11 Tips for Finding a Job in Hong Kong – 2021

by Joanne Rushton
February 23, 2021

Finding a job in Hong Kong will likely take time, effort, and patience. We know the pain associated with finding a job in Hong Kong, and that’s why we have written this guide.

First, we want to tell you some good news: when you start to look for a job in Hong Kong, you might be surprised to find just how willing people are to help you with your job search. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help (we cover this more in the Networking section below).

In this article, we tell you our top 11 tips for finding a job in Hong Kong, these include;

  • The importance of crafting a high-quality resume
  • How to prepare for interviews
  • Why using your network is so important.
  • The importance of tracking your job-hunting progress
  • Why you should  create a target list of companies you’d like to work for

 

Let’s dive into our top eleven tips for finding a job in Hong Kong.

 

1. Update your LinkedIn profile

Before you start applying for jobs or reaching out to your network, you will first need to get prepared.  The first step is to update your LinkedIn profile.

Ensure that your profile is current and accurate and reflects the type of job you want.

Many recruiters will do direct searches on LinkedIn in an effort to find new candidates. A professional and up-to-date LinkedIn profile should put you on the top of this list.

Be sure to tag relevant keywords to your profile as recruiters will often do keyword searches.

In addition, you can change your profile to indicate that you are interested in looking for work. Only recruiters will be able to see this.

 

2. Update Your Resume to Help you Find a Job in Hong Kong

If you’ve been at your previous company for a while, the chances are that your resume will likely need updating and possibly even modernizing.

The key information you will need to include in a resume are:

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • Work experience with key achievements
  • Education
  • Language

For each job that you’ve done, focus on key achievements rather than job descriptions, and use concrete examples when possible. 

Click here to read more extensive tips on creating a resume.

In Hong Kong, resumes are generally written in a short and concise format, in reverse chronological order, and without a photo of the applicant.

If you’re finding it hard to make your own resume, consider hiring a professional such as Elissa C (Whatsapp: 9855-9845) to help you edit your resume. Elissa will be able to help you prepare a fantastic resume.

 

3. Prepare for Interviews

There is a lot you can do to get ready for an interview, including:

  • Write down a list of questions you think you will get asked and prepare draft answers.
  • Research the company; have a good understanding of their products or services
  • Research the interviewer and try to find something that you might be able to bond over. Same university? Lived in the same city?
  • Prepare some well throughout questions in advance
  • Carefully examine the job description and pay attention to the key skills required. Be sure to align your answers in the interview accordingly.
  • Be ready to explain why you want the job and why you are a qualified candidate
  • Be ready to convey your key strengths quickly and simply. For example, you might want to portray that you are detail-orientated, a problem solver, or an expert networker. Be ready to provide specific examples that highlight these key strengths.
  • Be prepared to answer why you left your previous role. Keep this answer brief and neutral.

 

4. Use Your Network to Help Find a Job In Hong Kong

Job Redundancies Hong Kong

Not all jobs are advertised. There is a huge hidden job market. It’s suggested that as many as 80% of jobs aren’t advertised or posted online. People often have an idea that they want to hire someone but don’t formalize the job opening in the hope they can find a suitable candidate through their network.

To find hidden jobs you will need to both contact people within your own network as well as contact companies directly.

If you manage to get introductions via your network or even if you contact strangers directly, you will instantly be viewed as a person and not just a piece of paper.

Securing an interview is key and networking and introductions are a great way to get an interview.

 

5. Consider working with a career coach when finding a job

If you are finding a job, consider hiring a career coach. They are experts on finding jobs and could help you enormously.

Finding a job in Hong Kong or anywhere can be tough and demoralizing. Even if you end up landing the best job of your career, you can expect to experience some heartache.

That’s why we love career coaches!

When looking for a job, there are many benefits to working with a career coach including;

  1. They are experts. They frequently help people find jobs, they should have up-to-date tangible knowledge to help find you a job. They can review your resume, practice interviewing skills and provide information on the most suitable recruitment firms.
  2.  Accountability: They can help you devise a plan (e.g., give you a number of people to contact each week), and then follow-up with you regularly to check your progress.
  3. Motivation: Career coaches are experts in motivating people. They are all too familiar with the rejection and anguish involved with trying to find a new job. As a result, they should know what to say to help lift your spirits.

 

6. Keep Track of Your Progress

When you are finding a job, it's important to keep an updated spreadsheet containing full details on your networking.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

The quickest way to create a list of potential people to contact for help is to download all your LinkedIn contacts into a spreadsheet. Don’t know how to do that? Click here.

Next, you’ll need to sort this list according to the people most likely and most willing to help you.

Be sure to keep this spreadsheet updated.

Consider using the following columns for your networking spreadsheet: name of contact, firm, date last spoken, general advice, name of the person they will introduce.

Be prepared to go back and gently remind people that they offered you help.

 

7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to join in Hong Kong

Develop a target list of companies that you would like to work for and use your network on Linkedin or personal friend groups to get introductions to these companies.

You might be surprised at how many people are willing to help you. Many people have switched jobs or experienced redundancies themselves, and therefore are happy to help.

You should develop a target list of a broad range of companies based on your experience.

The list should include high-reach companies, medium reach, and lower reach (your safest options). Diversifying yourself will give you the best opportunity possible.

 

8. Make sure you are talking to the correct recruiters

If you're in the middle of finding a job, be sure to network and meet as many people as possible.There are many, many difficult recruiting firms in Hong Kong. The most important thing to remember about recruiters is that they tend to specialize in different areas.

First, you need to ensure that you are speaking to recruiters in your own field. If you end up speaking to recruiters who don’t specialize in your field, you might become unnecessarily disheartened by their lack of interest.

If you want to find out which recruiters specialize in your field, ask your friends or do research online. If you’re talking to a recruiter, don’t be afraid to ask them if they’re the right person for you to be talking to or, if they suggest you speak to a different recruiting firm.

In this past, we were surprised to experience just how willing recruiters were to provide introductions to other recruiting firms.

 

9. Accept any help you are offered related to finding a job

Be ready to take any help that you get offered in relation to finding a job in Hong Kong. You might be surprised at all the different ways people may offer to help.

Help make take many forms including offering to:

  • Do a mock interview.
  • Review your resume.
  • Give you a recommendation on Linkedin.
  • Connect you to someone within your industry.
  • Review a cover letter

 

10. Be patient when finding a job

While finding a new job might be all-consuming for you, keep in mind that most other people are busy with their day-jobs.

Securing a job in Hong Kong can easily take 4-6 months, but thanks to Hong Kong’s diverse industries, there should be a place for you and your skillsets.

 

11. Finally, remember there are many ways to find a job in Hong Kong?

There are four main ways you can find a job in Hong Kong:

  • Via referrals or recommendations
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Job boards
  • Inhouse recruiters

We’ve already covered networking and recruitment agents. So let’s cover the other 2 points:

Job Boards

Job Boards are a really good way of finding out about any new job postings. You can set alerts to be immediately notified of suitable positions.

Some good job boards to try:

  • LinkedIn
  • Zapmeta.hk
  • Monster.com.hk
  • Glassdoor.com.hk
  • hk.jobsdb.com

Inhouse Recruiters

One way to let relevant people know that you are looking for a job in Hong Kong is to use LinkedIn to find out the names of recruiters.

Do a search on your target companies and find out who is working in HR/recruiting. Send these people a brief cover letter with your resume attached.

 

FAQs

How can I work in Hong Kong?

Unless you have the right to abode or land, you will need to obtain a visa if you want to come to Hong Kong for employment. In order to be able to work in Hong Kong, you will need to obtain a work visa under the General Employment Policy (GEP). You will need to submit a Hong Kong work visa application either via mail or in person.

What is a good salary in Hong Kong in 2021?

According to Salary Explorer, a person working in Hong Kong typically earns approximately HK$ 36,600 a month. Salaries will vary drastically depending upon the role and sector of the job.

Is it easy to find a job in Hong Kong?

With the unemployment rate at the highest level since 2004, understandably finding a job in Hong Kong is not easy. How difficult it is to find a job will depend on your skills and experience. People in certain sectors might find it a little easier to find a job than others. For example, the food industry, finance, education, and tech might provide people with a better chance of finding a job.

I’m on a dependant visa, can I work in Hong Kong?

Yes, if you’re on a dependant visa, generally you have the right to work in Hong Kong and an extra visa is not required. However, there are some restrictions; for example, if you are on a dependent visa but have been admitted to study. So click here to learn more.

What questions should I ask recruiters?

While recruiters may or may not turn out to be your best source of leads, recruiters can be a great source of information as they could provide you with a range of jobs that might suit your background. When you meet a recruiter, ask about industry trends, pay trends, and which firms are hiring.

Why do companies like to hire via referrals?

– It’s generally quicker to on-board people obtained via a referral
– It’s cheaper to hire people via a reference (no recruiter fees)
– People that come referred to a company tend to stay longer

Why should I interview for a job I don’t want?

If you secure an interview but you’re not certain that you want the job, go ahead regardless and do the interview. It will be good practice, and you might gain some knowledge that might, in turn, help you for your next interview. Also, it’s possible you might end up liking the job once you learn more.

Can I seek legal advice if my prior role was made redundant? 

In Hong Kong, employers hold a lot of power, which is why it may be wise to seek legal advice from an employment lawyer to gain legal knowledge, especially if your prior role was made redundant. 

As an example, take a look at the “Sunny Tadjudin vs. Bank of America” case. This case deals directly with the issue of when firms make someone redundant right before bonuses are expected. Check this link for a summary from various law firms on the findings of this case.

Need an employment lawyer recommendation? We recommend Kim Boreham from Tanner De Witt Solicitors — she’s widely knowledgable in all things related to employment, including contracts, termination disputes, and discrimination claims.

Finally

Finding a job in Hong Kong can be particularly stressful due to the high cost of living. However, the city has numerous advantages for job hunting. The key advantage of finding a job in Hong Kong is that networking is relatively easy, and people are generally open-minded.

You can use these factors to take the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Through this journey, you might be able to find out what types of jobs suit you best.

Ask people you met about the pros and cons of their job, how they got their job, and if they have any advice as to what role you might be suitable for. The more people you speak with, the more insight you’ll gain and learn about the best role suited for you.

We believe it’s important to share tips related to job-hunting in Hong Kong. Have we missed any tips on finding a job in Hong Kong? If we have, please share them in the comments below.

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