Lonely woman at park

SINGAPORE: Another jobless Singaporean online has expressed concerns about how to explain a long employment gap in her resume.

Despite being a fresh marketing graduate from one of the big three local universities, she has been struggling in the job market for the past six months, with rejections and ghosting from companies becoming the norm and leaving her uncertain about her prospects.

“I am currently doing freelance and part-time work, and also learning new skills to keep myself occupied,” she shared online, “But I’m really worried that this employment gap will be a red flag to employers. I’ve heard that the longer I am unemployed, the less desirable I become.”

Singaporeans online offered their two cents, with many providing reassurance. One commenter said, “It doesn’t really matter, especially when you’ve just graduated and are taking steps to upgrade yourself.” Another echoed this sentiment, adding, “If it’s like a 2-year gap, maybe it will raise a flag. Employers are aware of the tough competition.”

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Others emphasised showcasing her relevant skills and crafting her resume in a concise, well-structured manner. “Ensure you have the relevant and desirable skills employers require,” advised one commenter, while another stressed, “Ensure that your resume is neat and solid.”

One individual shared his own personal success story, recounting an eight-month gap in his resume. “Interviewers asked me why I had such a long gap. I gave them an honest answer about the competitive job market and how I spent the time upgrading my skills. They understood and invited me for a second interview, eventually offering me a job.”

Others recommended focusing on internships rather than part-time or freelance work, noting that hands-on experience can be more valued in competitive job markets. “Due to the over supply of candidates, companies (or at least mine) tend to appreciate hands-on or actual experiences over technical skills,” he explained.

Empathising with her anxiety caused by the job hunt, one commenter offered words of encouragement: “Don’t let them get you down. It’s a good thing that you’re freelancing and learning new skills. Make sure these are stated on your resume and are relevant to the jobs you’re applying for.”

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Many Singaporeans are facing job-seeking challenges. Recently, one Singaporean shared online how he was ghosted by 80% of the job interviews he attended, while the remaining 20% rejected him.

Other workers who have experienced long periods of unemployment are also turning to the gig economy as tutors and Grab delivery drivers. /TISG

Read also: Senior citizens lament about lack of job opportunities in Singapore; they complain that companies look at age, not skills

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