The regular way of getting a new job is to search through newspapers or through jobs websites, then finding ones that could potentially fit you and send your CV off to some faceless company, and subsequently waiting. If you are looking for a job, there can be a lot of waiting around for feedback. Companies generally have multiple other things on their plate than just hiring you. There are alternative ways (and possibly smarter ways) to get that job, and while you are waiting to hear back why not try out one or two of them.
Employers are looking for top class candidates to interview, and with the unemployment rate in Ireland at 13.8% there are potentially hundreds of people applying for the same job as you. And because of this it’s that little bit harder to stand out, the chance that your CV will be rise to the top is that little bit lower. Our tips will help you to be that little bit more outstanding that you already are. How do we know you are better than the average candidate ? Well for a start you are reading this !
Before we talk about our ideas on alternative ways to get a new job, you should remember that there still is no excuse for being ill prepared. Make sure you have an organised CV which is tailored to the type of job you are applying for. Remember that you should research each and every company you are applying to, know more than just their name !
Employers hate it when their candidates turn up and waste their time, as we mentioned before they are already busy enough. If you do a phone screen for example, take detailed notes about the questions you think you didn’t do so well. For subsequent interview rounds you can be sure that they will re-ask you about those areas that you missed, so do your research !
When you’ve worked so hard to get an interview, to get your feet in the door, you should then spend the time preparing for each and every interview. One regular feedback we get from disappointed applicants on how they did in interviews, is that they didn’t prepare as much as they would have liked to.
Simply ask people, get the word out that you are looking for a job. The more eyes and ears you have looking for a job for you the better. Use friends, relations and anyone else you know, and casually let them know that you are looking for a new challenge. Having these people looking for you will increase your chances of finding a job.
Also remember that many jobs are gotten via contacts, it’s not always what you know, rather it’s about who you know. Many employers who advertise jobs, have already picked a person for the job. Because of legal requirements they are required to advertise their jobs, and they are required to interview. Now this fact is not to make you disheartened about applying for a job, rather it’s more to show you that you need to network and edge your way in somehow.
If you don’t know any CEOs or managers, that’s okay. Start with neighbours or friends of your children, and get talking to someone new. Most of these things take a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it you will be expanding your network before you know it.
2) Get creative and draw attention to yourself
Feross Aboukhadijeh from Stanford University created little web app that grabbed the attention of the creator of YouTube, and subsequently he was offered a job at Google. Feross wasn’t actively looking for a job, but he used his spare time constructively and drew attention to his greatness. This is something you can do too, again the challenge here is to be creative, but it can be done.
If for example you don’t have all the qualifications you need for a job, then this is what you should be doing while you are waiting for that job to turn up. Studying at night or during your holidays might be the necessary
Recently we advised a customer, who had just graduated with an MBA, and he wanted to work more on business strategies and plans. His current role was more a coordination type job for a multinational organisation, and left him little opportunity to develop these types of plans. But because your current company doesn’t offer what you are looking for, that’s not the time to stop your search in your area of interest. We advised him to talk to startups, specially internet startups, and to offer his time with them. Here he gets away with working around 4 hours a week with them. Because it’s not a paying position, he is flexible to work when he can, and this internet startup gains the knowledge of this MBA graduate. In the end both parties win.
3) Apply pro-actively
Research companies that you are interested in. Just because they don’t have a job listed on their website or with a recruitment company, it doesn’t mean that all the jobs in that company are spoken for. To keep the finger on the pulse you can use tools like Google Alerts to get notifications on news on your target companies. What we recommend is to stalk a few companies for a few months, and follow what they are up to in industry. If there is something that they do which you particularly like, put pen to paper and contact them directly.
Mention that you have been paying attention to what their company does, and mention why you would be the right person to help them along their journey to achieve their goal. For a hiring manager this gives many positive signals about you and your pro-activeness, and maybe, just maybe it will be enough for them to invite you for an interview.
While you can go the route of leaving your CV with recruitment agencies, or head hunters, it’s been our experience that they don’t always have your best interests in mind. They rarely will design a CV for you or give you career advice, their interest is to place you in a job to collect their commission. While you can use them as part of your search for a new job, we would only use them as one of the prongs in your search. Take control of your own job applications, talk to companies directly and in the end you will be successful !
15 June 2010 | Ireland | Comments Off on Ireland’s unemployment rate is 3.1% higher than EU average
Figures today from the CSO (www.cso.ie) show that the unemployment rate in Ireland is now 12%. This is over 3% higher than the EU average. The rate of unemployment has increased due to the calculated 108,000 lost jobs year on year. The CSO reports that there are 1,857,600 people working in Ireland in 2010. When taking gender into account it’s clear that more males have lost their jobs than females. The unemployment figures state that 80,400 men lost their jobs (7.5%), while 27,500 women lost their jobs (3.1%). Current rates are analogous to rates of unemployment seen in 1995 and employment figures of 1998.
The worst effect areas of the jobs market has been the construction industry were approximately 50% of workers have lost their jobs since the boom in 2007.
More statistics like the one below can be found in their Quarterly National Houshold survey . This graph shows the increase of long term unemployed (unemployed people without work in 1 year). This value is now 5.3% compared with 2.2% last year. These trends do give a rather grim view to the employment market in Ireland.
18 May 2010 | Ireland | Comments Off on Pfizer Layoff Plans
Post updated , see below : Today at 2pm Pfizer (www.Pfizer.com) is announcing their plans to reduce their workforce. They plan to make their announcement with the opening of the New York Stock exchange. They will hold meetings at their various sites in Ireland at 1:30pm today. With the takeover of Wyeth (www.wyeth.com) last year, there is definitely an over lap in staffing, and this is what is going to be addressed today. Pfizer / Wyeth employs 5,000 people in Ireland, with sites in Dublin, Cork , Kildare, Limerick Sligo at 11 different locations. Internal rumours expect that 800 jobs could go, but they expect it to be on a voluntary basis.
Update : Pfizer plans to lay off 275 staff at their Newbridge, Co. Kildare plant. In Cork, the plants at Loughbeg, Co Cork (225 jobs) and Shanbally Co. Cork (75 jobs) will are ear marked to be sold out over 18 months, and a similar fate is in store for the plant at Dun Laoghaire (210 jobs) in Co Dublin. If a buyer is not found these, 510 jobs could also be lost. Pfizer plans to cut their global workforce by 18% or 6,000 jobs in the next 5 years.
News today comes that Airtricity (www.Airtricity.com) latest move into the gas market is to add 200 new jobs in Ireland. Airtricity is to add 100 new jobs in their headquarters in Sandyford, Dublin while a further estimated 100 jobs will be created in for sales and customer service which will be provided by an outsourcing partner.
The new jobs will be added in the coming year and will focus on Airtricity entering the domestic gas market. This comes a year after Airtricity entered the electricity market and has achieved over 200,000 customers to date. They will be in direct competition with An Bord Gáis (www.bordgais.ie), and plan to sell their gas plans at a 10% discount.
Your employer is required to give you adequate breaks during your working day. If they fail to provide you with enough or any breaks during your working day then they are in breach of Irish employment law. It’s important that you know your rights when it comes to taking breaks at work, and hopefully after reading this article you will feel more confident on this topic. These rules have been outlined in the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997.
Break Entitlements Chart
Under 4.5 hours : there is no legal requirement for employees to be provided with a break if they are only working a short shift
Between 4.5 – 6 hours : you are entitled a 15 minute break (unpaid).
Over 6 hours : you are entitled to a 30 minute break (unpaid).
Further to these legal requirements for breaks during your working day there are also rules for time off outside work
Between 2 shifts / working days you should have at least 11 hours of a recovery period after your last shift.
In a 7 day period there should be 24 hours between shifts (after the above recovery period of 11 hours).
These are of course guidelines, and in certain jobs you may be ask by your employer to take longer or more frequent breaks. Depending on your job this might reduce the risk of RSI (Repetitive Strain Industry) or other occupational injuries.
There has been some great news from the jobs sector in Cork today and in the healthcare sector. A new €80 million private hospital project has just received it’s official planning permission from the Cork County Council. It is reported that this will result in 650 jobs. From the news release it is unclear whether these jobs will be in the construction of the hospital or are to do with the general operating of the hospital.
The development will be done by O’Callaghan Properties.
Not all good news for hospitals
This news today comes just as Beaumont hospital has announced that with 2 weeks it will close up to 52 beds. They cite budgetary reasons as the cause for this closure.
4 May 2010 | Ireland | Comments Off on Intune Networks to add 80 jobs
Dublin’s telecoms equipment design company, Intune Networks (www.intunenetworks.com), has announced that they will add a further 80 jobs to their operations. The announcement comes with an investment to the tune of €5 million from the Irish government. These jobs will be targeted towards an ‘Exemplar communications test bed‘ which promises to offer an energy efficient communications network. Current technology for high speed networks, while being dependable and useful, come with large electricity bills and the associated environmental aspect.
Intune Networks has offices in both Dublin and Belfast.
Current open positions at Intune Networks can be found on their careers page (www.intunenetworks.com/site/jobs/). Right now their website says they are looking for Senior Software Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, and Senior Software Test Engineers, but sadly this information states that these jobs are their recruitment effort for September 2009.
How many hours a week are you allowed to work ? And how many hours does your boss ask you to work. Is s/he asking you to do something you shouldn’t do ? or something that could possibly be illegal ? There are alot of myths about how many hours your employer is allowed to ask you to work every week. And what about whether you should be paid extra for working on Sundays or overtime ? All of these things are covered in this article.
Note: Working more that legal limit a day or week could have potential issues with insurance should you perhaps have an accident in work, so pay attention !
The average working week is not allowed to exceed 48 hours of “working time” a week. This might sound strange, but breaks are not counted in this 48 hours of work. This is what has been outlined in Organisation and Working Time Act 1997 . If your employer is asking you to work longer hours than this, then you need to refer them to this act. And if necessary take further steps.
One common mistake is that people calculate this 48 in either a 7 day period, or if they sometimes work that many hours. In the above mentioned act it outlines that this average should be calculated in 3 different ways.
The average should be taken over 4 months for most business areas.
The average should be taken over 6 months for security personal, prison officers, workers at airports or docks, staff in hospitals, seasonal workers who have peaks (i.e. Christmas production at a factory) and farmers and other agricultural workers.
The average can be taken over 12 months when there has been a special agreement approved by Labour Courts. This has to be a consensual agreement between employers and employees.
Your employer should also keep detailed records of your working hours should you need to calculate your average hours.
Exceptions to the Rule
Of course with every Irish employment rule there seems to be an exception, and this one is no different. If you are self-employed or you work for the government (Gardaí and defense forces) the above rule does not apply. This rule also does not apply to interning or trainee doctors or employees at sea (fisheries, ferry and cruise-lines workers). If you are a trainee doctor you should read this in the Irish Statute Book.
Rules for Sunday work
If you are scheduled to work on Sundays, you need to have an agreement with your employer about extra renumeration for your work. If there is no allowance for working on a Sunday, then there needs to one of the following as a type of compensation :
a type of reasonable compensation.
a reasonable compensation in time off in lieu.
In both cases it is mentioned “reasonable” and this is something that needs to be clarified between employee and employer.
Rules for working overtime
The definition of overtime is stated to be work that is performed outside your normal working hours. Employers are not required to pay you extra for overtime, but they must at least maintain your current wage level.
Talk to a professional
The world of employment law can be a mine field, and there are many exceptions to these rules and rules for specific industries (and for certain areas in Ireland. See this decision from the Labour Court which covers hairdressers in Cork). A Registered Employment Agreements (REA’s) might exist for your industry which would cover you. If you have a serious question about your working hours and conditions of employment you should contact the NERA (National Employments Rights Authority) or an employment lawyer.
After watching this old video on youtube, it got me thinking about how happy people are in their jobs, and are they really doing what they intended.
Are you doing the job you always expected you would do ? Are you better off or worse for doing it ? If you are not doing the job you wanted to, tell me what is stopping you get there ? I would love to hear from people with their thoughts on these things.
With all the negative job news in the press recently, we thought we should start to highlight more and more positive news. And today we can do so!
Today it has been reported that the existing 300 jobs at Chorus NTL at the Limerick Enterprise Development Park (LEDP) are to be expanded with a further 50 new jobs. The recruitment for these new jobs has started since November 2009 and is expected to continue until the middle of this year.
These jobs are mainly in the support area, with customer support and technical support jobs on offer. Other general areas are also being recruited for including sales, human resources and finance
6 September 2009 | Ireland | Comments Off on Quick Headlines 06/09/2009
Here is a quick round up of what is happening in the Irish business scene at the moment :
The American paper manufacturer Georgia-Pacific (www.gp.com) have announced a global restructuring plan , and their plant in Finglas, Co. Dublin will be effected to a tune on 77 job losses. GP produce tissues, packaging and pulp and employ over 45,000 people worldwide.
Bausch & Lomb (www.bausch.com) announced that they are cutting up to 500 jobs in Scotland, which comes as a bittersweet relief to the 1,000 employees in their Waterford plant. These job losses also come as part of a so called “global restructuring plan”. Bausch & Lomb are leading producers in the contact lenses market. In Waterford they produce their daily contact lenses products.
But it’s not all good news for Waterford. This time Teva Pharmaceutical (www.tevapharm.com) , are letting go 315 of it’s 730 staff. At their Waterford plant they produce inhalers and generic medicine tablets. In a press release from the management it mentions the losses are “due to the challenges of operating in a high cost and difficult economic environment in Ireland”.
Irish no frill airline , Ryanair are increasing their baggage again. From the 1st of October 2009, passangers can check in a 2nd bag and get an extra 15kg baggage allowance, but there are extra charges for the privilage. Checking in your first bag when done online will be €15, up €5. The second bag will cost €35, up €15. Things start to get expensive if you check in your bag at the airport, where it will now cost you €30 for your first bag, up €10, and €70 for your 2nd bag, up €50. Ryanair says they are increasing the fees in a way to ‘encourage’ people to only bring hand luggage.
Homebond (www.homebond.ie) , a provider of structural cover for new homes, says that home registration rates have dropped 50% from this time last year. Last month only 50 homes were registered with the service in Dublin, while no homes were registered in Roscommon or Longford.
97 employees from Corden PharmaChem (www.cordenpharmachem.com) heard about their sad fate last Friday. The jobs in the manufacturing end of Corden are due to be phased out by the autumn this year. Corden produces active pharmaceutical ingredients, which are used in generic drugs for thing s from pain management to respiratory problems. The company had been in operation since 1976, and now after 23 years due to a recent review of important business factors, it will need to close. Senior management said that due the high costs of a required investment in keeping the plant up to date that there were force with no other alternative but to cease operations. Also the current market climate was another exascerbating factor in demise of the manufacturing plant.
Corder are located in the Little Island industrial estate in Cork.
Nualight to add 80 jobs over 2 years
On a lighter note (pardon the pun) Nualight (www.nualight.com) has just announced that they will be creating 60 jobs in Cork. The company is responsible for the manufacturing of highly energy efficient LED light for shops. They specialise in refrigeration lighthing, where the challenge is to have the minimum amount of heat emitted from the lights as it would counter the effects of the refrigeration process.
Their list of clients include Tesco & Marks & Spencer. The ESB has recently announced plans to invest up to €5 million in the company to aid with it’s growth.
Nualight are located at the Cork Business Park, located on the Model Farm Road.
15 April 2009 | xilinx | Comments Off on Xilinx Ireland to cut jobs ?
News is coming today that an expected 100 jobs are to go at Xilinx’s (www.xilinx.com)plant in City West, Dublin. There is a planned staff meeting where the management are expected to outline the companies restructuring plans and expect job losses.
Current Xilinx employs over 400 workers at the European Headquarters in Dublin, which is the location of their main customer care offices. Xilinx are supplies of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology, which allows for customisable logic circuits to be configured, and subsequently reconfigured. This helps companies with prototyping before an actual digital is produced.
Great news today from Big Fish Games (www.bigfishgames.com) who have announced a new European Headquarters in Cork. The Seattle based online games company deliver free and premium games for mobile and computer users. They call their games ‘casual’ games, where the typical user doesn’t need any particular skills and will play the game in short bursts.
The majority of the 100 new jobs will be in games testing and in customer support, and will be located at their site in Mahon, Cork. With the help of the IDA this jobs will introduced over the next 3 years, and it’s understood that the recruitment drive for them has already started.
Working with recruiters, employers and applicants, we see many CVs every week. It’s sad to say that a high percentage of these CVs tend to have the same problems. Remember that when you are sending a CV to apply for a job it needs to be the perfect CV for the person who will be reading it. You can, if you wish get a professional cv review from us, or you are get a friend to look over it. Find someone you know who regularly looks at CVs as part of their job. Having a good, professional CV is key to getting a new job. Without one you will struggle to get interviews, not to mention a new job ! Remember : Your CV will make the difference between you getting an interview and not.
Common CV Mistakes
Now a days it is common for employers to request your CV in electronic form, but this doesn’t mean you don’t do as many checks as you previously did when you were sending a paper copy of your CV/Resumé. Here is a run down of some common CV mistakes :
Basic spelling and grammar mistakes
Use spell check and get more than one review from a friend. Bad spellings can show your prospective employer that you are not taking the whole process as serious as you can.
Errors when printing out your CV
Employers will print out your CV eventually. So make sure you actually print out your CV to make sure that boarders line up and the CV is visually appealing. Things like tables in MS Word should be avoided if at all possible, use tabs.
Incorrect font used (Comic Sans MS, should never be on a CV !
Make sure you use only one font in the whole document. Recommended Ariel , Verdana, Trebucht MS
Break your CV into section with headings
State that this is a Circulum Vitae, at the top of your page. List Work Experience first and then Qualifications/Education.
Send your CV in the appropriate file format.
Normally employers will want your CV in WORD format, but some employers prefer PDF or even plain text. Make sure you listen to their wishes and make it as easy as possible for them to read your CV.
Also the length of your CV is very important. If you have enough past jobs or experience to fill 5 pages, please don’t add them all in. This is something that you can explain at an interview. At most your CV should be 2 pages, and include 3 to 4 previous job roles. Prospective employers’ time is limited, and when face with reading a twenty 2 page CVs or twenty 5 page CVs you can guess as to the most appealing choice. The first page is very important, to have your contact details i.e. name, email, phone, mobile phone in one easy to access place. If the employer can find the keywords they are searching for in your work experience earlier on, then you are much more likely to get an interview.
Remember a CV is like a business card, its job is to get you that first interview. It doesn’t need to be particularly flashy, it just needs to explain your background as easy as possible and it should be easy to read. By avoiding the CVmistakes above you will be on the way to increasing your chance of getting that interview.