Singaporeans, you terribad at self promotion


I represented my company at a recruitment fair yesterday, where fresh graduates were applying to work with us.

However, it was more than just a place for the fresh young things to drop their resumes off; they got to chat with us and hear more about what we do, and hopefully make a good first impression.

And while I am no HR personnel, it was easy to tell from a one-minute impression who had a chance of getting hired with us and who didn’t. The ones with no chance at all would sabotage themselves in the most cringe-worthy ways possible. The kicker? 9/10 of the time, those kicking themselves were Singaporeans.

I have to say, Indians are exceptional at self promotion. They would walk right up to me with a firm handshake, and immediately start telling me why they are the right fit for working at our company.

Maybe they didn’t have the best English, but they would tell me how many years of experience they have, and show a high level of enthusiasm. China Chinese were one tier lower, but they too didn’t do too bad of a job selling themselves. While not as eager to show off that they had the right stuff, when asked if they had the skills we were looking for they were quick to say yes, and why.

However, absolutely disgraceful were the local Singaporeans. I’d ask them how proficient they are at C or C++, and they would immediately declare that they are not very good, or that they have no confidence in their abilities. I asked one girl how good she was with those programming languages, and she straight away said she was terrible, right in front of me and my boss. And then she dropped her resume off. Sad thing is, you could tell she really wanted the job too. It was painful to watch.

So for about 4 hours, I watched Indians, Chinese and Indonesians sell themselves, while Singaporeans indulged in self-degradation and flushed their chances down the toilet. And I’m not talking about people who said they did not have the skills we were looking for and then walked away- these are people who told us they suck, and then asked where do I sign up.

And the funny thing is, if we’re talking about skill, there is no way I could have known who actually had the right stuff and who didn’t. That is something we would have only found out much later in the interview process, where we test the applicants for their skill in C and C++.

I mean… it’s mind boggling to me. I know I wrote about something very similar in this post, but seeing it up close and personal was really disheartening.  I don’t know if Singaporeans are being humble or if they truly do suck, but it’s easy to see why foreigners are getting hired over us. Come on guys, step it up.


3 thoughts on “Singaporeans, you terribad at self promotion

  1. Hey Ky!

    Singaporeans are not bad infact i know a lot of Singaporeans who are A grade fantastic including you.

    The reason why you saw such response is due to the fact that Singaporeans have not seen the pressure or competition that Indians or Chinese do. For example in India even if you are a 1 in million kind of guy, Well good luck, because it amounts to crap. As there are other,probably more than 100 million people, like you, where as in Singapore you are one of the top 10 in the country.

    So I guess you get the jist of what i want to say.

    Having said I totally agree with your point. But it goes for anyone. As I still believe that Singaporeans are pretty cool 😎 .

    Well I would just say this

    “if you yourself don’t believe that you can kick ass on the job. How the hell will make some one else believe that and hire you”.

    1. Hihi! I am a terrible friend for I do not recognise you for your email address. Please message me privately and let me know who you are, and feel free to call me a dumbass while you’re at it.

      Your reasoning for why Chinese and Indians are better at selling themselves is sound, but it only furthers my point that we Singaporeans have to step up our game, because these people who are amazing at making themselves sound amazing are going for the same job interviews we are, and slaughtering us.

      For those graduates, I think it’s damn important they learn to believe they can kick ass on the job, since they took a 3-year degree in it for God’s sake. Hahahaha.

  2. LOL No problem 🙂

    Although my math is wrong. What we can say is that even if you are in top 10% of the population of China or India there are more than a 100 million people like you where as in Singapore it’s not the same. But the counter argument will be that China or India have more number of jobs and so on on so forth.

    So I think yeah the point you made still holds true and is very important 🙂

    But I still believe that Singaporeans are good at selling themselves and I think much better than other countries out there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s