How to Land a Job in Taiwan
Updated: Jan 2, 2022
Navigating the job market in Taiwan can be extremely tricky, no matter what line of work you’re in. At All Hands’ recent “How to get Hired” event, all the important aspects of the job hunt, including resumes, job sites, and job interviews, were covered by our diverse panel of speakers, who all perform recruiting functions in very different types of companies.
Prep a Great Resume
Cameron Scott is a member of HR at Gogoro, an electric scooter manufacturer with thousands of employees. Cameron reviews resumes every day, and shared lots of tips about what makes an interesting one. “Don’t be afraid to update the format of your resume; put the best or most interesting part of your resume at the top. If it’s publications, put those at the top. If it’s your work history, put your work history at the top. Don’t think your education needs to always be at the top. Recruiters and HR often review a resume for 10 – 30 seconds before they move on to the next one, so make it easier for them to get interested in you. Include links to your LinkedIn and to your portfolio site, GitHub profile, or anything else that shows what you’re capable of. If you’ve taken some time to study Chinese, just for 6 months, make sure it shows up on your resume’s Education section – it lets employers know you’re committed to Taiwan and that you plan to stay here for a while.”
Eunice Chu, head of staffing at consulting firm 11th Fleet, brought up the age old question of whether job seekers in Taiwan should put their photo on their resume.
“While it’s traditional in Taiwan to put one’s photo on one’s resume, this is starting to fall out of favor. If you need to be customer-facing in your role, it’s still strongly recommended to put your photo on your resume. If you do put your photo, make sure it’s clear, and that you’re clearly identifiable in the photo. Please, no pictures of anime characters,” Eunice said with a grimace. Eunice also mentioned how important it is to sprinkle in keywords. “If I’m hiring a front-end programmer, I need to see the term ‘front-end development’ mentioned, as well as information on what front-end frameworks or languages you’ve used. If I don’t see that, I’m not going to be able to consider you for the role.” To meet that requirement, job seekers may want to add a skills matrix to their resume to highlight keywords.
Take Advantage of LinkedIn and Job Search Sites
Cameron also had good points about how to best make use of LinkedIn. “Companies that are willing to hire foreigners will probably be on LinkedIn, so use it, and make sure your LinkedIn looks professional. Don’t add lots of emojis to your LinkedIn descriptions.”
Other panelists mentioned that getting recommendations from others is extremely important, as it lets recruiters know that ex-coworkers are willing to go to bat for you.
James O’Claire, COO of BubbleEye, mentioned that one should get used to using LinkedIn frequently. “Install the LinkedIn app on your phone. If you’re looking to be noticed, share useful professional information on LinkedIn. However, don’t get political on LinkedIn, that will only turn off potential professional contacts.”
Besides LinkedIn, the panelists mentioned 104.com, Yourator, Cake Resume, and the All Hands job board as places that they posted job vacancies and find resumes of talented job seekers.
Navigate the Interview
The panelists also discussed how candidates can best navigate the interview process. “If a company sends you an interview form before the interview and it has a section for desired salary, leave it blank unless it’s absolutely required. You want the recruiter and the team to know you better before they assign a salary number to your worth,” Eunice suggests.
“At the interview, bring your personality,” Cameron said. “Show who you are to the employer, and bring some insightful questions to ask about company growth or strategy – focus on that instead of focusing on being nervous!”
James shared tips for first-round interviewees for startup jobs. “If we aren’t familiar with each other, or it’s the first time we’ve met, if you ask me about our investment rounds and our cap table, it’s a bit off-putting. Focus on the job role you’re interviewing for first, before asking about startup health.”
The panelists all agreed that candidates should be clear on why they want the job they are in