SAP trainee has hard time finding job

Expert suggests candidate takes step-by-step approach to raise potential of gaining employment.

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Q. I am an SAP trainee (Abap), working on in-house projects since June 2008.

Although I want to continue my carrier in Abap, I seem to have a harder time, now, looking for SAP-related employment.

What can I do to improve my employment chances in IT?

Career advice from Tay Kok Choon, country manager of JobStreet Singapore:
The employment market is definitely getting tighter than before. However, I would advise the public not to lose heart as the economy will turn around and get better in time.

It is important to progress in one's career. Move along from the basics, progressing gradually to the more complex tasks.

Expand your horizons to include applications other than SAP. For example, at the "system analyst" type of training (explained below), skills are no longer simply applications specific; rather, relevant business knowledge is more appreciated at this level.

However, while continuous training will be beneficial for career development, one should not to fall into the trap of overtraining or undertaking training that is irrelevant.

There are, broadly, three levels of SAP-related training:

1. User-type training: For people who want to use specific modules or applications, which the IT professional should be able to master within a very short period.

2. Basic system training: Relevant for entry level staff doing configuration of the application to be implemented in an organization.

3. System analyst-type training: For people who have sufficient technical depth and business knowledge so that they can advise others on how best to exploit the application to its fullest.

In our opinion, IT professionals should aim to attain item (3) within a longer period of maybe two to three years.