Finally, I have landed with a job after all efforts expended during such a long time. In this post, I will not share with you any experience of mine on how to prepare for job application, CV, or interview, etc. as I think everyone will have their own background, which will specify each one’s strategy in finding a suitable job. (In fact, I am not so good in closing the deal as I fail a lot). In this post, I would like to share about my own tips for searching for job opportunities online so that you can make sure that you will not miss any opportunity if it comes up. In the era of Internet, I think that it is also important to master your Google searching skills to find job opportunities online. Of course, there exists other means of finding and approaching recruiters such as career fairs or personal references but in this post, I will limit to online searching only. If you have any further experience, feel free to let me know. And as I am a recent graduate in a business school, this post will much more relevant for students majoring in business, economics, management, or finance. In addition, it is worth bearing in mind that this post aims to provide with the tools, I do not attempt to list down all the opportunities but just the ways I found them.
(1) Periodical opportunities
Periodical opportunities are the annual graduate recruitment programs or internship programs that large companies offer to students. These programs are usually wide announced on the Internet, through many channels such as official websites, Facebook, email, or student’s clubs. Even you are not someone who are particularly interested in job seeking, you surely cannot live by without hearing your friends talking about them. I want to note down some programs which have been popular among Vietnamese students:
(a) Internship programs and graduate programs of “Big 4” companies.
“Big 4” companies include: PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte. Follow their websites for their internship programs on September, or October and their graduate programs on March, April. You can follow this forum: http://kiemtoan.com.vn/forum/forumdisplay.php?107-C%C3%A2u-l%E1%BA%A1c-b%E1%BB%99-Sinh-vi%C3%AAn as this forum is the meeting point of students who are strongly interested in working for audit firms.
You also find information of recruitment of non-Big 4 firms such as Grant Thornton or Nexia, etc. in this forum as well.
Among the most popular recruitment programs among students, Unilever seems to have done a good job in attracting talents to participate its programs every year. Unilever offers a wide range of positions for new graduates in different departments such as Customer Development, Finance, or Supply Chain. Follow its website: http://www.unilever.com.vn/careers-jobs/graduates/ or its official Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/UnileverCareersVietnam to make sure that you don’t miss the opportunities.
(c) GE Financial Management Program
GE FMP has just launched in Vietnam for one or two years but I think that it would be the most awesome program for students who are interested in pursuing their careers in Finance. Joining this program, you will be entitled to one-of-a-kind career opportunity. You will have chances to be rotated to different positions in Finance Department of GE, to different companies or subsidiaries of GE from GE Healthcare to GE Power & Water or GE Capital. During these 2-year programs, you will spend each 6 months in a country (So after 2 years you will live in 4 countries, including 6 months in Vietnam). Failing in this program right at the final round is still an unforgettable experience to me. GE HR manager, Mr. Choy Koon Seng should be one of the nicest HR managers I have had the interview with. And if you take a look on Forbes 2000, you will see that GE stands at the 3rd place of the largest public companies in the world. Find your luck with GE around the beginning of March by following the website:
Note: To subscribe for the opportunity from GE, find your way to http://jobs.gecareers.com/ and you may submit your CV and choose your preferred function and location.
(d) Other management trainee programs: Pepsico, Nestle, Kinderworld, FPT, Friesland Campina, Prudential, VINATABA (Phillips Morris International), Samsung, Microsoft (Intern to MACH program), Proctor & Gamble (P&G ASEAN Business Challenge)… There are lots of programs available for final year students. I have not much idea about these programs as I have not get involved with them. But you may start your own search by typing Pepsico management trainee program Vietnam… to find more information about these programs. These programs are usually launched during the time from December to May. In this part I want to mention CMC as well. Though they do not offer annual graduate programs , CMC, in my opinion, is also a friendly recruiter for fresh graduate: http://www.cmc.com.vn/vi-VN/Tuyen-dung/Co-hoi-nghe-nghiep/cmc.htm
One source that I used to find periodical management trainee programs are blog of ss Le Viet Ha. Although she does not update job opportunities any longer but you can find her previous posts about these MT programs and determine the timescale that these programs are launched every year.
(e) SEO Vietnam
It is considered as a good program for students, who want to seek internship opportunities in a wide variety of companies while build a strong network with Vietnamese students from not only local universities but also foreign universities in UK, US, … SEO – Vietnam is something that remains a mystery to me as I am eliminated from the application round in 2013 even when I think I have better preparation, I have better background than I was in 2012, in which I was proceeded to the final round of this program. It makes me feel so terrible on hearing that I was disqualified right at the first round.
However, find the information here: http://seo-vietnam.org/
(2) Non-periodical opportunities
As the competition for jobs among fresh graduates is very tough nowadays, make sure that you don’t just chase for the big names but forget to seek for opportunities elsewhere. In fact, the more popular programs are not guaranteed to be better than the less popular ones. In addition, the competition for Unilever or Big 4 companies is very harsh as they may pick up a few graduates from thousands of applications so it is just normal if you fail them. Keep seeking information from every corner, yes, I mean “corner”, be alert with opportunities.
So here are some tips of mine to seek job opportunities in the corners:
(a) Job search agencies
It would be the first place to remember when you think of seeking for employment opportunities. Some useful sites that I get used to seeking is: Jobstreet, Vietnamworks, vieclam.vn, etc. You can subscribe for e-newsletters from these sites and they will send relevant job opportunities to you based on your customized job preferences. About the effectiveness of job search agencies, I am not quite sure about them as I hardly receive any phone calls from recruiters in comparison with other means of approaching recruiters of mine like direct emails or I hardly receive any response from them in case my application failed, especially Vietnamworks. I have received some phone calls from recruiters after submitting my applications on Jobstreets but none from Vietnamworks. Jib.vn is a relatively new site designed by a student, I have not tried but for job seekers, I think it is worth a try to find job opportunities on this one. Svjobs.net is also a very good source of information, provided by Human Resources Club of Foreign Trade University.
There are some groups of job opportunities available on Facebook such as: Internships & Jobs in Vietnam, Ybox, Internship.edu.vn, Jobs in Vietnam & Singapore. You may find another sources on Facebook such as groups for alumni in your universities: In FTU, it is FTU Share, or FTU Alumni Network, etc. AIESEC FTU or AIESEC Hanoi’s Facebook fanpages are also good sources as AIESEC is partner of many management trainee programs and they help these companies spread the news.
LinlkedIn is a social network for people in professional occupations and more and more HR managers employ this channel to hunt for qualified candidates. So don’t forget to miss this channel. Create your own account on LinkedIn, fill up with information, it is not necessary to be in detail but make sure it is decent enough. I often use LinkedIn to stalk profile of the seniors in the career paths I would like to pursue, such as I see the profile of employees in KPMG, in VinaCapital, in GE, for instant, to know where they have learnt, what they have worked, how long it takes them to reach this level.😛
Job opportunities on LinkedIn could be found by two ways (If you find another way, feel free to let me know.)
– By clicking on the tab Jobs on the menu: http://www.linkedin.com/job/home?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_jobs
Sometimes you may find an interesting JD that suits your preference. I employ this way sometimes and manage to get interview twice. Recently, I attempted to apply for a job position of Marketing Executive for Vietnamese speakers in Singapore (yeah, I say “attempt”), even I know it is difficult to relocate abroad as lots of procedures would be involved and sometimes companies don’t want to waste time on these procedures. But fortunately, this company’s HR manager emailed me to ask if I can work in Ho Chi Minh City for the same position so that she will arrange an interview through Skype. I don’t encourage you to follow this way but sometimes, if you risk nothing, you gain nothing. :))
– By joining discussions or groups on LinkedIn: such as group Internships & Jobs in Vietnam, or kind of Job opportunities in Vietnam, etc. You can easily the same kind of groups on LinkedIn. I remember being told by an HR executive that she prefers to post job opportunity on LinkedIn because if she posts on Facebook, the number of application would be so overwhelming and she cannot handle this great number of applications. And she thought that anyone who applied through LinkedIn should be ones who are strongly interested in career development. I don’t mean to say she is right or wrong but I think it would be an important note for job seekers.
(d) Relevant forums/ information hubs
If you are interested in auditing or working in accounting firms, pay attention to kiemtoan.com.vn
If you want to seek for opportunities in the banks, find your way to ub.com.vn
If you are keen on pursuing your career in investment management or stock brokers, take a look at: http://vfpress.vn/
If you want to get a job in NGO, make sure that you don’t miss this website: http://www.ngocentre.org.vn/jobs
You may easily find these kinds of forums if you spend much more time researching the career paths you would like to follow.
It would be a great mistake if I miss Google. Don’t undervalue its importance in searching for a job, it would bring about great opportunities that many people don’t see.
But the question is: “How to employ Google effectively?” And my answer is you have to know what to search for.
During my 4 years at university, I usually use Google to find information by asking a question, breaking it into smaller ones, finding relevant phrases for searching, reading what I have searched and coming up with more in-depth phrases.
The same rule applies to job searching. You should have something in your mind before typing the words in to the searching box, and developing further ideas by the way.
For examples, I start with “research analyst” – a job of my own preference. I search down what does research analysts do, I may try other keywords such as business analysts, etc. (and don’t forget to search in Vietnamese as well)
Then after having some ideas about this job, I find out about where they can do. The findings about where they can do may arise from different sources. I see on Facebook a friend of mine works for a government relations firm as a research analyst, I see the other works as market analyst in a consulting firm, the other may work in a real estate agent. All of them own the same title research analyst.
So I listed down where I can work for:
+ Government relations firms: It is kind of boutique consulting firms which specialize in providing government relations services, so I find out about Vriens & Partners, APCO, Ogilvy, …
+ Real estate agents: CBRE, Savills, Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers, etc.
+ FDI consulting firms: Dezan Shira & Associates, etc.
So I will find if they have any office in Vietnam, click in their websites and find if they have any vacant post. However, I should note down that almost every firm of that kind is quite small and its headcount is about 10 – 20 people or even fewer, therefore, they rarely offer job opportunities. But you may email them for an opportunity for an internship and sometimes, if you are lucky, they may send you with information about their vacant posts, which is not wide announced.
Another experience of mine is to note down the name of companies that I may feel interested. For example, when I go for an interview in Pacific Place 83B Ly Thuong Kiet, I often come to the appointment early and spend a few time at the first floor. Look at the direction board of the building and they list down names of many companies renting offices in this building as well. Remember some names and you may go home and search more about it.
Or you may start with an industry and find the companies in this industry to dig further. Such as pharmaceutical companies, you will find Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, etc.
Sometimes, I read The Economist and came by the name of a company. For example, recently, I came by WPP and happened to know that it is the world leading advertising and PR company. As a part of my habit, I searched for WPP Vietnam and find about Millward Brown: If you are interested in PR or advertising or market research, why don’t give it a try: http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH02/ats/careers/searchResults.jsp?org=MILLWARDBROWNUK&cws=10 ;)
In conclusion: Thanks for looking at this lengthy note and I hope that you could find yourself useful stuff for job hunting. My post is not about how to get a job or how to land a job but it is just my own experience in seeking for opportunities. Wish you guys all best luck with your job hunting experiences. I am not sure if searching job opportunities this way is effective but as a fresh graduate, sometimes we don’t have much choices but keep searching.
From one student who sent hundreds of job applications and got dozens of responses, having dozens of interviews before getting few (yes “few” not “a few” job offers🙂 Fighting!