SINGAPORE: From time to time, The Independent Singapore features stories of someone struggling to get a job, feeling hopeless because they’ve applied many times and sent out scores of résumé, only to get very few interviews.

Many fresh graduates and seasoned workers are finding themselves in this situation. It’s little wonder that a TikTok video of a US job recruiter explaining “Why it’s so hard to get a job right now” has gone viral, getting over 1.8 million views.


I could go on and on. We have to do somrthing cause this is getting out of control #fyp #jobmarket #lifelessons #inflation #unemployed #lifehacks

♬ original sound – Kourtlynn Faith

In the video, Ms Kourtlynn Faith (@Kourtlynn_) explains that she has been working in recruitment for six years.

She has also had recent job struggles. At the beginning of her video, she explains that she was laid off three times last year and that it took her seven months to find a job.

But her bigger point is that companies appear to be trimming their recruitment teams, and she explained that:

“If you have a company that has 300 jobs listed, you might only have five recruiters for all 300 of those roles. If you have 300 roles posted, you have 2,000 people applying to each role. How long do you think that takes?

Of those thousands of people that apply, maybe more than half of them apply to roles they’re not qualified for.”

Read also: Singaporean says he “sent out over 300 job applications but got only 3 interviews”

While in the past, firms might be willing to take the time and money to train new hires, that time is long over. But more importantly, the fewer recruiters there are, the longer it takes them to go through all the résumé.

Here’s another trade secret: Most recruiters spend no more than 30 seconds looking at a résumé.

In all her work as a recruiter, humans have looked through all the résumés themselves. “I have never used AI and I have never used an automated system,” she said.

She added that there is no point in hiring someone to make your resume, so she recommended the STAR Résumé app instead as all the help anyone needs. Her advice may just come in handy.

On March 14, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) published its Labour Market Report for the fourth quarter of 2023.

The report showed that despite showing resilience throughout the year, the incidence of retrenchment grew to more than double the low figure observed in 2022.

MOM noted that for 2023, retrenchments were at 6.7 per 1,000 employees, whereas in 2022, they were at 3.1 per 1,000.

2023’s incidence of retrenchment is now similar to pre-pandemic levels, as the average for 2015 to 2019 had been the same as in 2023. /TISG

Read also: “Got rejected again. I just want a job” — Fresh grad on 4th month of job hunting but still no luck

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