Life Stories

40 Resumes Later, I Finally Landed A Job With What I Had Learnt In Church7 min read

By S. Zhenwei & Y. Ming Rong

For five months, Darryl sent out close to 40 resumes with little to no response.

Darryl Yeo was struggling to find a job as a soon-to-be graduate. When his final examinations ended, Singapore entered its Circuit Breaker because of COVID-19. For 5 months, he sent out resumes with little to no response.

Lianhe Zaobao spoke to the 26 year-old and found out how an analytics dashboard he built secured him a job at a top global company. It all started when Darryl joined HOGC’s Summer Training Programme.
(Click here to read the full English translation of the article)

Darryl Yeo interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao.

Darryl wanted to serve God and make a difference before entering the workforce.

Darryl wanted to serve God and make a difference before entering the workforce. Since it was his final summer break, the Summer Training Programme was the best opportunity to spend it.

While he would create charts for school, he had never built an analytics dashboard before. During the programme, he was taught to build a dashboard for a church website, to provide insights on readership and content creation. This experience helped him to build a dashboard that was user friendly, clean and professional.

Darryl learnt how to build an analytics dashboard during our church’s Summer Training Programme.

“If others can’t understand the data on my dashboard, then it’s my responsibility to improve it.”

Bounce rate, CTR… these were all terms in dashboards that were not intuitive to the layman. 

Darryl said, “My trainer shared with me… If others can’t understand the data on my dashboard, then it’s my responsibility to improve it. That stuck with me. I had to make sure what I was building would help, not confuse people!”

Darryl with his trainers from the Summer Training Programme.

Learning the heart behind communicating data, he began to think from the user’s perspective. Darryl went beyond following instructions, creating a dashboard that would help users make decisions based on the data.

Darryl later received a call for an interview. He had 3 days to build a dashboard.

On a Friday, Darryl received a call for an interview at Unilever. As part of the interview, he was required to complete a data visualisation challenge. He had 3 days to come up with a solution and decided to build a dashboard. 

While the first dashboard he built took him weeks, the real-life scenarios and application from the summer programme enabled him to create the dashboard for his interview in half a day.

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager was blown away at how creative, clean and clear his dashboard was. Darryl was offered a position in the company.

Darryl’s IG post on how the skills he learnt in church made all the difference to his job hunt.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. But the purpose of life is to give it away.”

“I realise that when we contribute to making a difference in people’s lives, the things I learn – like analytics – start to carry more meaning,” shared Darryl. He remembers a quote Pastor How shared, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Darryl with his Connect Group.

“More than developing skills and gifts at the Summer Training Programme, it was when I used them to serve people that I grew the most.”

Facing Challenges Head-on, Tackling Job Interviews 

Published on Lianhe Zaobao on: 5 May 2021
(For the original full Chinese article, click here)

Gong Sheng Yang (Left) and Darryl Yeo (Right), both of whom have found jobs, remind graduates to prepare well before interviews, including understanding the company’s background and getting a good grasp of relevant technical terminology.

What skills do you need to pass an interview? How do you score impression points?

How do you mentally prepare yourself if you have failed multiple job interviews? New working adults share their personal experiences to encourage all striving to find a job. 

In the upcoming months, our local universities will be approaching their annual graduation season. As graduates embark on their next phase of life, how do they stand out amongst the many job applicants and pass the first hurdle to joining the workforce?

We can definitely learn from the job hunting experiences of these new working adults and soon-to-be graduates who just found a job. Professionals also give their inputs on job hunting and interview techniques, answering common questions graduates have on job applications. 

Mastering appropriate skills to leave an impression 
Darryl Yeo, 26 years old
Graduated: Last June
Academic background: Singapore Management University (SMU) Business School’s Operations Management & Analytics
Number of resumes sent out: About 35 to 40
Total number of interviews: 8 

Job hunting experience:
Before my exams last April, I had already mailed out two to three resumes. After my exams, I enthusiastically began looking for jobs that were mainly related to what I had learnt – business analytics or operations.

Last May, in the midst of circuit breaker, I landed two job interviews. But I did not succeed as my skill set did not fulfil the job requirements. I did not receive any news in the next two months. I began to worry that I would not be able to find a job. However, I joined Heart of God Church’s annual summer training programme for university students. I decided to help others through an 8-week volunteer project on the programme, where I also learnt how to create dashboards. As a student, it was very rare to come across such projects that are fully operational and track real-time data. 

When the interviewer from Unilever brought up a data visualisation challenge, I was able to create a dashboard in half a day because I had already mastered the relevant techniques in the church’s summer training programme. It even had clear data indicators which the client could easily read at a glance. This left a deep impression on the interviewers, and thus I was hired by the company.

Interview Tips:
When you prepare for an interview, don’t just familiarise yourself with relevant information on the industry, you need to know how to communicate it well too. For example, I once had a job interviewer who spoke to me completely in Mandarin, and I had difficulty expressing myself when it came to the more technical jargon.

While awaiting your job interview results, you can upgrade your skill set and go for classes to learn new skills. 

Know your strength and apply it. My church’s pastor once shared a quote, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

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