Job Search Blues?

Searching for a new job in Ireland is a tedious and laborious process. A lot of time and effort goes into a single job application these days and nothing frustrates a job hunter more than an employer failing to even acknowledge an application.

So what can you do to avoid such frustration and secure more job interviews? Below, we have pinpointed five common job search obstacles and offered basic solutions to each one. If you are disillusioned by your job search the chances are that at least one of these obstacles needs to be addressed:

1. Eliminate the Errors

It’s an obvious thing to say, but grammatical and punctual errors on your CV and cover letter are a massive turn-off for at least two reasons:

  • They demonstrate a clear lack of attention to detail
  • They indicate a lack of time spent on the application and hint that you are not overly enthusiastic about the opportunity

Solution: Get a fresh set of eyes to proofread your CV and cover letter. Alternatively send your CV to info@workingforyou.ie to avail of an impartial, honest and above all FREE review of your current résumé.

2. Tailor Each Job Application

Do you fire off the same CV and cover letter to every job you apply for? If so you are probably doing yourself a disservice.

However tedious it may be, your CV and cover letter should be tailored to closely fit the requirements of the job specification concerned. Each job specification basically spells out exactly what the recruiter is looking for in their ideal candidate.

Solution: Thoroughly read each job specification before you apply. Identify the skills required and match them with the skills you possess. Concentrate on the listed keywords like leadership, teamwork, motivated etc… and incorporate them appropriately into your CV and cover letter. Remember that some recruiters use technology to identify suitable candidates and frequently search CVs by keywords.

3. Don’t Just Wait

If you don’t hear anything back from an employer a fortnight after submitting your application, don’t be afraid to get in touch. Irish employers are still receiving large volumes of applications and it is inevitable that some will fall through the cracks.

Solution: Send a follow-up email to or (if you feel comfortable) call the contact listed on the original job specification, if there wasn’t a listed contact then try to identify the right person (info@ and jobs@ addresses should be avoided for this approach). A short and polite note reminding them of your application and suitability won’t do any harm. Some may say this approach puts you at risk of becoming an ‘annoying’ candidate, but, our experience in recruitment tells us that one follow-up email isn't too intrusive and shows initiative and enthusiasm.

4. Ask for Help

Ireland is a small place and the chances are that if you are applying to a local employer (particularly those with more than twenty employees) you may possibly know someone already working there. If you do know someone and for whatever reason you are not asking for their help, you are probably doing yourself another disservice. Employers are extremely keen to rely on trusted existing staff to refer suitable candidates, most progressive companies in Ireland now even offer a financial reward to employees for successful staff referrals.

Solution: Even if that person is a friend of a friend of a friend you should consider politely approaching them to enquire if they would be willing to personally refer you as a candidate. You may feel a little uncomfortable, but bear in mind they could financially benefit from recommending you and most people are only too happy to help.

5. Be Realistic

A job search which seems to be going nowhere can be soul-destroying, our advice is to not add to the agony by applying for positions which are unobtainable. If you lack the essential qualifications, experience or key skills listed in the job specification, perhaps the job isn’t for you.

Solution: It’s great to have ambition and sometimes such a quality will lead you into applying for positions you don't minimally qualify for, this shouldn’t be a problem providing such applications are in the minority rather than the majority. If you identify a company you would love to work for, but feel their current vacancy is not for you, perhaps submit a speculative job application aimed at a more suitable level.

Feel free to visit our Job Search Strategy Coaching page if you need our help in executing any of the above.

With January being a time for new beginnings, we hope the above helps you secure job interviews in the near future. Good luck!