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10 tips for getting a job in Hong Kong

Working in Hong Kong is a great thing to have on your resume for your career. Looking for work in an unfamiliar job market can sometimes be perplexing, though. We have put together a list of 10 tips for getting a job in Hong Kong.

getting a job in Hong Kong: Looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself!
Looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself!

Top tips

01 Make sure your resume is up-to-date, and tailor your references to suit the job you’re going for. These should reassure the hiring manager that you truly have the right skills for the role. It’s common to be asked to submit a photograph with your resume.

02 If you are not on a dependant visa you will need to find an employer to sponsor you to work here legally. This can be challenging, but not impossible, and needs to be renewed each year until you are eligible for permanent residency.

03 Make sure you have all your official documents including birth certificates, personal identification and university transcripts at the ready. Locally- based employers will likely ask for these and you may need to provide original copies.

04 Find out which recruiters are specialists in your field and go straight to them. See which company is posting jobs you’re interested in and call them. You’ll have a much better chance of breaking through the noise if they’ve met you and identified you as suitable talent.

05 Get out and start networking. Many expats find jobs through their networks rather than applying for jobs blindly.

06 Be realistic about your salary. Remember that Hong Kong’s low tax rate will often offset a lower base salary. And be prepared to suggest a figure at the interview!

07 Spend time searching for a job every day until you get one. Searching can be a full-time job in itself. Stay determined and active.

08 Attend interviews, even if you’re not 100 percent sure you want the position. Many companies can create roles for the right person, but they have to meet you first.

09 Don’t be surprised if you’re asked personal questions, including your religion and whether you have children, at interviews.

10 Don’t be put off by jobs that require the ability to speak Cantonese. Many companies are flexible on this.

Finding Work

You might decide to further your present career or perhaps to explore something new. English teachers, for example, are in perennial demand, and a short course in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) can start you on that path. Depending on the industry you work in, you may have trouble having your qualifications recognised, so it’s worth doing some research before you start applying.

Recruitment agencies, online sources, classifieds and expat associations can all be helpful when it comes to finding work, although many jobs are found through networking – even Facebook groups can be very useful for this!

Useful websites


See more in our Living in Hong Kong section:

Expat’s guide to where to live in Hong Kong

Traditional Chinese festivals and events

This article first appeared in Expat Living’s City Guide. Get your free copy now