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A headstart to snag that dream job

30 January 2013

Prof Tan (right) making a booth stop

A student learning more about the career pathway at the Ministry of Education

Enthusiastic job seekers checking out the many offerings at the NUS Career Fair 2013

Eager to get a headstart on their job hunt, some 4,500 NUS students thronged this year's Career Fair at the NUS Sports and Recreation Centre on 29 January. The organiser, NUS Career Centre under Office of Student Affairs, expects about the same number to visit on the second day of the Fair on 1 February.

A record 217 employers - 41 more than 2012 - set up booths at the two-day event, offering more than 4,200 openings in the form of employment, internships and scholarships. Spanning various private and public sectors, the employers comprise local and overseas companies.

To further help students snag that dream job, the Career Centre also launched new career preparation initiatives - the HeadStart and StepUp modules as well as a newly revamped online career portal NUS TalentConnect.

The HeadStart module is a suite of career workshops targeted at freshmen with the aim to provide them with a headstart in increasing their awareness of the importance of early career preparation, and equip them with the essential career foundational skills. A pilot with science freshmen is currently being conducted. Freshmen and current Year 2 students from other faculties are also welcome to sign up for the module.

Students about to embark on a working career can benefit from the StepUp module which includes advice on resume and cover letter writing, as well as interview and networking skills.

To look for job vacancies, the NUS TalentConnect is the recruitment portal to check out. Open to NUS students, registered applicants receive job notifications based on their customised preferences. Employers can also post their available positions on the site.

For undergraduate and postgraduate students who need career guidance, there are now career advisors at the various faculties and schools.

While the global economic outlook in 2013 seems challenging, NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost Professor Tan Eng Chye said: "Fresh graduates in Singapore are however still in a fairly fortunate situation - the hiring sentiment among companies is holding up."

He was heartened to see employers "value our graduates as strategic hires, and as a pipeline for grooming future managers".