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Work in Singapore

Singapore is a popular place for foreigners to come and work. The country has a lot to offer, and if you as a highly skilled person can add something to society, you are very welcome to come and work in Singapore. Thanks to economic growth and accessibility, there are many career opportunities. So do you have a good knowledge of English, a great adaptability and are you willing to work hard in a prosperous metropolis? Then working in Singapore is an interesting option for you!

Job search in Singapore

Do you want to work in Singapore but don't have a job yet? Then it's recommended to arrange this before you leave. Obtaining a visa is easier this way because you can prove that you are financially independent.

From the internet you can start searching on job search websites. If you already have contacts in Singapore, it's of course better to get a job through via. It's common practice in Singapore to work with expats, which makes the application process much easier. You don't have to travel all the way to Singapore, but everything can be handled through Skype or by telephone. It's very important to show that you are the person they are looking for and are unique. This has to do with the fact that the employer must demonstrate why they need you especially, and not a local resident of Singapore.

Work visa

Are you coming to Singapore for a shorter period of time or are you looking for a job locally? Then apply for an Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC). This EPEC is valid for one year, but must be replaced when you have found a job. You replace this with a "Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)".

Work culture

Below is a list of things to keep in mind when you come to work in Singapore. The culture is different than we are used to, so some adjustment is required!

  • The working culture in Singapore is a lot more businesslike and direct
  • When you meet a business partner as an expat, they ask how you find Singapore. Whether you like Singapore or not, Singaporeans prefer not to hear bad things about their country
  • Avoid subjects that are sensitive, such as the chewing gum ban or drug policy
  • In Singapore it's not desirable in a business environment to talk about family-related matters
  • When you are sick, you must also be really sick. You can only report sick by showing a medical certificate
  • Singaporeans are hard workers, they work an average of 44 hours a week!
  • In business men generally don't wear a jacket, but a shirt with a tie
  • Don't pat on the back in a work environment, this is very unusual and one feels uncomfortable with it
  • Give business cards with both hands


Just like in other countries, your resume is an important first impression. Important skills when you start working in Singapore are: flexible, easy to adapt, open to new cultures and culture sensitive. Also make sense that you are really interested in the job itself, not just the location! Your languages ‚Äč‚Äčthat you can use for your resume are English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Stick to one language, the language that's easiest for you. Furthermore, it's a big plus if you have one of the local languages, since the daily life in the office counts with the locals.

The job interview

If you have a job interview through skype or by telephone. In most cases the conversations are in English, as this is the most important language in the country.

It's important of course to be on time, preferably fifteen minutes early! Also make sure your phone is switched off, or at least silent. Be friendly and polite, and not too tense. Don't sit down before being asked. The same applies to proposals. It's just to make a slight bow when you shake someone's hand, so don't forget this during the interview.

In Singapore a lot of value is placed on your education, and you can also only work in Singapore as a foreigner with a diploma from a good university. Make sure you have copies of important documents, this can be requested.

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