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How to Land a Job in Kuala Lumpur

Known as South East Asia’s ‘hidden gem’, the city’s well developed infrastructure makes working in Kuala Lumpur a promising option to expand your career in a cultured Asian setting. Multinational companies are increasingly setting up regional headquarters due to recent economic injections and modern developments, which explains the economic changes that have recently taken place enabling qualified expats to relocate there for employment.

This article will look at the best ways to search for jobs, your available visa options and residential locations to research when landing a job in Kuala Lumpur.

Step 1: Economic Overview

Jobs in finance and insurance currently make up 89% of the city’s workforce, while tourism-related businesses and wholesale retail trade contribute the higher percentages of the remaining employment sectors. These figures are due to the city holding the status as the newest global Islamic financing hub after recent associations with Gulf based financial institutions. This of course accounts for the large numbers of expats working in Kuala Lumpur enjoying the benefits of the new jobs created which require English skills matched with finance experience.

Step 2: CV Styles in Malaysia

Recruiters have been said to like a simple structured layout; 88% of employers when surveyed prefer candidates to give a short summary of their accomplishments. The length of the CV should be 1 page at best but must not exceed 2 pages. Tips here are to delete elementary education / marital status, and focus on demonstrating the skills and qualifications that are required for the position. Be direct. Present the stages of your education and the acquisition of skills in a reverse chronological order starting with the most recent.

The order of each section included is not determined, however, a suggested structure to follow can be seen below: 

  • Personal details - Includes forename and surname, date of birth and contact data
  • Education
  • Professional experience - Includes the name of the company, period of employment and position.
  • Further qualifications - Includes advanced training and skill enhancement
  • Language and computer skills - Includes the level of proficiency
  • Further information - Includes exchange programs, volunteer work and further information related to the position

The cover letter should include your personal motivation for the desired position and present why the company would benefit from hiring you. Ensure you write the letter in a professional tone. You can also include examples of how you work on your Malay language skills. Always remember to keep the cover letter concise and avoid exaggeration. 


There are three popular websites to consider when looking for a new job online:

  • Job Street: This is known globally as the number one job board for Asia covering every available sector of employment
  • MDT International: Specialising in oil and gas careers  
  • LinkedIn Kuala Lumpur: High level positions are posted frequently, be sure to keep up to date with new entries

Thinking outside the box can land you one step ahead of the competition; consider contacting these local recruitment consultants:

Korn/Ferry International

Suite 15.4, Level 15 Menare IMC

8-Japan Sultan Isamail,

Kuala Lumpur 50250


Phone : +603 2078 1655


Suite 146, Level 14 Menare IMC,

No -8 , Jalan sultan Ismail ,

50250 Kuala Lumpur ,


Phone : +603 2032 1648

Fax : +603 2034 1648


Webecom Corp

No 16-1, 2ND Floor,

Jalan 1/ 76c,

Desa Pandan,

55100 Kuala Lampur


Phone : 601 668 042 99,


Step 4: Visa Options

For expats looking to relocate to Kuala Lumpur, there are two types of visa options available:

Single-entry visa:

Single-entry will allow a visitor entry into Malaysia for a period of up to three months. These are commonly found when individuals holiday or visit family, although have also frequently been used for business projects. Nationals of Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, the EU member states, South Korea, Turkey, the US, and various other countries are automatically enrolled, without the need for the visa depending on nationality. You can check by accessing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia.

Multiple-entry visa

A multiple-entry visa valid for three to twelve months may be of better use when considering a long term move. To be eligible for this you should be able to prove that you are financially secure with funding to last you up to 12 months, including a pre-paid return flight ticket. Should your 12 months timeframe expire, you will receive a pass (i.e. a work or residence permit), depending on the purpose of your move to Kuala Lumpur. After researching extensively, the vocabulary used to explain this section often explains that these are treated on a “case by case basis”.

Visit Pass

Alternatively there are also other ways to gain entry for a period of up to 6 months, a Visit Pass could be allocated depending on the situation should you be looking to work and study you can apply for a long-term social visit pass. Foreign spouses and children of Malaysian citizens or permanent residents may receive visit passes for up to five years. Again this has been portrayed as a case by case approval.

Requirements to apply

Applications for visas should be made at the nearest Malaysian consulate, in countries where these have not been established, applications should be made to the British High Commission or Embassy. The applicant should present themselves together with the following documents:

  • Passport or Travel Document
  • Form IM.47 (3 copies)
  • Three (3) passport sized photographs
  • Return or onward - journey traveling ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds

Step 5: Popular Locations to Live

According to FourSquare, the following top 5 locations have been voted by expats living there:

Mont Kiara Neighborhood

"Home to many deluxe bungalows, semi-D's and high-rise condos, some of which a quite luxurious with excellent facilities. Amenities are aplenty, including three international schools (MKIS, GIS, LFKL)."

Bangsar Neighborhood

"High on the preferred list of many discerning expats, Bangsar's appeal can be attributed to the community-based facilities/amenities placed within walking distance of the cosy residential areas."

Damansara Heights Neighborhood

"Also known as Bukit Damansara, it was once dubbed as the Beverly Hills of KL. Located <5km from the city, this much sought-after residential area consists of large detached houses & luxury condos."

Suria KLCC Mall

"Excellent residential choice for those who work within the city centre or enjoy living in close proximity to all the shopping, nightlife and entertainment that KL has to offer. Ultimate convenience!"

Desa ParkCity Neighborhood

"An award-winning masterplanned development, DPC is one of the most sought-after townships in KL West with it New Urbanist (gated) community living concept. Has its own central park & commercial area."

We hope the article explained both useful and relevant options, when considering a new career/working lifestyle in Kuala Lumpur.  Have you ever worked in Kuala Lumpar? Do you have any additional tips to add to the article? Comment below!


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'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

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