Job search strategies

When it comes to searching for a job, it’s best not to rely solely on one approach. Using a range of strategies will maximise your chances of bagging the job that you want. In the sections below you will find some top tips for successfully managing the job search process.

Remember that the Career Development Centre team is there to help. Come along to one of our workshops or make an appointment to see a Career & Skills Consultant if you need some assistance with your job search. 

Applying for advertised positions

Become familiar with the top job search websites. You will find a range of high quality graduate and internship opportunities advertised on Careers Connect and

Bear in mind that there may be specific job sites for certain industries/skill areas; for example for social care/psychology/volunteer positions the Activelink website is a good resource, while the Engineers Ireland Jobs Desk is useful for engineering roles.

Other useful job search websites include:

Speculative applications

Sometimes it can be worth sending your CV and a cover letter to a company even if no specific job position is advertised. This is called a ‘speculative application’. gradireland has advice on how to go about writing speculative applications.

There is a useful company search tool on the IDA website. This can be helpful if you are trying to compile a ‘hit-list’ of companies within a specific industry.

Attending recruitment events

Every year UCD Career Development Centre organises and hosts hundreds of employer events and recruitment fairs; including the Business, Finance and Management Recruitment Fair, the Science, Engineering and Technology Recruitment Fair, the Law Recruitment Fair and the Internships and Volunteering Fair.

These events provide an excellent opportunity for UCD students and graduates to meet and develop links with potential employers. The key to making the most of these opportunities is to be proactive and network effectively. Make sure you do your research in advance and have questions prepared that you would like to ask the employer. Present yourself professionally and bring along a copy of your CV. Be open, friendly and prepared to talk about what you have to offer as a candidate.

Login to Careers Connect for a full listing of upcoming recruitment events on and off campus and check out the Networking for Success article in the UCD Career Guide for more tips on getting the most from recruitment events.

Using your network

Recruitment events can provide a great opportunity to build your network of contacts: people who may, in one way or another, be able to help you get a job. There are, however, plenty of other opportunities to engage with people who may be of value to you.

For example:

  • Industry events – is there a professional association linked to your chosen career path? For example Engineers Ireland, the Institute of Physics, the Psychological Society of Ireland etc. Many of these bodies host careers/networking events for students and graduates. Are there are conferences you could attend where you might have the opportunity to network with people working in your preferred industry?
  • Alumni events – sometimes academic programmes/Schools at UCD organise alumni events where current students can mingle with graduates. This can be a great way of meeting people who are working in the types of roles/industries that appeal to you.
  • Friends and family – do you have any personal connections who might be able to help? They may be able to help you to get work experience or give you some advice on getting into the industry or company they work in. 

Using social media

Linkedin logoLinkedin can be a really useful job search tool. Employers are increasingly using Linkedin to advertise positions and “head-hunt” new recruits. Linkedin can also be a valuable source of information on companies you are interested in (and the people who work for these companies). For advice on creating an effective, professional Linkedin profile and maximising its use in your job search check out  our Build a positive online presence with Linkedin article in the UCD Career Guide.

 You may also like to take a look at the Creative Job Searching section of Career Zone - a non-credit bearing, self-study optional online module produced for UCD students. Self register through Blackboard.