, apply for jobs in Linkedin, and tap in your personal network to find jobs.

Internship does open up new learning opportunities. Take up the internship position if it leads to a full time position. You don't want to go back to square one with searching a new job again. Every month of search is a month of loss income and work experience. Time is a factor in career development too.

Q: So, what should you do?

A: Mass apply again as many full time positions and internships with leading to a full time position. Review all your available offers. Pick the best career progression and relevancy to you. Accept the offer. The key is to secure a position to tide through this pandemic for the time being. After accepting the offer, start working WHILE LOOKING FOR ANOTHER FULL TIME JOB. Hence, you will feel a bit at ease with some income and gaining work experience.

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Summer
Summer
Level 5. Genius
Answered on 31 May 2020

I think taking up an internship is certainly a good choice as it allows you the chance to explore different careers while you are still young and some even offer reimbursements, though it pays less than a full time job.

It would be great if you could take the opportunity to brush up your skills too so that you can appear more capable and employable to employees!

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Amanda
Amanda
Level 6. Master
Answered on 31 May 2020

I would suggest you to not just limit yourself to full-time perm jobs. If an opportunity such as interships and contract jobs arrive go ahead! What's most important as a fresh grad is to get as much experience as possible and learn as much as you can.

In the meantime, do look for courses online to constantly upgrade yourself. If you are unable to look for a job related to your industry and you need money urgently, you might want to consider working part-time while upgrading yourself and searching for a job.

All the best!

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Boon Peng
Boon Peng
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jun)

Level 6. Master
Answered on 31 May 2020

It is indeed challenging to secure a full time job given the covid situation. While you are looking for jobs, allocate some time to learn new things by taking up free online courses. In addition to that, ensure your CV and cover letter are in good shape. You may want to get some of your friends to help you vet these two documents.

Nonetheless, your main priority is to secure a job, so that you are able to reduce the finance difficulty that your family is currently facing - be it full time job or an internship offer.

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HC Tang
HC Tang, Financial Enthusiast, Budgeting at The Society
Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered on 28 May 2020

If need quick cash to help on family financial, do look at MOF website to apply all the related support fundings first.

meanwhile, also register for ths : https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/mol-wasj-lg to allow gov to hlep unemployed too.

Do look out for Seedly page about hirings of interns or junior position as Kenneth shared, they are good employer and the team is tight and support each other well , a fun team. Besides, they do have a nice office and pantry :) ​​​

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N
Ninja
Level 6. Master
Answered on 28 May 2020

Job is just a way to get money. Open up, there are endless jobs.

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Never stop looking. There are temporary stints in medical care sector who are hiring - you should apply for temporary positions while seeking for full-time positions concurrently. Jobs are available, the question is whether you are picky.

Do look into the fortitude budget as they have structured the budget with focus on jobs. Moving forward, it is likely that the temporary disruption of foreign talents will result in increments in jobs for locals in Singapore.

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