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Working in Ireland - Advice & Tips

Ireland

Expatriate Affairs Consultant Nannette Ripmeester tells you below what it takes to get a job in the country which is known for its Guinness, friendly people, migrant background and good economic prospects. Ireland is not only a fast changing economy; it is also a booming market relatively open to foreign job seekers.

Job hunting in Ireland

Speculative applications are worth trying, but are only successful if they are well researched in advance and if you are clear on how closely you meet the needs of the employer. You have to know why you want to work for that particular company in that particular branch. Be as precise as possible; it is not enough to state that you would like to work in a management position somewhere in Ireland.

A major tip for those of you looking for work in Ireland: Do not underestimate the importance of language skills. Having a conversation (in English) in a pub is somewhat different from a business conversation and being able to write well in English continues to be of importance.

The Application Letter

A letter of application should create enough interest to make the potential employer want to look at your application more detailed by reading your CV and hopefully invite you for an interview. Your application letter, however, should not provide too much information about personal experiences and qualifications; this will be provided in your CV.

In Ireland a standard format for the covering letter should cover one typed or handwritten sheet of A4 paper only, refers to which job you are responding to and where you find it and includes your signature. When your letter is a response to an advertisement, it should be brief and merely introduce your CV. It is important to check if you meet the requirements (‘must haves’) of the job outlined. In case of a speculative application you should find out what the company does and how your skills could be of value to them. Refer to the information you read in your letter. Furthermore, two references are customary, usually given as annex to the CV: one academic reference and one professional reference, both with full contacting details. References are usually followed up if an offer of employment is made.

The Curriculum Vitae

Irish CVs should be two pages in length. Some like to use a one-page Résumé, but that is hard in terms of content and lay out. A CV should only give facts and figures. Your motivation, skills and qualities for the job have to be mentioned in your letter, not in your CV. List the information in the CV in reverse chronological order. Regarding work experience it is important to spend half of your space on detailing the last five to seven years or last two jobs. Of the jobs from further back in your history you should only mention one or two highlights: achievements are absolutely essential.

The Application Procedure

During the interview the employer will want to know what motivates you to apply for the job, how organised you are, whether you are a team player, whether you have enough computer skills and in some cases, if you possess sales experience. Extra-curricular activities are essential. Be prepared for questions about your personal achievements, your education and the company itself. Please note that Irish recruiters consider competence and personality the two most important qualities, followed by humour and leadership capabilities. Candidates at graduate entry level are often confronted by a panel of three or more selectors. Furthermore, Irish companies make extensive use of psychological tests and assessment centres.

On-line applications are nowadays common. In fact, a lot of job agencies, but also employers who publish their vacancies on-line provide the opportunity to complete the job application form on-line.

If we got you thinking about Ireland – think about ordering the guide "Looking for work in Ireland".

About the author

Looking for work in IrelandNannette Ripmeester is the expatriate affairs consultant to several multinational companies, which she advises regarding the strategy of international assignments and the practical implementation around expat issues.  Ripmeester started her international career at the European Commission, has worked on a project basis in 17 countries and is founder and Managing Director of Expertise in Labour Mobility (www.labourmobility.com).
She is co-author of a series of country-specific guides, the guide "Looking for work in Ireland", (ISBN-13: 978-90-5896-070-2) is part of that series of guides. To order this guide or other guides that will help you to secure the international job you want, visit our website: www.labourmobility.com.  As a reader of Eurograduate we offer you a 10% discount if you are your copy here.