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What are the dos and don'ts of finding a job in Ireland?

Hello everyone,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Ireland? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in Ireland? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Hi Priscilla,

Photos are usually not included in CVs here.
Cover letters are not that common here either but well structuring your CV is important.
I know in some countries (France for example) it is advised to fit everything on one page, but here you can have a CV that is two / three pages long. Just try to make it easy to read, it should not take much longer than 1min to go through it.

In terms of structure I would advise you to state your interest in the first section, then what you've done in the past (professional experience) that could help promoting your profile.
Then add a section related to your education / diplomas etc... And finally one miscelaneous section for your personal interests (hobbies/sports etc...). If you've worked for a charity as a volunteer, do not hesitate to mention it too, Irish people like this.

For the interview, it depends on the type of job you're looking for I guess but employers/recruiters are usually quite good at making people feel at their ease and are also used to deal with people from different countries / cultural backgrounds, so don't worry too much about this.

Not a lot of people speak Gaelic in Dublin, if you go to the West of Ireland (Donegal) you may meet up with people who speak it, but it's rare. English is the main language spoken here. Irish people would not expect you or any other foreigner to master their Celtic language, they don't themselves in most cases :D
So don't worry about that.

If English is not your mother tongue, this will again depend on the type of job you're looking for. If your work does not involve interacting with customers, your employer may be lenient if you show that you're willing to learn (eg. Being part of a school or taking private English lessons).

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Marc.

Hi Priscilla,

Where is the best place to start when looking for a job in Ireland? Is it better to job-hunt by directly contacting the company of your interest, or should job-seekers rely on a recruitment agency, for example?

Why not both? But I think it goes without saying that if you really want a particular job, you go after it. Regardless of where you are in the world, if there's a company that has a job posting on their website and you're interested in it, go for it.

Based on experience, I've had a higher chance of getting interviews by sending my CV directly to the company. But I also sent CVs to recruitment agencies.

Are there any unique aspects that job-seekers should consider when preparing their CV/résumé and cover letter? Should a photo be included?

No need to include a photo. Also, if you research online for jobseeking tips, you'll find that most of them recommend tailoring your CV/resume to the position you are applying for.

Do you have any tips on interview conduct in Ireland? Are there any particulars, such as greetings or behavioural customs?


This depends on the industry. But in general I say be professional. Send thank you notes after being interviewed, regardless if you were accepted or not.

In you opinion, is knowledge of the local language or a regional language necessary to successfully apply for a job? What level of the language should job-seekers have mastered?

Depends on what you're applying for. But I think you'll have a better chance at landing a job if you can speak at least above average English. They will have to work with you and you will have to understand each other to be able to get things done successfully and efficiently.

Hope this helps.

Hi Priscilla,

Some great advice from the other posters. Really good questions as well.

There are lots of ways to look for a job in Ireland. Some of the main resources are the online job boards which include IrishJobs, Jobs.ie, Indeed, and RecruitIreland, to name but a few!
Other resources can be found on Twitter (such as IrishJobFairy) and Facebook, where there are lots of groups focused on jobs both directly through employers and via agencies. I would also recommend using LinkedIn as another great way to find positions and grow your network of contacts. Lots of interesting news on there as well.

I agree with the other poster that you should cast your net as widely as possible. Recruitment agencies can be an excellent way to find out about the market and get advice about your job search. They will also help represent you to an employer. That said, I wouldn’t rely on agencies completely, as many employers don’t enlist their services. Be persistent, if you haven’t heard back from an agency after sending in your CV, phone them up and suggest you arrange to meet them. They will be much more likely to help if you have met face-to-face.

It is not recommended to include a photo in a CV in Ireland. Unfortunately it can cause bias and distract from your skills and experience.

I have written a lot of CVs for candidates moving to Ireland for work and one of the most important things is to make sure it reads professionally and the English is 100% perfect. If you are not yet in Ireland or have only been here for a short time, show a connection with Ireland and get an Irish phone number if you can. Recruiters are less likely to call you if they feel you are outside of the country and not committed to moving here.

Depending on the sector, interviews in Ireland can vary significantly. Professional roles will be formal and you should dress in formal suits etc, whereas more casual work may just involve a friendly chat. The main thing is to be confident and enthusiastic, give a good handshake, make eye-contact, sell yourself and your skills, and (often forgotten) smile!

In terms of English language, this will again depend on the role being applied for. If you are dealing with customer or working in a professional office environment it is likely your level of English will need to be very good. That said, there are many more manual jobs in Ireland where strong English is less important. I have also interviewed many candidates who felt they had poor English, when in fact that they were really good. So, be confident!

Knowing Irish is not required for working in Ireland, with the exception of a small number of state jobs. As others have said, many Irish don’t know any either (including myself!).

Good luck to all the job-seekers! Feel free to send me a message if you need further advice.

Kind regards,
Michael – The CV Agency

Hi Priscilla,

Depends on the area you work in.  Generally speaking, the better jobs come through job agencies, and they agencies get paid by the company they place you with, so they are anxious to help you secure an offer.

Generally speaking, interviews vary.  Always dress well, and think about what you are saying as you go along.  Irish people speak very directly, they will ask you a question, and when you answer it, you should give as much information as you can (anything that doesn't hurt you).  If you don't understand the question, ask them to clarify. 

It's usually good practice to shake hands with the interviewer before you leave (apparently, someone at some stage trained HR people that if someone doesn't shake their hand it means they are not interested in the job).

Dress appropriately.  Again, depending  on the line of work you are in.  Smile a lot and come across as approachable and helpful. 

I have emigrated from Ireland 3 times, and on each occasion, I found myself working through job agencies to be placed, and again, having to take whatever I was offered to get experience in that country.  However, I would suggest that you don't work for less than you are worth, because your next job is usually based on your last one. 

Most importantly, make sure at the interview that there is a willingness in the company to help you to progress.  Otherwise, you are wasting your time.  Some employers like to take immigrants because they are cheap labor and as such, fail to respect them in terms of their future.

Hope this helps.

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