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Candidate Comment: If the job market has recovered, why is my job search so damn difficult?

I was in the Asian employment market during the dreaded GFC and now I'm looking for a job again. Like everyone else, I'm after that ideal role.

Is this the right time to be in the market? Yes. At least that is the unanimous answer from everyone I've spoken to recently - be they friends, colleagues or recruiters. The sentiment is echoed in everything I've read. The outlook for 2011 is positive and firms have stepped up their hiring.

But while the market has recovered, my job search remains as difficult as ever.

When I talk to recruiters they are always upbeat. Of course they don't want to discourage the candidate, but sometimes I think a dose of reality would be helpful. I've been told that my skills and experiences are good and that my profile is well presented. So why am I having a hard time finding the right opportunity? Unfortunately I haven't received a satisfactory answer to that yet.

But what I have come to realise for myself is that there is nearly always someone else who is a better fit for the role than me.

Are recruiters ruining me?

The number of recruitment companies in Asia is growing, so it's not easy to figure out which ones are reliable. Have you ever been asked for an interview and then been informed later that the position has already been filled? This has happened to me twice - and on one occasion the agency was a large, reputable organisation.

Not all the recruitment consultants and HR personnel are doing a good job, and this makes the application process even tougher. Constant follows-ups are necessary even if you don't like harassing people.

Many recruiters and employers only accept online applications, but this can be nightmare for candidates. Only a handful of firms have responded to my online submissions. In most cases you have to find a way in through the back door, i.e. through a reliable contact.

On a more positive note, a friend of mine who has been looking for a job since September just got hired and started work this week. So it's not all bad news out there. I'm feeling generally upbeat about my prospects. I believe that it's a matter of finding the right fit, both from the employer's perspective and your own. Eventually you will find that fit. It's just taking a long time for me.

AUTHORAnonymous Insider Comment
  • Si
    Sienna Lia
    18 March 2011

    why take any risk when not needed. It happens in personal life too. especially here in asia.

  • Be
    17 February 2011

    The picture given by @Manager is very gloom.

    One has virtually no room to change track.

  • Ma
    16 February 2011

    I would like to offer an alternative opinion to the first comment. I recently hired candidates in my team at a large investment bank in HK. Flooded with many CVs, I had to knock back a number of candidates who met 100% of the advertised criteria.

    So unfortunately, it's not just down to you, but the sheer competition out there. Hang in there!

  • Ed
    16 February 2011

    I'd say many are indeed not hiring. Finding candidates who meet at least 90-100% requirements and by paying 'market rate' is virtually impossible.

    You can see so many job ads are on for half a year or one, the vacancy still remains unfilled. Firms couldn't find a matching candidate in 7 million plus unlimited overseas candidates..... means they are not hiring.

  • re
    12 February 2011

    What you are facing is not uncommon.

    Unfortunately, not all jobs are transferable. If you are a sales person, you would not be suitable for a back office product control role...

    Having said that, the job situation is more optimistic this year. There are many jobs available. There are also many suitably candidates out there.

    Keep your chin up!

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