Stories to encourage: A jobseeker’s experience during Covid-19


The Covid-19 situation has inevitably placed unprecedented pressures on the economy.  Many industries, including retail, have not been spared.

Last week, we spoke to a former staff of Duty Free Singapore (DFS) who shared her job searching process with us.

Ms Jenry Chua, 52, chose to take up voluntary retrenchment when her former company of 14 years, DFS, was hit badly by Covid-19. She shared that she had not expected the retrenchment as DFS had been a strong and stable company and brand name. Nevertheless, the former Senior Sales Associate credits her former employer for being responsible and helpful towards retrenched staff during trying times.

“DFS was very good and handled the voluntary retrenchment well. The paid retrenchment package included a one-month compensation for every year that the employee had worked for DFS. They gave employees ample time to consider if they would like to take up the package. They also arranged to have e2i help the employees, by following-up and helping them land another job. I hope that the Government will continue to encourage other companies to do the same.”

In fact, she added that DFS had sent out an email circular to all DFS staff to notify them of the SGUnited Job Interviews sessions held by e2i. Jenry attributed the session with e2i as one of the main reasons why she had landed her next job so quickly and smoothly.

Prior to attending the job interview sessions at e2i, Jenry had approached Workforce Singapore (WSG) and sought their help to prepare her resume. She eagerly shared that WSG was instrumental in helping her craft a solid resume which proved monumental in landing her the subsequent job successfully

With hesitation and much nervousness, Jenry attended the e2i Job Interviews session on 3 September 2020 and was quickly introduced to Jacklyn Lim, an e2i career coach. Jacklyn asked Jenry to shortlist and narrow down some companies that she would like to work for. Even though Jenry did not meet all the criteria listed for retailer Mothercare, Jacklyn encouraged her to still try for the position as Jenry had relevant experience that would not only be considered, but even prized by the company. Jacklyn also gave her advice on potential questions that the employers were likely to ask and equipped her with tips on conquering the interviews.


Jobseeker Jenry Chua with e2i career coach, Jacklyn Li

“I am so grateful towards Jacklyn. She was so observant, and the first thing she told me was to calm down and take a deep breath. She could sense that I was very nervous even though I was well-prepared and had my resume ready. She told me to be confident and to tell the interviewers about the retail experience that I have.”

With that information in mind, Jenry proceeded to the next room where she met with potential employers. She was approached by a Mothercare HR staff with whom she struck up a conversation with. Jenry said that the whole process felt “natural”, as the staff started off with some small talk that made her feel at ease to share more.

job seeker's experience

“The Mothercare staff told me that she likes my honesty, because I told her that I am not familiar with Mothercare and the products that they sell. But I told her I am willing to be adaptable and go online to learn more about the products. Even though I didn’t fit the criteria of having N or O Levels’ certification, she told me that I am suitable for the role because I have relevant experience.  I am so relieved that I tried and interviewed for the job even though I actually did not meet all the criteria listed.”

Later that day, she received a confirmation call from Mothercare that she has been employed and will start work on 1st October 2020.

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Jenry was thrilled by the outcome of the session and introduced her friends and former colleagues to subsequent e2i Job Interview sessions. Her friend also managed to land a job after attending the session with e2i

“I am so grateful to WSG and e2i for their help and assistance. They helped me step by step but it’s so helpful because I wouldn’t know all these practical tips without them telling me. Having a strong and well-written resume is also important. I want to encourage others and tell them that they can find a job too. Yes, you need to lower your expectations, but it doesn’t matter what your education level is. With the Government’s help and your own effort, you can still find a job.”

In closing, Jenry’s enthusiasm was palpable, as she expressed her hope that her new employer will allow her to continue learning and develop her skills. She hopes to find a good mentor and leader at her new workplace and is excited for the journey ahead.

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  1. Employment and Employability Institute



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