Welcome back to The First Step, PROWIBO’s job search series. Through these articles, PROWIBO aims to present advice on searching and applying for jobs in Sierra Leone, Thailand, and Uganda. We hope these articles can serve as resources for the students of all of PROWIBO’s summer school programs.
In Part Two, we cover searching and applying for jobs in Thailand. We asked Sipim Sornbanlang, PROWIBO Asia Representative and Programs Coordinator, to give her advice for searching and applying for jobs.
When starting a job search, it is important to stay organised and focused. At first glance, starting to look for a new job can seem overwhelming. However, it is very easy to conduct your job search online. “Searching online is the most convenient way for young people nowadays,” says Sipim. One website that may be particularly useful is JobThai. On the homepage, you can view JobThai’s most popular and most recent job adverts. Moreover, you can use JobThai’s search engine to browse for jobs by industry, category, and province. In addition to posting job adverts, JobThai offers users the chance to design and store their resumes on the website. However, if you are having difficulty finding a job online, Sipim suggests that you consult newspapers. “Sometimes jobs advertised in English newspapers like Bangkok Post, The Nation, etc. are more interesting and challenging,” says Sipim.
During the initial stages of your job hunt, it is important consider how you will present your resume and cover letter to a potential employer. Sipim suggests that resumes and cover letters should be as concise as possible. Remember that these documents present an overview of your skills and qualifications, so do not overload the documents with too much information. Moreover, Sipim suggests that you maintain a professional tone throughout the documents. Remember to include a professional email address with your first and last name and, depending on your comfort level, include a professional and recognisable photo of yourself.
When applying for jobs, it is important to reflect on your own skills and abilities, so you make sure that you apply for jobs that reflect your skill set. Think about your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to soft skills, such as communication skills and time management and industry-specific skills, such as data processing. Skill development is a lifelong process. You can and should always make time to learn new skills and/or improve your current skills. If you are unsure where to start, two key skills areas are language skills and IT skills. “English communication is a plus when you are searching/applying for jobs,” says Sipim. It may also benefit you to learn another language aside from English, such as Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, and/or French. Moreover, Sipim stresses the importance of IT Skills and applications, especially Microsoft Office. Furthermore, Sipim believes that individuals may also want to familiarize themselves with design skills. “I think having skill in multimedia or graphics can be very useful such as Photoshop, Video editing, etc. But this depends on which kind of organization you are working with as well,” says Sipim.
In a competitive labour market, it is important for candidates to stand out among other potential applicants. A great way to stand out is to have work experience in your chosen field. There are many ways to gain work experience. You can start by looking for volunteer opportunities and activities in university. Sipim also recommends applying to be an intern. Working as an intern will allow you to familiarize yourself with the industry and it provides great opportunities for networking. “According to my experience, many students could get job offers from organizations they intern after they graduate,” says Sipim. It is important to pursue as many work opportunities as you can. These opportunities not only help to advance your professional development but also help you understand how well you cope with problems and teamwork.
Throughout your job search, it is important to dedicate time to prepare for job interviews. To begin your interview preparation, think about how you would like to present yourself to your future employer. Sipim stresses the importance of being respectful and humble when first applying for jobs. It is also important to consider how to dress professionally in order to create a good first impression. Finally, you should take adequate time to research the history and background of the organisation. “Do your homework about the organization you’re applying, study it well and give them good reasons why you are matched their requirements,” suggests Sipim. Potential employers will appreciate you taking the time to get to know the organisation.
Many thanks to Sipim for her helpful insight. Stay tuned for Part Three, where we will discuss searching and applying for jobs in Uganda. Make sure to visit the Career Development page to find advice and tips for how to start your next job search. To learn more about PROWIBO, please visit our website.
“JobThai.com.” JobThai. Accessed July 20, 2018. http://www.jobthai.com/home/searchjob.php?l=en.
Weicht, Rebecca. “Education Systems Can Stifle Creative Thought. Here’s How to Do Things Differently.” World Economic Forum. Accessed August 20, 2018. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/04/education-systems-can-stifle-creative-thought-here-s-how-to-do-things-differently.