Vietnam is a stable developing country with high potential
Also called “Indochinese peninsula”, Vietnam is located in the South of China. Since the reunification of the North and the South Vietnam in April the 30th 1976, the country’s official name is The Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Forget about the War against the US! Vietnam lives in peace since 40 years and is nowadays achieving massive development! The Government is politically stable, economic and demographic indexes continue to improve rapidly. Its Economy is open to foreign investment which represents around half of the national GDP. Vietnam is part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the CIVETS (the six favored emerging markets countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South-Africa).
Easy facts to remember:
- 91,5 millions of inhabitants
- 2nd world exporter of coffee behind Brazil and 2nd world exporter of rice behind India
- 50% of the population is less than 30 year-old
- Economic growth rate is approximately above 5% since almost 30 years!
- There are 5 important cities with high potential:
- Hanoi (the official capital, North)
- Hai Phong (industrial city, North)
- Da Nang (Newest emerging city, Central Vietnam)
- Ho Chi Minh City (Also called Saigon and seen as the Economic Capital, South)
- Can Tho (heart of the Mekong Delta)
- $160 = Monthly average income per inhabitants in 2014 (World Bank 2014)
Massive transformations means huge contrasts
As a booming economy, from one street to another, you will travel between rich and poor areas, from business centers with brand new buildings, fancy cars to the countryside and rice paddies, from street-food places to high-end restaurants, etc. Coming from a developed country means you have more chance to have access to all of it and you’ll be amazed by the diversity of this country.
Vietnam has a fascinating History
Far before the US War, Chinese have occupied Vietnam for more than thousand years from the first century before Christ until the eleventh century. Located between India and China, the Indochinese peninsula has always been a strategic position for business international relationships. After repulsing the Chinese, Vietnam became independent but had to fight constant Chinese invasions. These few centuries of independence gave strength and confidence to the people.
The weather in Vietnam is tropical and very pleasant. Average temperature is 26 to 30 degrees with 80% of humidity in the air during the whole year. In Saigon, there are 2 seasons: the rainy season lasts from mid-May to mid-November and the rest of the year it is dry season while the north has 4 seasons where temperature can go under 10 degrees during the winter! But in general, it’s a good idea to bring your pair of flip-flops!
Easy access to amazing destinations
Vietnam itself is a dream destination!From Halong Bay to the Mekong Delta including the mountains of Sapa, Hanoi, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and other seaside resorts, you’ll be amazed by the diversity of the landscape and there are enough for everyone’s taste.
Traffic is dense
You’ve surely heard about traffic in Vietnam and if not, we suggest you watch the video below. Vietnamese use motorbikes for almost everything! In Vietnam, you can find motorbike taxi at every corner of the country. It’s maybe the most exiting difference from developed countries regarding transportations. It works the same way than a taxi except it’s normally twice cheaper if you succeed in negotiating the price. It’s time to put your business skills into practice and jump in the traffic! Every newcomer arriving in Vietnam is astonished by the crowd and the noise from the street. Some of our interns were surprised: “where all these people are going?!” It’s part of the frenetic aspect of Vietnam especially in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, the two biggest cities.
Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.
Crossing a street is an Art.
To cross the street is a real challenge. The flow never stops and if you wait for the green light, you might wait your whole internship! On the contrary, we drive very slowly in Vietnam, no more than 30kms/h so it’s easy to anticipate and find your way inside the crowd. You might need a few days to understand how it works and have the courage to try on your own. You will be used to it very soon and we can teach you ;)!
Check this quick video to really understand what we’re talking about!
Vietnamese cuisine is amazing and delicious
Some people say that Vietnamese cuisine is as much sophisticated as the French Gastronomy. You’ll judge by yourself… We are sure about something: 6 months is not enough to try ALL the variety of food Vietnam has to offer. Here are some samples: Bon Appetit! Try as much food as you can!
More information about Vietnam?
- When we arrived in Vietnam, we read Vietnam – Culture Smart! (in French: Vietnam attitude!) The essential guide to customs & culture by Geoffrey Murray. It gives you interesting and accurate information and it’s a good introduction to Vietnam.
- For those who like newspaper and blogs, you should subscribe to Saigoneer: It’s a famous Vietnamese newspaper written in English and check CityPass Guide
- You like videos? Then, check our YouTube Channel to find documentaries and videos about Vietnam. We will soon produce our own videos.
- If you are preparing your trip to come to Vietnam, we can also assit you to arrive better and adapt faster to Vietnam!
- You might also need information about the budget to live in Vietnam.
Thank you for reading, The Jump in Vietnam team
Is life in Vietnam unbelievably cheaper than in Europe?
The real difference from Western developed countries is that coming in Vietnam will allow you to have a comfortable lifestyle by spending as much as you are currently spending in Europe or The US as a student! But your lifestyle will be demanding and you need to have a specific budget for that.
Most of foreign people living in Vietnam rarely cook at home because food in the street or in restaurant is very affordable (and yummy!). In your case, you might stay in Vietnam only a few months and take this opportunity to travel, try as much places as you can and enjoy your trip.
So what should be your monthly budget?
If you stay in Saigon, a budget of $500 a month all-inclusive is the minimum: you will need to be careful with your expenses but it is doable! A reasonable budget would be about $800 a month (all inclusive). If you travel, your budget might be around $30-40 a day (all inclusive). Explanations:
Imported products such as electronics, luxury products, spirits/wine or clothes are most of the time more expensive. Perfume in Vietnam cost 2 times the European price for example. But you’ll find everything you need and most of the time at a very competitive price compared to your original country.
Also, don’t forget that bargaining is part of the culture and locals will easily see that you are a foreigner… So you might be quoted a higher price (actually, it’s 100% sure that will happen)! It’s the opportunity for you to show your negotiation skills and don’t hesitate to discuss and arrange the prices if you think you’re paying too much. That’s also a reason we are going to give you a quick overview of the prices you should pay.
A quick overview of prices:
Basically, $1 is 20.000VND. We refer to the US dollar as the VND (Vietnamese Dong) is indexed to the USD (the US Dollar). For a few years now, it stayed around 1USD=21.500VND and recently reached to 22.500VND. For this article, we put the prices in USD but you better stop converting as quickly as possible and remember the prices in VND: you’ll be able to save some $ at the end and pay a fair price. Too many expatriates living in Vietnam act like tourists and think as $1 is nothing so you can spend it. Actually, you can do a lot with only $1 in Vietnam!
Here are some examples of prices applied in Vietnam that will give you a clearer idea of what should be your purchasing power on site. These data are based on our own experience and can vary depending on each situation.
- 1 meal in the street: between less than $1 to $3
- 1 meal in a restaurant: between $1 and $7
- 1 bottle of water 1,5 liter is $0.50
- 1 beer in a supermarket is $0.40, in a bar it is $1-2 and in a club; $4-$7
- 1 cigarette pack is around $1-$1.5
- 1km by taxi is $0.50 and it can be a lot cheaper by moto-taxi
- 1h of phone talk-time in Vietnam is $5. With $5, you can call Europe during 25 minutes!
- 1 month of motorbike rental is $40-$50 a month
- 1 month renting a room in a shared-house is $200-$250 per month (and with $300-$350 you are in a serviced apartment or a villa).
Prices for flights, visas, health care spending and Education in Vietnam will depend on your own situation so we have decided to not mention them in this article but feel free to contact us, share and comment on this article so we can give you more information.
Good to know: Are you planning to move to Vietnam? Jump in Vietnam can help you through the Preparation and Arrival for Vietnam to save more time & money and enjoy your trip.
Thank you for reading and see you soon!
The Jump in Vietnam Team
Create a striking CV and cover letter
Our tips to apply online in Vietnam.
“How could I make the difference in the eyes of the recruiter among the hundreds or thousands of other CVs for the same position?”
Make sure your email is perfect!
Nowadays we typically apply online or by e-mail. Even if you meet the Director or know him, you will be asked to send your CV via e-mail…
According to our experience of sorting applications, we have many examples of great and bad applications! Let’s find out how to produce a striking application that will attract the recruiter and hopefully make him or her to accept to give you an interview for the position you are targeting. Now is the time for you to perform and become successful in your job search! As many teachers, newspapers, blogs and professionals might have talked about how to make a CV already, we will merely highlight what is the most important to insert in your email, CV and cover letter and focus on some specifications when applying for Vietnam.
First, remove the « blablabla » and write more useful information for us! Go straight to the point and keep the details for the cover letter. Your purpose is to make the recipient click on your enclosed documents: What should your email contain?
- WHO: introduce yourself; name, age, nationality, current education, etc.
- WHY: why you came to us; what are you looking for? Which offer(s)? What are your projects?
- WHEN: when you would like to start, for how long time.
- INVITATION: invite your recipient to read more about you and contact you for an interview.
- SIGNATURE: Full name, title + localization, phone number and Skype ID (especially when applying for an internship abroad)
- Your object should shortly answer the question: « what are you looking for? »
- Use a serious email address
- Check your grammar/spelling.
Second, personalize your email. We know you are not just applying with us, but you don’t need to show it ;)! Let’s see how to adapt each one of your e-mails to make it unique;
- Talk to someone; Find the name of your recipient and start a professional conversation with him or her. Call the company if necessary. For example, you know that for Jump in Vietnam, we are Nicolas and Ninou, you can use it!
- Make sure your sentences are not too general and fit with the company situation, size, place, etc. Take at least 20 minutes to gather information about the company, its news. Show the recruiter you are really interested.
- Don’t copy-paste and transform your content inside your new message box. Because text, font or size can change when sending your e-mail, it’s best to stay uniformed!
GOOD TO KNOW: Once you think it is done, you can send your email to yourself on another webmail platform in order to have a preview of your email and check exactly what your recipient will receive. Finally, make sure you transform each enclosed documents in .PDF format… Here is why:
- The page layout might completely change as everyone is not using the same computer brand or word processing software, so your application might not be readable or as beautiful as it is on your computer.
- Only a few students know how to use ALL the processing software functions in WORD (for example). So, recruiters might check your page layout and see some imperfections.
In case you realize you’ve sent the wrong email or the wrong resume, try to be proactive and responsible. You may contact the HR team and solve your mistakes. It can happen to the best of us!
We are going to show you few examples of what we consider a bad application to an internship. We believe the first question a candidate should ask himself before pressing the “send” button of his webmail is “How could I make the difference in the eyes of the recruiter among the hundreds or thousands of other applicants for the same position?” The most important is not only to fit with the requirements of the internship offer but to make-the-recruiter-to-see-it.
First example: the empty email application for an internship.
Of course, a large majority of you wouldn’t do this but it is a great opportunity to remind you that recruiters are looking for professional, polite and respectful profiles. Even if you put all the necessary information in your CV and cover letter, you should add content to your email. It’s important to be consistent and simple but could you imagine sending this exact empty email to a prospect if you were a salesperson?
« The way you behave during the recruitment process determines how you will act in your further professional environment. »
Second example: the application intended to several recruiters at the same time.
Apart from the fact that the chosen object is clearly inappropriate (we will detail the importance of the object for an application via email later), this email has no chance to get any answer from a recruiter. When applying for a job, you should personalize your CV, cover letter and email to the recruiter. Ask yourself: « how can I show I have understood the mission within its context and I am the perfect person to be trust for this position? »
Third example: the copy-pasted cover letter resulting into a too long email
An application has to be both long enough to attract the recruiter and adequately consistent to facilitate the reading. Recruiters spend hours behind their desk to read thousands of candidate files but spend only 6 seconds to read each application.
Your email has to be the appetizer, the CV the main course and the cover letter the dessert.
Be careful about the details…
A tiny detail can make a huge difference!
As an example, check your enclosed document names: if you apply in English, your file’s name should be in the same language. Also, make sure you rename them simply like name-resume.pdf or cover-letter-name.pdf. It is very simple and can seem non important for you but it can facilitate the recruiters’ job; and they could be able to save and find your documents faster. Also, follow the recruiters instructions; in which language should you apply? What information should you provide? Etc.
Concerning the Curriculum Vitae:
After reading your CV, we should be able to know who you are in detail and decide if we could need you for this particular position or not. So make sure your resume contains enough information about you, your experiences and your education. The general aspect needs to look attractive (colors, font, layout, organisation).
How many pages? It’s up to you. Check before if you used the space in a proper way. Be careful to not send a 2 page resume with 1 blank page; this is not professional.
Should I make full sentences? Not necessary. You can use keywords as long as it gives enough information about your skills, interpersonal skills, realizations, etc. In Vietnam, we like to have details because sometimes position titles or kind of skills doesn’t mean the same thing in the eyes of the recruiter.
- Put a nice and professional photo. It cost between 5 and 10€ with this company. To apply for Vietnam, as the culture give advantage to face-to-face relationships, CV with pictures have more chance to attract the companies, they trust the applicant more.
- Add a header on your first page and summarize your application.
Concerning the cover letter:
It should answer the question: « why are you the best suitable profile? »
Through your e-mail, we know basically the reason why you’ve applied. This is time for you to clearly show us you’re the chosen one! #starwars.
The general aspect should be simple, easy to read and professional. Don’t forget to transform your .DOC into a .PDF file.
The content of your cover letter should be different than your e-mail. Highlight some aspects of your personality and experiences that could match with the job offer. Your aim is to convince the recruiter. You applied to get a positive answer, right?
Another tiny detail: make sure your phone number does have a professional voicemail, your Skype ID is as your email address: neutral and you have a correct appearance on Social Medias.
Make the difference
Because you are different!
Obviously you should check the requirements of the internship offer and try to be realistic when you apply for it. And if you decide to, show recruiters you are 100% trustworthy! Prefer to send few elaborate and unique applications (where you spent time to prepare them and your relatives or teachers proofread them) to 50 “clone-resumes” to random companies. “It’s like beating a dead horse”; you will probably become part of the crowd of Curriculum Vitae and not get the results you expected.
Make a unique CV and cover letter as if we were meeting you on your best day. You can follow some examples on internet or ideas from your friends but never « steal » their ideas, keep you precious identity!
Thank you for reading!
We know, we said we won’t be too long and “merely highlights what is the most important” but we wanted to give you our opinion on the subject and hopefully help you to enhance your application and increase you chance of success in your internship or job search for Vietnam.
We hope you found this article useful. If you have some questions or information you believe it could be great to add, don’t hesitate to use the comment section below, contact us directly via our contact-page or on Facebook and LinkedIn. And if you know some people that might need these advice, feel free to share our article on Social Medias and follow us!