5 Step Guide to Job Hunting in Metro Manila

Whether you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned employee, making the big jump to Manila is always a cross road decision.  You’re probably young, full of ambition or just simply looking to grow.   If you spent a huge amount of your time growing up in the province then you’d probably be simple, unknowing of the definition of traffic or the latest trends in the metro. But that’s all about to change, as the reason why you’re reading this article is because you’ve already made that life altering decision to conquer lands away from home.

Not too long ago I was also in the very same position. I decided I wanted to leave Iloilo City and try my luck in the Capital. Did I regret my decision? Not one bit! I’ve made a ton of friends, experienced a lot of adventures, made a lot of business contacts. And I’m pretty sure my story isn’t unique. Year on year countless graduates leave home in the hopes of greener pastures, whether in the big city or abroad. I’ve thought about the things I personally went through as well as stories of friends who’ve also found their way into the capital.  So with these tips, I hope these get to help you create a game plan for your big jump.

Here are tips or 5 basic guidelines for Job Hunting in Manila.

Fix Your CV

“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” a quote from American Entrepreneur Seth Godin clearly sums this up.  Think of the hiring process as you being the product and you’re trying yourself to the potential employer. The whole storytelling process begins with your CV. A well written CV can get you through the door and land you that job interview.

A great CV should be:

  1. Well targeted– your experiences should be relevant to the company you plan to work for. It’s ironic to be applying for a position that’s not even related to the company’s business.
  2. Well written- impressive resumes are written in proper formatting. Following the order of latest job experience, key achievements, trainings and references.
  3. Highlights your strengths– more or less your CV should already clearly paint a picture of your skill sets. The interview is more about getting to know your personality and whether or not you’re a fit for the company profile.
  4. Truthful– if you didn’t experience it, don’t fake it. I know we’re all fans of the Suits. But c’mon, you don’t want to set your self up for failure from the start. Make sure everything you place in there is real and can be backed up.


Set up Base Camp.

If you’re from outside metro Manila you may  want to set up base camp with a friend, family or relative living in the city. Chances are most companies will place rush hiring postings and may want to fast track pooling and selection.  If your CV shows your address as somewhere outside the metro, SOME employers might disregard calling you.  It’s important that you’re within a day, hours reach for any possible job interview that may open up to you. There are tons of hotels, transient houses, boarding houses that could be available to you if you don’t have anyone to stay with.

Check here are examples of sites that can help you look for places for rent:

OLX Philippines

Room Rent PH

Lamudi Philippines

When looking for rooms, condos, apartments for rent, Exercise caution in selecting any of the places you decide to stay in, use your best judgment in gauging safety and accessibility for your peace of mind.


Know what you want.

Knowing what you want increases your chance of success. It allows you to put focus into your job searches, saving you a ton of energy. Knowing what you want means knowing what kind of work you want and what kind of industry.  Ultimately the objective of the job you get depends on your personal goals, plans and ambition. For Fresh Grads, this may seem still a bit unclear as you may still be exploring the kind of industries you want to work in.

To better know what you what ask your self the following questions:

  • What are my long term goals?
  • What are my current skill sets?
  • What are my passions?
  • What industry do I want work for or learn more about?
  • What kind of role do I want to have?

For example,  my long term goal is to be a Marketing Manager.  My current skill sets are planning, strategy, presentations. My passion is for sports and the industry I want to learn more about is the retail industry. And the role I want to play is Brand or Trade Marketing. Knowing these now allow you to trim down your prospects and focus yourself on getting noticed by companies that fit your dream job.

Increase your chances of getting hired.

This part is where you gotta put in the grind. You need to get yourself out there. Think of it like dating! How are you going to find the ONE if you don’t go out there get yourself on dates!?

Where can you find job leads?

  • Online Postings
    • Job Sites. Websites like LinkedIn, JobStreet Philippines, and Kalibrr; open  up worlds of job postings for any individual. Simply sign up, add your CVs to the sites and start browsing away. This is the digital era, more and more employers are going online to post their openings. If you have extra money to spare, you can avail of some of the premium services these sites offer which allow your CV to stand out from the rest of the competition. Premium listings, competition insights etc.
    • Company Websites.  If you already have companies in mind, it wouldn’t hurt to go to their corporate sites and check out if they have openings. If you get lucky, maybe even send them an email!
  • Head Hunters
    • Head hunters are individuals specifically tasked to find people to fit certain posts of companies. Who knows maybe you already have friends within your circle that are HR/Hiring practitioners. If not you can always go find  individuals you’ll find a ton of them on Linkedin.com.
  • Friend Referrals
    • This is where I would say, never burn bridges! Make a ton of friends! You never know who will open up your next opportunity. Ask your friends if they have openings in the offices they work for or if they know someone who can. Invite a friend for coffee and catch up! Networking is the key to opening up leads in the big city.

Be P&P.

Be Persistent. Job hunting in this economy is tough! So dig deep. Don’t be easy to give up. Finding a job can last anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months depending on how persistent you are. When you do land a job interview, make sure you know everything there is to know publicly about a certain company. This part I call due diligence. Nothing is more impressive than a candidate who knows about the company their applying to. Show up on time, look the part.

Be Patient. The process can be extremely frustrating. This is a fact. It will require you insane amounts of patience. But like they say, nothing in this world ever worth having comes easy!

A job in the big city can be an exciting journey, filled with tons of stories to be told. So make sure you’ve decided truly in your heart and mind that this adventure is for you.


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