Finding work in Ireland can be difficult but with the correct preparation, advice and planning this task can be made a lot easier. If you want to work and study in Ireland, a range of jobs are available, depending on your level of English.
As with most countries, most jobs can be found in the major cities so if you are living in Dublin, Galway or Cork there is more chance of finding a job in Ireland. Work and study in Ireland is a fantastic way to enjoy Irish culture with plenty of bars, events, open areas and ways to improve your English and because Dublin is a small city it’s easy to navigate.
Dublin also recently introduced a great new bike rental scheme, for more information on this please visit our blog ‘Cycling around Dublin City’
If you want to know how to find a job in Dublin our guide can help you.
New Visa Rules (Non-EU)
From 1st January 2015, students can now work up to 20 hours per week while studying and 40 hours per week during vacation periods. In addition to this, during the months of May, June, July and August and a period between 15 December and 15 January students can work for 40 hours per week.
For more information regarding visas and information for students looking for a job in Ireland or who want to work and study in Ireland we recommend visiting the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) here;
1 – How to find a job in Dublin
In our opinion, one of the best (but unfortunately the most time-consuming) ways of finding work in Ireland is by walking around the busiest parts of town where most of the shops and commercial districts are. Some companies or shops have a sign outside seeking staff, so it’s possible to find lots of jobs that aren’t advertised online. You will also have a clear advantage over other job seekers if you personally visit the company and introduce yourself.
Body language is vital! If your English is not perfect, practice some introduction lines, predict questions you may be asked and be confident with a warm handshake and eye contact. Some good introductory lines would be;
“Hi, my name is Sandra and I’d like to find out more about the position of sales assistant advertised in your window”
Your social networking profiles are more important than ever and statistics show that your Facebook page is the first place employers now go to find out more about you. If you have any photos that may ‘scare’ potential employers away, either remove them or turn your profile to ‘private’!
For more skilled or specialist jobs we highly recommend a good LinkedIn page as this is also where potential employers go to find out more about you.
2 – Preparing your CV
Your CV is extremely important and a good or bad CV can determine the outcome of finding a job in Ireland.
In Ireland, employers expect a CV to be maximum two pages. The first page should contain your name, address, phone number and email address at the top with your education experience and qualifications under this. A good ‘head and shoulders’ or passport type photo is an added bonus as it helps potential employers remember you.
The second page should contain relevant ‘Employment History’ with the most recent and most relevant work at the top. We recommend having at least two CV’s, each one tailor-made for each industry, so for example, if you are looking for a job in the tourism industry highlight your social, personal and people skills, but if looking for a job in IT, highlight your experience with computer and software programs, your ability to work to a deadline and your knowledge of IT packages.
Following your work experience you should have a ‘Personal Information’ section where you describe your interests and hobbies. A lot of people underestimate the importance of this section but this part is vital in communicating the type of person you are and your suitability for the job. So, if you say you “love reading, cooking and walks in the park” your potential employer might see you as a lonely and unsocial person, whereby if you describe yourself as someone who “loves socialising, team sports and travelling” you communicate an impression of a person who can work easily with other people, will be friendly to customers and is fun and open-minded.
Finally, a ‘References’ section is a good way to finish your CV and contains names, positions and contact details of previous employers. This can also be known as a ‘Character References ‘ section and allows potential employers to call previous employers to find out more about you.
If you need a character reference from someone in Ireland, your English teacher might know you better than anyone else in Ireland and he or she would be more than happy to be included as a reference – just make sure to ask your teacher first!
3 – How to apply (cover letter templates / formal style)
In English there is a saying ’first impressions last’ and a good introductory email in formal style is vital when finding a job in Ireland. Most employers will ask for a ‘cover letter’. This can be around 4 – 6 sentences and should contain relevant information.
Here are some tips on writing a great cover letter;
1 – Who are you writing to?
Some positions might advertise a contact name but some may not. Here is how to address a potential employer;
If there is a contact first name – Dear Paul / Dear Paula
If there is a male surname – Dear Mr Edwards
If there is a female surname, the options are Miss, Mrs. and Ms. depending on if the person is married or not. To be safe, we recommend using ‘Ms’ if you are not sure of the contacts status – Dear Ms. Edwards (pronounced /miss/)
If it’s a male / female with no name – Dear Sir / Dear Madam
If there is no contact name – To whom it may concern
2 – Introduction
You can then start your cover letter by explaining how you found the position;
I am writing to apply for the position of sales assistant as advertised on the Jobs.ie website. (If found online)
I would like to apply for the position of marketing manager as advertised in this week’s edition of Metro. (If advertised in a paper)
3 – Describe your experience
This can be a short paragraph written as follows;
I have worked in the tourism industry for over 6 years first as a receptionist for a travel agency in (your city) and then in the marketing department of a hotel group.
4 – Describe why you would like this job
Here are some suitable and formal examples;
I am applying for this position as I have a passion for the tourism industry and believe my experience would make me a highly suitable candidate.
I have always been interested in working for a dynamic company and have the relevant experience and expertise required to fulfil this role.
You can also give a quick description of your suitable skills;
I believe I am highly suitable for this position as I have extensive of experience in retail, can schedule and prioritise tasks and can work to strict deadlines. I also work particularly well with people and would enjoy working with clients and customers.
5 – Closing the letter
You can now close the letter stating your availability;
I am available for an interview anytime and would welcome the opportunity to meet you and discuss this further.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will be able to invite me for an interview.
I would very much welcome an opportunity to discuss my application in greater detail and convince you that I am the right person for the job.
6 – A Formal Ending
There are many ways to end a cover letter. Here are two options;
When you don’t know the person’s name – Yours faithfully
When you know the person’s name – Yours sincerely / Best regards
4 – Attending the interview
An obvious start would be to find out exactly where the interview will take place. Try to find out how you will get there and plan on arriving a little early. Arriving late, stressed and disorganised is not a good first impression! A good idea might be to find your way to the location a day or two before the interview takes place. Google maps is a great way to get directions but factors such as traffic, bus timetables, incorrect road signs and distance of the company from the bus stop can all contribute to a possible late arrival. The unpredictable Irish weather can also cause problems!
Dress code depends on the position, but in our opinion ‘smart casual’ might be the best option as this is suitable for most jobs, so no denim, t-shirts, trainers or casual wear.
We also highly recommend doing some research into the company such as history, future plans and ideology / company culture and prepare some questions about salary, responsibilities and contracts for the interview.
Finally – BE YOURSELF & GOOD LUCK!