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Thread: RE: Standard job application procedures

  1. #1
    Member andp1990's Avatar
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    Question RE: Standard job application procedures

    Hi all,

    Just wanting so sound this off those of you who have had experience getting employment through an internet listing for ESL teaching in Jakarta; is it both legal and common for an Indonesian employer to request a scanned copy of your passport page and current qualifications first thing after you have applied for the job (cover letter & resume)? My gut feeling is that its not right, and I'm positive you offer these things upon employment, not prior to. However, I am not well versed on the laws and processes of employment (particularly for foreign citizens) in Indonesia. Any advice would be great!

    Cheers,

  2. #2

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    This is Indonesia. Yes, such a request is very common; especially if your resume does not include a photo. Indonesia does not have the same data privacy laws as other countries, hence the transmission of an image of a passport is considered "no big deal" here. And yes, "looks" can often trump legitimate qualification in hiring decisions here.
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    Member fastpitch17's Avatar
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    If you applied for a job it would be expected to include your qualifications. How would they know if you were even qualified for the position? Companies don't hire you and then ask if you are qualified.
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    Member andp1990's Avatar
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    Alright, no need for defensiveness; I am well aware that companies require credentials to hire for qualified positions. The question more concerns whether this is a legitimate request or if I should beware this particular job offer. If this is common practice and a photo is desired by employers, then I will consider it, thank you for replying.

  5. #5

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    yes its common, this is Indonesia, why care ?

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    They want to make sure you look the part -- to some a white face is as, or more, important than teaching credentials. Its what gets the paying customers in the door.

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    Member andp1990's Avatar
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    Ok, I've heard similar from a friend in regards to teaching opportunities in China; apparently skin tone matches language for marketing purposes. Thanks for the feedback.

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    Yes, I know it's a bit off-putting when you're coming from a Western culture, but it is the norm here.

    Indonesian CVs/cover letters generally include *everything* -- ID number, birthdate/age, marital status, parental status, religion, address, phone number, email, references, copies of certifications/diplomas/credentials, and sometimes even financial data, like if you own or rent your house, etc... And, of course, they all include a photograph -- and for some jobs, even things like height and weight!!! If you look through the classifieds, you'll find that it's common practice for employers to state that they only want attractive, single women under 24, etc...

    There really aren't any privacy or anti-discrimination laws here, and many/most employers feel entitled to all of that information before they'll even consider speaking with an applicant. (They also like to keep salary and benefit information a total top secret -- they act ass-hurt if you ask before agreeing to come in for an interview.)

    That being said, most employers that have experience hiring Western/expatriate staff also understand the expectations of a Western/expatriate employee -- while I am well aware of what hoops local candidates are expected to jump through, the same has never been expected of me. When I have applied to jobs, I send my standard CV and cover letter, discuss salary/benefits before proceeding, have an interview and then, if they are interested in hiring me, they will send an offer and request my passport, degrees, etc...

    Waarmie is probably right -- do you have a name that could lead to racial ambiguity? Many schools aren't exactly discreet in their desire for white faces -- if you have a name that 'sounds' like you might be Asian, black, etc?... If so, they're probably asking for your passport to see what you look like.

    (My last name is often perceived as being African-American and many of my former employers told me that they were relieved to see that I am, in fact, pasty white. It's discombobulating for a Westerner -- the obliviousness towards PC norms here takes a while to get used to. But you'll get used to it.)

    The other possiblity is that this is a school/language center that hasn't done much work with foreigners and they're just treating you the same way as they would treat any other applicant. That's not a problem, per say, but it does raise minor red flags -- working for a company that has never worked with expats before can be very stressful.

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    Member andp1990's Avatar
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    Wow; thankyou for a comprehensive and informative answer! Yes, I believe you when you say it can be discombobulating, I clearly have a lot to learn haha.

    P.S. Thanks nd_eric_77 and waarmstrong for your replies.
    Last edited by andp1990; 09-07-13 at 10:03.

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