Yesterday Jul 16, 2012, I interviewed a Filipino vet who had 7 years of medical transcription experience and was looking for a vet technician job in Singapore. She sent 100 resumes and phone various practices and received negative replies. Now she has 8 days left to look for a job. She was referred to me by my friend, Khin Khin, a licensed employment agent dealing mainly with Myanmar applicants. Lately she got walk-in Filipino and Indian prospects too.
Now, it is extremely difficult to find an employer. The ratio of 4 Singaporean to 1 foreign worker has been increased to 5:1 and the salaries have been increased much more since July 1, 2012. So many organisations just can't employ foreigners as they don't have this ratio.
She came to Toa Payoh Vets at 9.15 am as Khin Khin had asked her to be punctual at 9.30 am. Punctuality is important for anybody and creates a good impression.
"Why did you leave out your personal particulars like citizenship, home address?" I asked. "By doing this, you make the interviewer do more work to ask you."
"My friend in the event management company in Singapore told me not to include these info," she said. "I will be discriminated if I do it."
"It is better that the employer knows what nationality you are and if there is no need for Filipinos, you will have been better off, saving time."
I reviewed her veterinary degree. The surname on the degree is different from the passport name. She had an affidavit to say that there was a mistake in the spelling. "This creates a bad impression that you don't bother to ensure accuracy," I explained to her. "MOM officers will check the surname and reject any application immediately."
She said she needed to spend time to get this rectified.
"Why didn't you work in a veterinary practice instead of medical transcription for a US hospital for 7 years?" I read her letter of appointment. "You just don't have the necessary small animal experience."
"Medical transcription pays me more," she mentioned this was S$1,000 per month with 12 hours of her efforts daily. Now she has shoulder ache and pain in her left thigh (sciatica?) and so was looking for a job that would not involve typing.
"My father was not happy when I told him I would be working as a waitress in Singapore," she knew that vet technician jobs are hard to find as she had spoken to her counterparts in vet practices and she was not in desperate need of money since her family was well to do.
"It is the timing and the referral from your friends in the vet practices rather than emailing," I said I do get several such emails.
It is so difficult for her to work in vet surgeries in the Philippines as the pay is low. New Singaporean vet graduates are so fortunate as all can get to work in veterinary practices or the government. Yet there are so many vet graduates in other countries who can't do what they love.