How can I Find a Job in Malaysia?

Calling all Jobseekers! Learn some best tips and best practices for finding a new job in Malaysia.
find a job in Malaysia

How can I Find a Job in Malaysia?

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically shifted the landscape of work worldwide. There has been a rush to digitize as companies scrambled to find ways to keep operations running despite restrictions and closures. Some industries have naturally adapted much better than others and staying employable might require a pivot into learning new skills.

Needless to say, IT and software development professionals are in high demand because of the increased demand for online operations. Digital marketing is another industry that’s booming because of the mass transition to ecommerce and online customer touchpoints. The finance and medical sectors are also seeing increases in vacancies from similar ripple effects.

Looking to find a job in Malaysia is easier than ever, partly because online job portals are becoming increasingly popular every year. The number one benefit of applying for work online is that you can browse through enormous catalogues and sort them by location, industry, position, salary, and more. On top of that, many online job searching sites allow you to create an account and save your information so you can apply to multiple companies with just a few tweaks for personalization.

All that’s left is to actually get the job. Even though looking for a job vacancy is relatively easy, applying can still be a stressful process because employers also have access to much larger groups of candidates. Whether you’re starting from the beginning or looking to hone your job application skills, this article covers it all. You’ll find tips on how to look for the job you want, current popular job search sites, and tips for sharpening up your interview skills and resume.

10 Tips on Looking for Jobs in Malaysia

1. Narrow down your search

There are many job opportunities in Malaysia that all have different pros and cons. Narrow down your search to a specific industry or maybe just a few positions. First, make sure you’ll be taking home enough to pay your bills. Then consider your strengths and weaknesses and preferences for workplace or workstyle.

2. Prepare a resume or CV

Even online job applications frequently require you to submit a resume because your employer wants to know about your background and the skills that make you not just qualified but an exemplary employee. Take a look at the “Resume and Interview Best Practices” section for more detailed information. A CV is like a more in-depth resume that contains more detailed and specific information about your background.

3. Use a job search board

Whatever kind of work you’re looking for, you’re going to have excellent chances of finding an opening on an online job portal. Many companies use online job search boards to look for employees because it’s much more efficient than any other method. You can find a list of top-ranking online job portals below.

4. Check company websites

Many large companies, especially multinational corporations, recruit on their own websites. You can frequently find such hiring centers at the bottom of any page in the site navigation links. It’s typically labeled “Careers,” “Work here,” or something similar. This is a great method for getting a job with a specific employer in whom you are interested.

5. Attend a career fair

Career fairs are large events usually hosted by colleges or universities where employers come to recruit new talent. Such fairs can be industry-specific or host employers from a variety of businesses so it’s important to do some research before just showing up. It can be helpful to have resumes on-hand to distribute to the recruiters there.

6. Ask in-person or cold call

Sometimes getting your hands dirty can have unexpected results. You never know whether that place down the road or the business you’ve been eyeing is considering hiring someone. These days, cold calling is a little unusual, and sending an email is generally more advisable if the company has contact information available. Walking in to request a position is more appropriate for retail, restaurant, hospitality, or other service positions. If you do walk in, make sure you’re prepared for an impromptu interview.

7. Check the classifieds

Traditionally, classifieds sections in newspapers were a popular way for employers to post vacancies. Sometimes job seekers would also advertise their skills. These days, many newspapers still host classified sections online and some other companies create dedicated classifieds pages. Some are listed below.

8. Volunteer

Sometimes, though not always, volunteering can translate into paid work if you demonstrate your value to a company over some period of time. Non-profits are especially reliant on volunteers and don’t always have the revenue to take on new employees, so this can be a great way to get a foot in the door for a position you value highly.

9. Intern

Internships are usually temporary positions meant to be filled by younger job seekers as introductory work experience. Some internships are paid, but most are not. An internship won’t always result in a full-time job but working hard and seeking out responsibilities can increase your odds of getting an offer. You should definitely take the opportunity to make clear to your internship supervisors and mentors that you’re interested in a career at the company.

Would you consider work-from-home?
×

10. Customize your CVs, resumes, and cover letters

A CV is a more in-depth resume, and a cover letter is a short passage about why you believe you’re a good fit for the position. You will look like a much better candidate if you align your documents so that your prior experience can be connected to the role you’re applying for. Highlight the things that you think your employer is looking for and link your skillset to the requirements and expectations of the job opening.

5 Job Search Websites in Malaysia to Try Today

Site

Benefits

Grabjobs

24/7 web and mobile accessibility

1-click applications

Streamlined experience

Sort and filtering options

Job search and career tips

Alternate interview and application options

Monster

Large database

Sort and filtering options

Job search and career tips

Career Jet

Aggregates offers from other sites

Simple interface

MyStarjob

Simple interface

Career aptitude and personality tests

Job search and career tips

Indeed

Simple interface

1-click applications

Company reviews

Resume and Interview Best Practices in Malaysia

To optimize your chances of landing a position, especially if it’s highly contested, you’re going to want to make yourself stand out. That means crafting a high-quality resume and preparing thoroughly before going in for an interview. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential employer. What would your dream candidate be like? Odds are they would be professional, well-spoken, and passionate about both their career and your company’s mission. That’s how you want to present yourself to your potential employers, starting with your resume.

Resume/CV/Cover Letter Best Practices

1. Include essential information

There are some things you definitely must have on every resume. You definitely need to include your name and contact information, along with your professional title if you have one. You should also include some brief background about your education and other relevant qualifications. It’s expected that you list recent work experience, especially if it was in the same field or carried similar responsibilities. Many people also include a list of contacts that employers can use as references if need be, but you can also provide those on a separate sheet or on request. You can also attach a reference letter from a previous employer, supervisor, or colleague—preferably in a senior position.

2. Proofread everything thrice

Your employer might have dozens of candidates to choose between and in a situation like that, an easy way to sort out potential applicants is to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Simple errors demonstrate a lack of thoroughness, attention, and care for your work.

3. Optimize your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Even if your employer does not use an applicant tracking system, the job hosting site they’re using might offer one (like Grabjobs). Such systems can be used to scan documents for relevant skills and keywords that demonstrate previous experience. Check out this article for more tips on how to make your resume easier to parse for an ATS. It’s better to do it than not, since you never know whether your employer is using an ATS.

4. Customize your documents for every application

Your employer wants to know that you are the best candidate among all the other candidates. That means the more you can throw into your resume that is relevant, the better. Otherwise, you shouldn’t just stuff words into your resume because it doesn’t actually make you look any better to a recruiter. You also want to sort your previous experience by relevance instead of chronologically or some other method.

5. Be concise

Odds are your recruiter has a lot of resumes to go through. The more tedious your resume is to read, the more negatively they will feel while processing it. Lengthy resumes don’t actually generate positive outcomes.

6. Include a picture

It’s a common practice in Malaysia to include a photo of yourself. It should be a clear and relatively high-resolution photograph. You want to look presentable, well-dressed, and clean. Keep the picture to just you, and don’t include anyone (or anything) else. Try for a neutral background and make sure you have good lighting on your face.

Interview Best Practices

1. Research your employer

Researching your employer is important because it gives you an idea about the company’s culture, which can give you important clues about how you should dress and how formal you should be. More than that, however, your employer is also looking for someone who is self-motivated and passionate. Research things like business operations, the company’s values, and its mission. Preparing thoughtful questions to ask at the end of your interview will make you more memorable and show your interest.

2. Be punctual

You always want to be early to an interview—between 10-15 minutes early is usually considered reasonable. Being late is a sure way to leave a bad first impression. It’s not just an inconvenience for your interviewer, it doesn’t reflect well on your future commitment to punctuality. Being late or not showing up without an excellent reason almost guarantees that you will not get the job.

3. Be respectful and courteous

Greet your recruiter politely and offer to shake their hand. Make eye contact when you’re speaking and introduce yourself with your name. It’s normal to be nervous, but you should try and keep calm. Take deep breaths, speak clearly, and suppress nervous tics like leg shaking or cracking your knuckles. Sit up straight during your interview and place your hands on your thighs or fold them in your lap. It never hurts to smile. Before you leave, thank your interviewer for the opportunity and offer to shake their hand again.

4. Bring relevant documents

Sometimes your employer will ask you to bring certain documents to your interview. Commonly, these include certifications or licenses and a government-issued photo ID. Depending on your job, there may be others. Even though you’ve probably already sent in a copy of your resume, you should bring a copy or two along to your interview and offer it to your interviewer. Don’t just show up empty-handed.

5. Dress appropriately

Unless it’s a phone or chat interview, your attire matters. Generally speaking, formal business attire is expected for most office position interviews. That means a suit and tie, not a tuxedo or traditional clothes. In other positions, wearing a pair of clean, pressed jeans and a polo shirt might be sufficient. A general rule of thumb is to dress not for your job but the way your supervisor might dress. If you’re unsure at all, definitely go with a suit.

6. Try to answer questions in the same language

If your interviewer is conducting your interview in one language, avoid switching languages to answer even if it’s more comfortable for you. It’s likely that they’re interviewing you in the language that you’ll be expected to use at work. If you cannot verbalize what you need to say, ask first before switching languages.

Getting a job can be nerve-wracking because the process feels a lot like a personal evaluation and getting rejections when you have bills to pay gives most of us a lot of anxiety. But you have to keep in mind the value that you’re bringing to your job. No workplace runs without workers. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the process. Interviews are really about gauging how you and your employer can benefit each other.

Applying for a job is a very simple process with modern tools like online applications. What it comes down to now is standing out and selling yourself to your employer. Demonstrate that you’re not just the kind of person who works for a paycheck, you’re committed to the mission behind your company and the value that the business brings to its clients. That is the best way to find a job not only in Malaysia but anywhere.

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/