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My thoughts on a highly qualified PMET being rejected from 1000 jobs

PMET rejected from 1000 jobs

One of the posts that are likely to illicit a lot of click through are posts playing on the plight of Singaporeans being taken advantage of by influx of foreigners.

It is why The Real Singapore in the past keep posting them probably not out of patriotism, or nationalistic goals but to make the site a gold mine.

Now that they have been taken down, many sites are trying to vie for its place and All Singaporean Stuff is one of them. They will post anything that is click worthy and will not comment or give a view on things.

Sadly, we have gotten to the stage where we don’t ask questions of what they post anymore.

I chanced upon this article posted in All Singaporean Stuff titled “Highly qualified Singaporean PMET applied for 1000 jobs and openings but rejected by all” (You can Google it up if you want)

What I was curious about was assessing the state of general employment in this current climate.

The account provided by the 34 year old single PMET was sad. He basically applied over 1000 jobs and failed to get any. He sought help from various agency such as WDA, CDC Woodlands, his MP and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Still he couldn’t get much headway and he criticize some of the advice given that lacks coherence.

I was about to close the tab to the article when something just doesn’t seem to add up.

How do you apply for 1000 jobs?

I am not a frequent job hopper. In fact I don’t think I have job hop in my life. However, I would imagine that to send out your resume for 1000 jobs, it will entail some form of tracking of what you applied for.

To improve your success rate of being shortlisted, your CV should be tailored to the position that you applied for. Is it common to tailor that much CV to apply for so many jobs?

The career coaches that he sought help for eventually restructured his resume and target 40 jobs per month.  I think that is much more realistic.

Based on a discussion with my friend, the problem likely is that he is applying in a lot of areas where is out of his competency, or that something went wrong with his interviewing skills

Could he have exaggerated his qualification and his senior management experience?

In two paragraphs he states:

I have a Masters Degree in Management, Bachelors Degree in English, Diploma in English and a Diploma in Business Administration. I also have other certificates relevant to career advancement and various testimonials showing my capability. I have 17 years working experience.

My dream job was to be a Vice Principal (Administration) with MOE. However, I have always been rejected time and again even despite my MP’s assistance. I surpass the irrequirements by leaps and bounds. I have 12 years experience in senior management and administration and I have been working in the education sector for 8 years.

Not to be nit picking, but for someone who have a degree in English and a diploma in English, I hope irrequirements is an honest mistake, because this is the first time I came across this word.

I somehow question whether all his 12 years are experience in senior management and if it isn’t, it should not be put in the same sentence together with administration.

For a person who is 34 years old, that would mean he is in senior management when he is 22 years old. It is likely that he has experience as an administrator at that age, as I doubt much folks would put a 22 year old as a senior manager.

Shouldn’t a top performer have a good network to tap upon?

What also puzzles me is that, when I look at some of my companies top performers, or the profiles that my acquaintance that have been brought to my attention, even the most hard to work with, you have a reason why you would want to have the person on your side.

With such accolades, the best avenue to find employment is to link up with friends, old colleagues, old bosses or ex colleagues who likely would know some companies that you can try and refer him.

In times like this, when jobs are drying up, the usual best bets are to tap your network.

It seems that he have totally left this out of his account.

His financial plight

The author also highlights why he needs a job fast:

I am a 34 year old, single and with 2 aging parents. I am servicing my parents flat as they cannot use their Cpf. My dad is 61 and still working. He is the only working one earning $1000++. But how long can I service the mortgage if I myself don’t have a single contribution. I have monthly fixed expenditures but I am just running away from them as I can’t keep up to the time requested for it. Singapore is making me a debtor. Banks and institutions are chasing me for payments. I am being pushed to my extreme end.

Even more puzzling here. He is single, and under 35 years old, so do not have the financial burden of his own place. Unless he purchase a condo, which isn’t stated.

However, if he is in a senior position for 12 years, he should have saved an adequate amount of money. This would allow him to tied through 1 or 2 years of mortgage payments. Unless he have zero savings.

I can roughly gauge this, because I am a year older, never been in a senior position and I believe by hook or by crook I should be able to tied past 2 years of mortgage payment.

If he is in such a bad state, then shouldn’t he be taking some temporary jobs to tied past this financial crunch?

He has to explain himself more here. How is Singapore making him a debtor when he has worked 12 years in a senior position, being single and not have build up enough funds in CPF and Cash?

Why is this a problem with foreign talents?

The most puzzling part is that this guy signs off as Hate FT. What I cannot figure out the most is what has most of the problem got to do with ONLY foreign talents? If he is looking for employment in schools for an education position, they readily take in Singaporeans.

There is a strong narrative in  recent years in that, any problem of mine, that I cannot be handed to me on a silver platter, is the work of the government or due to foreign influx.

The mindset of a top performer, who every one wants to work with, would never put the blame solely on others, but examine himself or herself first and foremost.


The employment space is getting tight. However, if I were to lose my job, I would put the blame more on myself not getting upgraded, not making myself important enough, or not having shown I can deliver in other areas to people that are known to me.

If I were to post it here on my blog, it is to ask for a job from others, and I won’t be ashamed to make use of this medium.

However, when you put your mail out that way, you not only killed a very good chance of someone helping you to find work but also that every potential helper is weighing whether they should help you.

If you are to talk about retrenchment, do it in a dignified manner like this respected blogger here.



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hyom hyom

Sunday 6th of September 2015

Hi Kyith,

Thanks for dropping the link to my blog.

I see a trend of MNCs which provide the desirable private-sector jobs moving out of Singapore. Many SMEs, which employ about 70% of the jobs in Singapore, are either unable or unwilling to pay up for skilled PMETs. I believe there will be more retrenched PMETs in the coming years and they will find it harder to find jobs that pay their former salaries. Engineers like us have already been hit. We may be forced to transit to freelance work or create jobs for ourselves by being entrepreneurs.

I am not sure if the government can help much by protecting Singaporeans' jobs from foreigners who want to come here to work. With globalization, foreigners can take away our jobs even without coming here. The problem is not only that Singapore is too dependent on foreign workers. Singapore is too dependent on foreign businesses and they will not hesitate to leave the moment Singapore loses its competitive edge. It is debatable that protective labor measures will help us as they carry the risk of driving the foreign businesses away. There is a tight balance between being pro-worker and pro-business.

Before 2011, it was obvious that the foreign talent intake had no quality control. The immigration policy was badly executed. If you have a talented person in your team, the productivity improves by leaps and bounds. I have a very talented boss now. He will point you to the right approach to solve a problem which can save weeks from the schedule. True talents raise productivity. Given the huge influx of foreign talents particularly before 2011, why hasn't productivity improved if they were genuine talents? Foreign talents or cheaper replacements?

I won't ask for the government to protect PMET jobs exclusively for Singaporeans. However, if I were to lose my job to a foreigner, he must be truly more talented and more hard-working than me. Being cheaper is a bad reason because it is not sustainable for an advanced economy like Singapore. I do see an improvement in the foreign labor policy after 2011 and have to give the government credit, something which I will take into account in the coming election next Friday (11Sep 2015).


Sunday 6th of September 2015

Hi Hyom,

Hope you don't mind me linking there, I thought of an example and i can only think of yours. you hit on a lot of nails here, and strangely your articulation of the problem area that is the root of the problem is the same as mine.

And apparently that problem have existed for 25 years isnt it going back to the 1990s.

I am not sure how the retrenching scene on the ground is it for you over there, i can't use my experience considering my side it is a bit sheltered. if you start seeing retrenchment on my side.... you know things are REALLY not doing very well.


Tuesday 1st of September 2015

"Not to *nit-pick*, but for someone who *has* a degree and a diploma in English, I hope irrequirements is an honest mistake, because this is the first time I *have come* across this word."

sorry to be that guy.


Wednesday 2nd of September 2015

Thanks for correcting

Girish Sheshagiri

Monday 31st of August 2015

Yes Being Small country everyone feels FT are snatching jobs from local.. do look at Company perspective it's very difficult to fill the right talent for the one which isn't available in local Job Market, and Companies will have to invest additional cost for FT if they were to be relocated from other countries, if right candidates available in local Job market companies would like absorb them rather than spending extra $ for FT..the only solution to resolve is to be " MORE COMPETITIVE & MORE PRODUCTIVE " and that right approach even Sing Govt is been doing for past few years...


Monday 31st of August 2015


I sometime wonder why would someone take such report at face value? Also, why would they believe things like govt stealing CPF money?

I realised most people, and that include me, enjoy drama mama. Only extreme, unbelievable stories make good conversation or good read.

That is hardly surprising. What shocked me is there are many who actually believe in all that sh**


Monday 31st of August 2015

You mean me ha-ha!


Monday 31st of August 2015

Kyith, from your post, it sounds like Mr.1000job's account may be more fiction than fact.

However, from my own personal experience, FTs taking the place of Singaporeans in MNCs is absolutely true. In most business meetings I have attended in the past, I have been the only Singaporean there. You are still relatively young in your mid-30s. The FT situation might impact you more when you enter your 40s.

All the best and keep up the good work on the blog.


Monday 31st of August 2015

Hey Drew,

Thanks for keeping an open mind on this. There are times when I was thinking whether I was over thinking this. But somehow I felt many would write into these sites to vent their frustrations. These sites are eternal fence sitters.

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