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How to Get a Job in Singapore A Guide for Foreign Job Seekers

How to Get a Job in Singapore: A Guide for Foreign Job Seekers 

For someone who is looking for a job, Singapore sounds like the perfect place to find opportunities. It has a highly developed economy with a strong focus on industries such as healthcare, technology, and finance. 

Additionally, Singapore is known for its excellent infrastructure, which creates a business-friendly environment that attracts many multinational corporations and startups.

The government also offers various schemes and initiatives to support local and foreign workers in finding employment opportunities. This adds up to why Singapore is the perfect place to grow in your career. 

However, before you can get your dream job in Singapore, you first need to submit a couple of requirements. As a foreigner, these requirements include either of the following passes: 

  • EntrePass
  • S Pass
  • Employment Pass

You can get these passes in the Ministry of Manpower, which I will further discuss in the ‘How to Apply for Work Visa’ section of this article. 

The process for a foreigner to get a job in Singapore is different from that of a local’s, so make sure that you take note of the points that I will mention in this blog. 

Job Status in Singapore 

Job Status in Singapore

Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world. The data released by Computer and Enterprise Investigation Conference (CEIC) mentioned that there is only a 2.60% unemployment rate in the country. 

Just for comparison, America, one of the most advanced and developed countries in the world, has an unemployment rate of 3.5%. This suggests that Singapore is doing a pretty great job in keeping most of its population employed. 

Singapore Employment Outlook 

Singapore Employment Outlook

According to, there is a strong hiring outlook in Singapore for the year 2023. It is reported that eight out of nine sectors in Singapore expect an increase in staffing levels. 

Additionally, the 2023 survey conducted by ManpowerGroup shows that there would be a high demand for talent across multiple work sectors in the country.   

The highest demand for workers can be found in the following sectors. Each percentage will show you the increase in demand. 

Sectors Increase/decrease in workforce demand
Energy and utilities +67%
Communication services +59% 
Financials and real estate +39% 
Healthcare and life services +33% 
Consumer goods and services +27% 
Information technology +24% 
Industrial and materials +23% 
Transport, logistics, and automotive+18% 
Others (government, NGO, educational institutions, agriculture, and fishing)-1%

The major sectors of Singapore are in high demand of workers and have mostly increased their demand for new employees. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for those looking for a job. 

Despite the high demand for new talents, you should not be too comfortable with the knowledge that you will get hired. Keep in mind that while there is plenty of demand, you will also have tons of competition. 

Make sure that you equip yourself with the skills necessary for the job that you are aiming for. The more skills and experience you have, the more likely you are to get hired with a good salary. 

Average Salary in Singapore 

Average Salary in Singapore

The national average salary in Singapore is $5,783 monthly or $69,396 a year for full-time workers. 

This salary rate can still vary depending on your industry and level of experience. 

Most employers pay a higher rate to workers who have years of experience on the job sling with skills necessary to perform well. 

Take a look at the table below to see the average salary of entry-level employees within Singapore’s major workforce sectors.

SectorAverage annual salary rate 
Energy and utilities $57,000
Communication services $48,600
Financials and real estate $87,960
Healthcare and life services $59,000
Consumer goods and services $67,200
Information technology $56,400
Industrial and materials $45,732
Transport, logistics, and automotive$30,000
Others (government, NGO, educational institutions, agriculture, and fishing)$57,744

How many foreigners are working in Singapore? 

How many foreigners are working in Singapore

There are over 1,427,500 migrant workers all over Singapore and they make up 38% of the country’s labor force. 

Looking at the average above, it is easy to say that Singapore is highly welcoming when it comes to accepting foreign workers. They have opportunities for non-natives in every sector and industry. 

How to Apply for a Job in Singapore as a Foreigner

How to Apply for a Job in Singapore as a Foreigner

Applying for a job in Singapore can be a tedious process, especially if you are a foreigner. It involves knowing your eligibility to work, finding the right industry, and looking for the perfect employment agency. 

To guide you through the application process, I have prepared six simple steps below.

1. Check your eligibility to work in Singapore.

1. Check your eligibility to work in Singapore.

Before you dive right into looking for the perfect job, you should first see if you are eligible to work in Merlion City. The Ministry of Manpower provided a self-assessment tool that you can take online. 

The self-assessment tool will help you gauge whether you will be approved for a work pass, s pass, or EntrePass. It includes questions related to your purpose, position details, personal particulars, work experience, and educational qualifications. 

Keep in mind that before you can apply for a work pass, you need to present a salary offer along with your place of employment. So applying for a pass will not come until later on in your application process. 

The reason why I recommend checking for your eligibility is to ensure that you will not waste effort on the subsequent steps of your application. 

2. Choose a thriving industry. 

2. Choose a thriving industry.

Choosing a growing industry in Singapore when applying for a job can significantly increase your chances of landing a fulfilling and stable career. With its diverse economy and business-friendly policies, Singapore offers a wide range of opportunities. 

Take a look at the table below to see which industries have the fastest growth and highest demand in Singapore.

Banking and Finance

The financial service industry is one of the most stable and steadily growing sectors in Singapore. There is always a high demand for new talents along with an opportunity to advance in your career. 

According to, there is an estimated 5,200 available jobs in the financial industry with 96% of them being for Professional, Managers, Executive, and Technician (PMET) roles. 

With the issuance of the resilient property market and digital banking licenses in Singapore, the finance industry will only keep developing with more room to grow in the future. 

Software and Technology 

The information technology industry has become a significant part of everyday life and subsequently increased hiring demand all over the world, especially in Singapore where almost every business has an online presence. 

This industry is projected to grow as ethical hacking and cybersecurity become essential in business organizations. As of writing this article, there is already a 24% increase in employment demand for IT. 


Singapore is one of the most advanced and sought-after healthcare hubs in the Asia-Pacific region. The nursing homes and hospitals in the country cater not just to locals but to patients from all over the world. 

The sector of healthcare that is expected to thrive in the future is gerontology and eldercare. It is predicted that 40.1% of the nation’s population would be 60 years old and above by 2050.

Singapore is now focusing most of its healthcare efforts on eldercare and gerontology to meet the huge demand in the future. Plenty of hospitals and private facilities are currently calling for new staff.  

Once you found the right industry for you, we recommend exhausting all your efforts into keeping yourself knowledgeable on the latest trends and skills for your chosen work sector. After all, employers love applicants who are well-informed. 

3. Keep track of common employment practices in Singapore. 

3. Keep track of common employment practices in Singapore.

To prevent yourself from taking jobs that you are not ready for and that could drastically affect your lifestyle, we recommend understanding the common employment practices in Singapore before applying for work. 

These employment practices include knowing about leaves of absence, holidays, hours, contracts, and skill training. The Ministry of Manpower published a list of employment resources that will help you understand common practices. 

The employment resource list includes information on the following topics: 

4. Find a job online.

4. Find a job online.

The best place to find employment opportunities in Singapore is online. There are multiple web resources that will aid you in your job search.

In Singapore, the most popular job listing sites are Monster, MyCareersFuture, and JobsDB.  


WebsiteLink Content
Monster Job posts 
Career advice 

Monster is a global website that acts as a bridge between employers and employees. Here, you can act as a recruiter or sign up as a person looking for a job. 

The great thing about this website is that it has job listings for basically every market available in Singapore. This includes finance, information technology, marketing, food service, factory work, communication services, and more. 

Another good thing about this website is that it allows you to create a resume that you can post online. Once posted, employers can view your resume to see if you are fit for the job and contact you with an offer. 


WebsiteLink Content
MyCareersFuture Job posts 
Career advice 
Government openings

MyCareersFuture, previously known as Jobs Bank, is a job search website that is run by the Singaporean government. This is perfect if you want to have the security that you will be paid the same amount as any other nationality. 

Most companies who create a job post on this platform are known to pay within the limits set by the government, so you can rest assured that you will not be underpaid for the job that you will do. 

The best part of this website is that there is a filter that will allow you to see job posts that are supported by the government. This means that the employer receives a subsidy from the government and is therefore more lenient in receiving employees. 

Apart from the government-supported job filter, there is also a special section for fresh graduates who are looking for a job that doesn’t require experience. 


WebsiteLink Content
JobsDB Job posts 
Career advice 

JobsDB is the most popular job search website in Singapore. It’s popular because of its huge database of job posts all over the country. 

You can find all sorts of jobs on this website, including those from well-known companies down to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The best part is that this page is user-friendly, so you can navigate it without much effort. 

You can specify your job search based on your location, company, industry, and status as a worker.

5. Connect with an agency. 

5. Connect with an agency.

Working with an agency is one of the fastest and most effective ways to land a job in Singapore. These agencies can help you work on your CV, interview preparation, and cover letter. 

The agencies also have plenty of connections within Singapore, so they can hook you up with a company faster than doing it on your own online. Additionally, they have a better understanding of the application process in the country. 

Below is a list of our top choices when it comes to recruitment agencies in Singapore. 


Address1 Raffles Pl, #37-61 One Raffles Place Tower 2, Singapore 048616 
Contact +6565101350
Opening hours9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 
Email [email protected]

Randstad is the best option for specialized talent recruitment. It has over two decades of experience in matching qualified candidates with the best job opportunities. 

Although Randstad has an excellent track record in multiple agencies, it is best known for being the largest IT recruiter in the country. Other than IT, it also specializes in human resources, finance, life sciences, marketing, and the manufacturing industry. 

Its services include temporary and permanent job opportunities, on-site workforce management, managed services program, payroll and parkour services, and outplacement. 

Michael Page 

AddressOne Raffles Place Tower 2, #09-61, Singapore 048616
Contact +6565332777
Opening hours8:30 AM to 6:30 PM 
Email [email protected]

Michael Page is known as one of the leading recruitment agencies all over the world. This company has over 40 years of global experience in staff recruitment. 

its branch in Singapore specializes in finding opportunities for those willing to work in technical positions, top management levels, and middle management. its access and connection to major companies make it one of the best options for an agency. 

Some of the services that Michael Page offers include career consultation and temporary and permanent job offers. 

Adept Manpower 

Address60 Albert Street, #16-03 OG Albert Complex, Singapore 189969
Contact +6568989989
Opening hours9:00 AM to 6:00 PM 
Email [email protected] 

Adept Manpower is a leading recruitment agency based in Singapore that offers a range of employment solutions to businesses across various industries. It specializes in providing both permanent and temporary staffing solutions to companies.

This agency is also an expert in industries such as banking, real estate, manufacturing, energy, oil, and gas. It also offers services such as payroll outsourcing, local and foreign job opportunities, foreign recruitment services, and Singapore PR applications.

6. Apply for your work visa.

6. Apply for your work visa.

The most important part of the process is obtaining your work visa. This will allow you to enter Singapore without any problems while also acting as proof that your stay in the country is approved by the government. 

Before you apply for your visa, we encourage you to know which work visa you are eligible for. There are different passes and permits in Singapore depending on your skills and qualifications. 

Different Types of Work Visas in Singapore

The work passes are divided into three major categories: professional, skilled, and semi-skilled workers, and trainees/students. 

The table below will show you the different passes you can apply for along with who it is most suitable for.

Pass type Category Who is it for? Fee
Employment pass ProfessionalForeign professionals, executives, and managers who earn at least $5,000 a month$105 – for the application process
$225 – for the issuance of a pass. 
EntrePassProfessionalForeign entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Singapore. $105 – for the application process
$225 – for the issuance of a pass. 
Personalized employment pass ProfessionalHigh-earning professionals with an employment pass $105 – for the application process
$225 – for the issuance of a pass. 
Overseas networks and expertise passProfessionalTop talents in art, culture, business, academia, research, and sports industry$105 – for the application process
$225 – for the issuance of a pass. 
S pass Skilled and semi-skilled workers Skilled workers who earn at least $3,000 a month$105 – for the application process
$100 – for the issuance of a pass. 
Work permit for migrant workers Skilled and semi-skilled workersSemi-skilled migrant workers in manufacturing, marine, and construction $35 – for the application process
$35 – for the issuance of a pass. 
Work permit for migrant domestic workersSkilled and semi-skilled workersMigrant domestic workers $35 – for the application process
$35 – for the issuance of a pass. 
Work permit for confinement nanny Skilled and semi-skilled workersMalaysian confinement nannies$35 – for the application process
Work permit for performing artisteSkilled and semi-skilled workersForeign performers working in public entertainment outlets$75 – for the application process
$100 – for the issuance of a pass 
Training employment passTrainees and students Foreign professionals undergoing practical training. Earns at least $3,000 a month $105 – for the application process
$225 – for the issuance of a pass. 
Work holiday pass (under work holiday program) Trainees and students Students and graduates aged 18 to 25 who want to work while on a holiday$175 – for the issuance of a pass
Work holiday (under work holiday program and holiday visa program)Trainees and students Australian students and undergraduates aged 18 to 30 who want to work while on a holiday$175 – for the issuance of a pass
Training work permitTrainees and students Semi-skilled foreign trainees or students undergoing practical training$35 – for the application process
Miscellaneous work passExemptions and working while on a visit passForeign speakers, journalists, and religious workers who are taking on a short-term work assignment$175 administrative fee
Work pass exempt activitiesExemptions and working while on a visit passWorkers performing eligible short-term activities without a work passN/A
Work pass exemption for foreign studentsExemptions and working while on a visit passForeign students studying full-time at an approved institution or school in SingaporeN/A
Work pass for holders of long-term visit passes issued by ICAExemptions and working while on a visit passForeigner married to a permanent resident or Singaporean N/A

*please note that there will be a $30 charge for multiple journey visas. 

Requirements for a Singapore Work Visa 

The requirements you need to prepare for a work visa include your passport, education certificate, background screening, transcript, and proof of eligibility (this can be your job offer, contract, or pay slip).

All documents must be original copies from eligible institutions. 

How to Apply for Work Visa in Singapore

To apply for a work visa in Singapore, the first thing you need to do is to visit the website of the Ministry of Manpower. 

Once you are there, select the tab for work passes and choose the pass that suits your situation best. 

After selecting your work pass, you will find a page with all the information related to the visa you selected. Find the tab that says ‘apply for a pass’ and it will show you a guide for your application along with who needs to process every document. 

You can pay all the necessary fees through GIRO, Visa, Mastercard, or Amex. please note that the application fee is not refundable regardless if you qualify for the pass or not.

Foreign Companies in Singapore

There are plenty of multinational companies in Singapore that are often a favorable option for foreigners. These foreign companies are more open to hiring non-locals. 

Some international companies you can find in Singapore include the following: 

Companies Industry Website 
3M Manufacturing and product expertise 
Accenture Professional services information technology consulting 
AXA Finance and insurance 
CitibankFinance and banking 
Continental AutomotiveAutomotive 
Dairy Farm InternationalFood and beverage 
DBSFinance and banking 
Fraser & Neave Food and beverage 
Great Eastern Finance and insurance 
HSBCFinance and banking 
Johnson & JohnsonHealthcare 
JP Morgan Chase Finance 
Procter & Gamble Manufacturing and consumer goods 
Singtel Technology 

Requirements to Prepare for a Job Application in Singapore

Requirements to Prepare for a Job Application in Singapore

To apply for a job in Singapore with an agency or online, you need to present your passport, ID, CV, portfolio (if necessary), certificate of employment (if applicable), and cover letter. 

Take note that other personal documents might be asked of you by the agency or company depending on their recruitment process. Additionally, working with an agency will come with a fee. 

The average fee usually amounts to one month’s salary for each year of service.  

How to Make a Resume and Cover Letter

How to Make a Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and your cover letter are two of your most powerful weapons as an applicant. Both documents show how qualified you are to perform the job and meet the company’s standards. 

In the guide below, we will show you how to create an attractive and compelling resume and cover letter. 


Your resume covers all your qualifications and basic information. Therefore, it should be precise and easy to understand. 

The steps below will show you how to create an outstanding resume. 

  1. Find a simple design and format. 

Gone are the days of boring resumes. Employers are now most likely to entertain applicants who put effort into making their resumes presentable. 

You can find resume formats and samples on a website like Canva or you can also create your own design. We recommend following a chronological format in writing your resume to make it easier for the employer to follow. 

Additionally, be sure not to pick a design that is too loud or excessive. Else, it would take away the spotlight from your qualifications. 

Make sure that you keep it simple and fitting for the position you are applying for. 

  1. Make an impactful resume summary that would entice the hiring manager to look more into your CV. Highlight all your qualifications and make sure that your achievements fit with the job you are applying for
  2. Add your contact details in a section that is easy to see. Make sure that the top page of your resume contains your photo, job title, professional email, and relevant links. 
  3. Pay careful attention to your work experience section since this will show the employer how well you have performed and what skills you can contribute to the company. 

Tailor it to fit the job ad and make your achievements as quantifiable as possible. Additionally, use action verbs and power words to make a bigger impact. 

  1. Add the right skills for the job. Make this section of your resume important by only including soft skills and hard skills relevant to the job you are applying for. 
  2. Keep your educational background short and straight to the point. The only time you should create a detailed educational section is if you are a fresh graduate with no experience in the field. 
  3. Take advantage of the optional section in your resume to shine a light on your language, certifications, independent projects, license, and professional awards. 

Cover Letter 

Your cover letter will cover all the details that you didn’t include in your resume. Additionally, it shows a little more about you as a professional and how you handle a professional document. 

The steps below will show you how to write a creative and interesting cover letter. 

  1. Start your letter with a header that states your information such as name, job title, contact number, and email address. 
  2. The next part should address the reader of your letter. If you know who you are sending the letter to, make sure to mention their name. 
  3. Make a proper introduction by mentioning why you are interested in the job, why you are qualified for the position, and what skills you can contribute to the company. 

Don’t just mention your years of experience, tell them what you have achieved and how passionate you are about your work. 

The truth of the matter is that there will always be someone with more years of experience, so make sure that you stand out by being the most enthusiastic and qualified for the job.  

  1. Explain why you are perfect for the job. Tell them how you performed in the same position in your previous company and how well you handled your tasks. 

Make sure that the achievements you mention are quantifiable and not just empty words. Present them with data from your previous projects along with results. 

  1. Show them how enthusiastic you are to enter the company by mentioning why you chose to apply. Mention how the company fits your personal and professional interests. 
  2. Finally, close your letter with a promise of what you can do for them.   

Other Tips to Be Hired in a Job in Singapore  

To ensure that you will land the job, take note of the following tips: 

  1. Have all the job requirements ready before you apply. Employers like applicants who are well prepared, so make sure that you have everything they might ask for, from your resume to your cover letter to your portfolio. 
  2. Adjust your availability for interviews and show how enthusiastic you are about talking to employers. If you manage to land an interview, be sure to arrive at the online conference or location earlier than the agreed time. 
  3. Enhance your employability skills by signing up for online courses and classes with certificates. 
  4. Try learning Mandarin before you apply for a job in Singapore. This will help you communicate with the locals better and increase your chances of getting hired.  
  5. Bring out all your qualities and experience that might be useful for the job. 
  6. Research the company you are applying to and make sure to show how well-informed you are about their operations, products, and needs. 
  7. Make a couple of suggestions on how you can help the company and make your recommendations quantifiable. Suggest specific areas like the company’s social media page, operations, or product promotions. 

Singapore is a wonderful place to flourish in your career and find opportunities that will help you grow professionally. It is a country that values workers no matter the position and industry they belong to. 

Naturally, plenty of people want to take their chance in becoming successful in Singapore. That being said, you will have plenty of competition, so you should make sure that you will stand out with the right qualifications. 

As someone who is familiar with plenty of foreigners getting a job in Singapore, I can say that applying isn’t the hard part of the application process. The most difficult thing about it is making yourself stand out among all the other applicants. 

Be sure to read the requirements and qualifications posted by the company before you start applying and tailor your skills and CV to what is being asked for. 

Once you have that down,  you can start cooperating with an agency that can help you get your foot in the door of different companies within Singapore.