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How to Job Hunt Effectively in Ireland

Job hunting in Ireland is a joy because you have the opportunity to work for the key players in some of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy. From Artificial Intelligence to ecommerce to sustainable development, the world’s biggest movers and shakers either boast global offices in Dublin or even call Ireland home altogether. And there are regular announcements of the creation of hundreds or thousands of jobs at a time.

Even with so much going for us, you still need to job hunt effectively if you want to land yourself in the right role and set the stage for meeting your career goals.

Are you looking for your next job, or even your first one? Let’s take a deep dive into how to job hunt effectively in Ireland (even in a pandemic).

What Jobs are In Demand in Ireland?

Irish businesses are hiring across the economy.

Some of the most in demand career paths include:

These aren’t just hot topics. Ireland will add thousands of each of these roles over the next few years (especially in data analytics). What’s more, there are opportunities for you to go beyond job hunting and become a job creator yourself with plenty of supports to become a consultant or even start your own business in these fields with the help of Enterprise Ireland, your Local Enterprise Office, and grants from the Irish government. Maybe it's time for you to find your new career path!

Is it Difficult to Find a Job in Ireland?

Finding a job in Ireland has never been easier, particularly in the sectors mentioned above like fintech, digital marketing, and ecommerce.

Ireland has a diverse economy with something for everyone: 99% of its businesses are micro, small, or medium-sized businesses. In other words, there are tens of thousands of growing businesses (with plenty of supports to start your own). If that wasn’t enough, Ireland also has a significant number of multinational enterprise organisations, most of which are based in Dublin or Cork but increasingly in Galway, Limerick, Sligo, and Belfast.

Whether you want to work with a small team or get U.S.-style corporate experience, you have plenty of opportunities to try your hand at a new role.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Irish job market, most of the job losses since the start of 2020 have been in accommodation and food services as well as administrative and support services and construction, which were directly impacted by lockdowns that closed their businesses.

Conversely, retail finance, insurance, IT, education, and professional activities all gained jobs in that time as their industry needs boomed.

Some of the most recent announcements of job growth include:

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7 Job Hunting Tips to Find a Job in Ireland

So, how do you land yourself that brand new role that will set you up for career success?

While there are plenty of open roles about to come online and even more waiting in the wings, you still need to take a smart approach to finding, applying, and interviewing for them.

Here are some of our best tips for the Irish job market.

1. Brush Up on Effective Job Search Techniques

Your first step is to find out where to find quality job adverts in your chosen field. In today’s world, you will find the vast majority of vacancy posts online. So, you’ll need to get to know the top job hunting sites in Ireland, including:

Do you want an extra helping hand? Or do you want to enter a competitive industry like IT or cybersecurity? An Irish recruitment firm could take some of the heavy lifting off your shoulders. Recruiters will often fill jobs not publicly advertised or have relationships with the hiring manager that can give you a leg up. They also tend to have more insight on things like company culture, which helps you better decide if a role is for you without going through the entire interview process.

Are you living the good life outside of an Irish city? You may find it’s helpful to dive deeper than the top Irish job boards if you’d like to work locally. In some counties, you’ll find jobs listed in newspapers, on the radio, or with local recruitment offices. These jobs may not advertise on places like LinkedIn or Monster, so it’s important to cover all your bases, particularly if you’re interested in an SME or a micro-organisation.

Tip: Western Development Commission and WesternJobs.ie are two excellent resources for anyone living on the Atlantic coast looking for a job or starting a business.

2. Stick to Jobs that You Really Want

What’s the best way to find a job in Ireland? There are an incredible number of jobs to go for, and more come online everyday. The best way to job hunt effectively isn’t to take the fire-hose method and apply to every one that looks interesting. One of the best tips to finding a job is to only apply for jobs you think you’d take (and stay at) if you receive an offer.

Being selective up front helps you in many ways. Chiefly, it saves you time on long applications for jobs that don’t fit your goals. It also protects your confidence as you navigate the job hunt process. Applying for jobs at random increases your chance of being passed over repeatedly, which can still sting even if you didn’t want the role anyway.

How do you be selective? Make a short-list of jobs that you think you could excel at. Then, research every position and the company before applying.

Tip: Make smarter, strategic decisions by using your research to answer this question: Will your experience and skills solve the hiring manager’s problem (or your perception of it)? If the answer is yes, you’ll have a much greater chance of landing the interview.

3. Network Your Heart Out

In Ireland, who you know can still be a significant part of the job hunt process, and our small, well-connected population can work in your favour. Why? Because someone you know already knows someone working where you’d like to, and a referral is always better than a cold interview.

A JobVite survey in 2017 found that “referred applications are five times more likely than average to be hired and 15 times more likely...than applicants from a job board.” And when speaking to career experts in Ireland, they believe it’s still true, if not more true, today in Ireland.

The lesson: Don’t be afraid to reach out to people currently working in the space you’d like to be in and use your connections to find them! Start by going through your network and seeing if anyone you know can introduce you. Buy them a coffee or lunch and chat to them about how they got to where they are.

Are you new to Ireland, looking to widen your net, or just job hunting during COVID? There are plenty of other opportunities to network, including:

  • Meetup groups for your industry or niche

  • Industry associations

  • Slack channels/communities

  • LinkedIn groups, posts, communities

These groups are still great places to network as Ireland reopens because many switched to online or hybrid events.

4. Find Creative Ways to Pitch Yourself

Writing a stellar CV is the first and most critical step once you start the job application process. Your CV should include your most relevant experience, keywords for the job ad, and some of your accomplishments (with numbers when possible).

However, finding other ways to demonstrate your experience can help set you apart from other candidates and really serve as a career accelerant if you’re using your network effectively.

Creating online portfolios, presentations, videos, and repositories for your past work (professional or not) can help highlight what you’re capable of as well as your initiative, enthusiasm, and creativity. These not only help hiring managers see you in action, but they also say a lot about those all-important soft skills.

5. Bring Recruiters to Your Door

We’ve already covered some of the most effective job search techniques. But there’s more than one way to land your dream job, and in today’s world, you can job hunt passively.

Yes, it’s possible to bring hiring managers and recruiters straight to your door.

The Irish job market is hot and talent is in short supply in some key areas (particularly cybersecurity). You can create a passive pipeline of job opportunities by making your Linkedin profile a one-stop-shop for hiring you.

An updated LinkedIn page with keywords that recruiters hiring for your ideal job will look for can get you traction before you ever apply for a job. Fill out your page completely, including links to repositories and portfolios. And even if it feels cringe-worthy, ask former colleagues, friends, or collaborators to leave you references!

Tip: Don’t forget to add relevant experience outside of work. Whether it’s for charity or involvement in your local GAA club, highlight the skills you’ve learned (teamwork, etc.). Adding these bits and pieces further tells the story and shares what it’s like to work with you!

6. Upskill Strategically

Ireland is a great place to work already, and our island is an increasingly strategic place to grow your career. However, many of the jobs in demand rely on skills that increasingly grow stale. In fintech, e-commerce, and digital marketing, in particular, in-demand skills change all the time.

Upskilling is part-and-parcel of not only seeking a new job but growing in your career. You’ll be upskilling for the rest of your working life, and you want to do so strategically.

There are many formal ways to upskill. UCD Professional Academy offers specialised courses designed to complement your degree or work experience and prepare you for the latest roles in hot job markets.

7. Study Up on the Interview Process

Getting your CV out the door is the first step, landing the job is a different task. Becoming proficient at the interview process can take much of the stress out of job hunting by allowing you to systematically put your best foot forward

Read up on the types of interviews prevalent in the industry or function you want to work in; be prepared for very complicated or lengthy interview processes.

While you can’t prepare for the precise questions asked, you can know how to answer them. Much of the interview process comes down to this: what is the hiring manager’s problem, and how will you solve it?

Tip: Get comfortable with Zoom interviews! Although Ireland is now slowly returning to the office, you can still expect HR screenings and many first interviews to take place via Zoom.

Got an interview coming up? Read all about how to master the STAR interview technique.