As Vietnam’s economy becomes one of the fastest growing and largest in SE Asia, many travellers are finding opportunities to stay and work and expand their careers. In this post, we discuss the best online resources to find jobs in Vietnam, as well as some tips about Vietnam’s job-hunting culture.
As a foreigner, Vietnam is not necessarily an easy country for non-citizens to find work. It is, however, much more doable than some other Asian countries. For example, Vietnam is very different from from China, whose legal system bars foreigners from working normal jobs outside of ESL, and whose culture is suspicious of foreigners and monitors them incessantly (recently, China destroyed one of the only ways for foreigners to legally live and work in China, by regulating out-of-existence the for-profit English-tutoring industry).
In contrast, Vietnam’s appetite for internationally-savvy talent is growing: ESL centres have massive student-waitlists; large aspiring Vietnamese brands like VinGroup are gobbling-up Western-trained technicians and researchers; international brands increasingly want a presence in Vietnam, often recruiting multinational personnel. However, outside these industries, you may need to be very creative to find and/or manufacture your own job.
TIP: be sure to read our post about the Vietnamese working culture, from expectation of workers, typical salaries, taxes, and more.
VietnamWorks – Vietnam’s Best Online Job-Posting Website (in English)
VietnamWorks.com is Vietnam’s best job-posting website, for all industries and salary-ranges and geographic locations. Most of the foreigner-friendly jobs are in Ho Chi Minh City, followed by Hanoi and Da Nang.
There are quite a few English-speaking jobs. The website does a good job of explicitly declaring the language-requirements for each job, whether Vietnamese, English or Korean, etc. Likewise, the postings have comprehensive info about salary and benefits, leaving little ambiguity about the position, its location, its compensation, etc.
Beware: Some jobs seem to be fake and/or used as a marketing ploy (“look how fast our business is growing — we’re hiring foreigners!”)
One useful feature of VietnamWorks is that it allows you build an online resume and guide you through the Vietnamese expectations about CVs and cover-letters. Vietnamese resumes are not like resumes in the USA or Canada, so pay attention to the following differences…
Tips about Vietnamese Resumes and Cover Letters:
- Including a photo is a must. You should get a nice, traditional haircut and formal attire (e.g. suit and tie). You must not look like a boho-hippie globetrotter — unless you are in a super-creative field like acting. To get an edge, you should use beautifying filters to enhance your profile-photo, because 100% of Vietnamese competitors are doing exactly that.
- Longer resumes are better. This is a 180-degree difference compared to USA/Canada, where resumes longer than 1-page are considered pretentious (unless you’re a CEO). “Pretentiousness” isn’t such a bad thing in Vietnam.
- Personal information is required. Your age, birth-date, your birth-location, your marital status — these would be considered discriminatory if used for hiring decisions in the West. However, these personal traits are sometimes very important for jobs in Vietnam. For example, someone’s age is inextricably bound to their authority and status in Vietnam. Age and status are supremely important in Vietnamese culture.
Facebook Groups – The Hub for Expats Jobs in Vietnam
Facebook is super popular in Vietnam. And, unlike in the West, the Vietnamese use Facebook very effectively for a wider suite of professional and economic activities, such as job hunting and customer-service with businesses.
As a job-seeker, you should join multiple Vietnamese “Facebook Groups” in the city where you want to live. Facebook Groups are hugely popular in Vietnam, and there are plenty of groups which are focused on expat-jobs, or are very expat-friendly (i.e. most of the posts are in English).
Most FB Groups are “private groups” that require approval to join — so clean-up your Facebook profile prior to applying. Other groups operate like a wild-west Craigslist with spammers and creeps. Some are copy-cats of other groups. Some are focused on Teaching ESL in Vietnam, while others mix job-postings with apartment-postings and more.
Here is a list of some of the larger Vietnamese Facebook Groups for expat looking for jobs in Vietnam:
- Hanoi Massive Jobs (37k members)
- Hanoi English Teaching Jobs (88K members)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) ESL Teaching (38k members)
- Expats in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam (142.8k members)
- Jobs & Internship in Ho Chi Minh City (74k members)
- Da Nang & Hoi An Expats (38k members)
- BeLi – English Teaching Jobs in Vietnam (45k members)
Warning: beware posts by expats praising a Vietnamese person or service: unscrupulous/criminal posters will sometimes threaten expats to post nice reviews about their service with threats of “I will get you blacklisted from Vietnam! I have a family-member in the immigration department!”
One downside of Vietnamese FB Groups are that they are very location-specific. Finding jobs outside of big cities can be difficult. You’ll need to find and join multiple FB groups across a variety of locations, if you are primarily looking for a good opportunity, and less worried about the exact location.
To see a list of big Vietnamese cities that may be hiring foreigners, check out our table on the salaries/taxes for all the major cities of Vietnam — the “Zone 1”-designated cities are more likely to have an expat-community with a dedicated Facebooks Group where you can find jobs and apartment information.
Dave’s ESL Cafe – Top Resource for ESL Jobs in Vietnam
Dave’s ESL Cafe is an ancient website that has survived due to its usefulness. It has a lot of posts across Asia for young transient kids who want to teach English abroad. Reputable Vietnamese organizations like the RMIT use it for postings.
While Dave’s ESL Cafe seems to not have a dedicated section for Vietnam, a clever use of the search function can find plenty of Vietnamese ESL jobs: see the search filter here for plenty of Vietnamese jobs for foreigners.
Obviously, the web-forum is not a proper feature-rich job-hunting site like Indeed.com or VietnamWorks.com — there is no dedicated resume-builder nor “Apply now” button. Instead, Dave’s just has links to companies’ specific application portals.
LinkedIn – Follow Vietnamese Companies for Jobs
LinkedIn can be used for finding jobs in Vietnam for larger companies that actively maintain a sophisticated HR/marketing department. For example, large companies like Tiki.vn, VinGroup, Grab, RMIT, etc., have plenty of posts in English with detailed salary information.
You should also follow your own country’s major corporations that are expanding in Vietnam, like Citibank (USA), Proctor & Gamble (USA), Siemens (Germany), Arep (French), and even Pizza Hut (USA) — these companies are most-likely to have bilingual offices in Vietnam and be willing to hiring foreigners. We’ve personally worked in such offices in Vietname and they are undoubtedly the best, funnest and most meaningful place to work in Vietnam as an expat.
To use LinkedIn for finding jobs in Vietnam, all you have to do is apply the appropriate country-filter.
LinkedIn is best for finding new-economy and digital-jobs in Vietnam, like engineering, machine learning, and marketing. It is less useful for finding teaching and ESL jobs, although some do exist.
CareerLink.vn – Find Jobs in Vietnam
CareerLink.vn is a fine website for finding jobs in Vietnam – it has a slick interface and detailed job descriptions and features many of the top Vietnamese firms.
However, it also seems to be the dumping ground for temp agencies masquerading as legitimate job-postings. Also, it is more-suited to fluent Vietnamese-speakers, and has fewer jobs for foreigners. Nor do the postings explicitly state the jobs’ language requirements.
So, as an expat seeking jobs in Vietnam, it is good to keep your eye on CareerLink.vn, but only after exhausting other options first.
Temp Agencies in Vietnam for Foreigners
Employment agencies and temp agencies take a portion of a worker’s salary as well as an upfront finder’s fee for a successful hire. Some agencies are basically just a crappy job-search websites, while others act like a matching-service to connect job-hunters and appropriate employers, as well as providing intermediary services like interview coaching and coordinating interviews between candidate and hiring-teams.
For foreigners, there are a few employment agencies who especially cater to finding English/Korean-speaking talent for higher-level positions that require a degree of international-integration and where spoken-Vietnamese is not so important. Such agencies may also help with work-permits, making them a much better option for jobs with small and medium-sized enterprises that don’t have a lot of experience recruiting foreigners.
Here is a list of employment/temp agencies in Vietnam to apply to as a foreigner:
These temp agencies make the biggest commissions for executive-hires, so don’t be surprised if they won’t help you find a job as a teacher or barista.
Behance for Creatives
Do you make fancy treehouses, paint paintings, render 3D designs, or sell other artistic creations? Well, you should be featuring your work on Behance.com — the global marketplace for Creators to show-off their portfolio and find freelance work. Especially in Vietnam, Behance.com is well-known among Vietnamese creatives and is used extensively.
It is also like a digital resume for many artists. If you want to find creative work in Vietnam, you may find better traction by having a go-to Behance-profile that you can showcase to prospective employers.
As for finding actual freelance work in Vietnam via Behance.com — it is possible, but like any online creative work, the overwhelming majority of artists earn nothing, or a mere pittance, while the top 20% do most of the work.
Vietnamese State-Run Employment Centres
State-run job centres do exist in Vietnam, much like any country. And, like in Canada, these job-centres are little-more than a retirement-scheme for sleepy bureaucrats — don’t expect much in terms of life-changing help. They do help people who aren’t internet-savvy, and need a few tips on modern job-hunting via the internet. They also have the low-down on massive factory-employers, especially in rural areas.
However, if you are reading this blog now, and can navigate LinkedIn job-postings, consider yourself weaned from state-run job centres.
No “We’re Hiring Signs” in Vietnam
Finally, we want to highlight this cultural difference between Vietnam and the West: there are typically no “We’re hiring!” signs displayed in the physical windows of businesses in Vietnam. So, if that was your mode of job-hunting, as opposed to sifting through hundreds of fake online-posts, sorry to say this isn’t a thing.