Job hunting

How to look for a job in Ireland

Job hunting

When job hunting you may find the following resources useful:

Irish Newspapers

Obtain copies of as many Irish newspapers as possible, all of which contain positions vacant sections. To save money it’s worth checking libraries abroad, as they sometimes have Irish newspapers. If you live near an Irish Consulate or High Commission or an Irish Immigration Service information office, you may find they have a reading room containing recent copies of Irish newspapers. Otherwise most Irish newspapers will mail you a free copy or you can take out a subscription.

Situations vacant are usually advertised on specific days (e.g. The Irish Times on Fridays, the Irish Independent on Thursdays, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post and the weekly Job News). Most newspapers carry a ‘Situations Wanted’ column, although unless you’re exceptionally well qualified or have a skill that’s in short supply, you cannot expect much of a response when placing an advertisement of this kind. Most also have Internet sites.

Foreign Newspapers

If you’re seeking an executive or professional position, you’ll find that vacancies are sometimes advertised in the national newspapers of other countries. For example, the UK’s Times Higher Education Supplement occasionally carries vacancies for jobs in Ireland. However, local employers usually go to the trouble of advertising jobs abroad only when vacancies are proving hard to fill locally, or when they require unusual or exceptional skills and qualifications.

The Internet

Most of the leading Irish newspapers have websites aimed at jobseekers. These include ,  (Irish Independent) and,  (Sunday Business Post).

You can also look at the websites of the leading Irish job agencies such as CPL Computer Placement, Grafton Recruitment, Hays, Headhunt, Marlborough, NRC, PPG Accountancy, Morgan McKinley and Skills Group.

Other specialist sites include ,  (both of which claim to be Ireland’s number one site), , , ,  and , which lists more than 3,000 vacancies, mainly in the IT sector, and also has useful information about working in Ireland. The FÁS website is .

Online Recruitment

More and more Irish companies, particularly in the IT sector, are recruiting online. Nearly two-thirds of companies are already recruiting graduates using online services and it’s estimated that 95 per cent of companies with more than 50 employees will be using online recruiting by 2003.

Trade Journals

Some trades and professions have their own magazines, journals or newsletters, published independently or by the trade association, in which jobs are advertised. Contact the relevant association(s) listed below or look under ‘Associations & Institutions’ in the Golden Pages. Professional and executive opportunities in Ireland are sometimes also advertised in trade journals in other English-speaking countries, e.g. the UK and the USA.

Employment Offices

Visit your local FÁS office in Ireland. Jobs on offer are mainly non-professional, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled.

Employment Agencies, Recruitment Specialists & Executive Search Companies

If you’re looking for an executive or professional position, you can apply to recruitment consultancies in Ireland and abroad specialising in the kind of position you’re seeking. They will usually be pleased to help and advise you, whether or not you have applied for permission to live in Ireland.

Unlike their UK counterparts, Irish employment agencies and recruitment specialists (listed separately in the Golden Pages) are essentially the same, though some specialise in certain areas of employment. Executive search companies, on the other hand, operate in a different way, being retained by particular clients to recruit staff on their behalf.

Professional Organisations

If you’re a professional, it may be worthwhile contacting relevant professional organisations in Ireland (listed in the Golden Pages under ‘Associations and Institutes’). Although they cannot find you a job, they can often help with advice and provide the names of prospective employers.

Government Departments

If you’re considering a position or career with a government department or another public body, you’ll need to contact the Commission for Public Service Appointments (Tel. +351 1639570), which deals with all government recruitment, including administrative and technical staff of Health Boards and local authorities. All appointments are made by a process of open competition, although current legislation restricts applications to EU citizens.

There are three entry levels to the civil service: clerical officer, administrative office and executive officer. For clerical officer positions no qualifications are required but candidates must take an aptitude test. For administrative officer jobs, you must have at least five honours passes at Leaving Certificate (or the equivalent in other EU countries). Only first class graduates are considered for executive positions. A fourth type of position, that of third secretary in the Diplomatic Service (part of the Department of Foreign Affairs), is equivalent to an executive officer but, since only about a dozen of these posts become available each year, competition is extremely strong.

In addition, the civil service recruits a number of professional and technical staff (e.g. prison and welfare officers, meteorological staff, accountants and legal staff, agricultural, veterinary and engineering inspectors, architects and librarians). When applying for any position, you’ll be asked to state your preference of government department, but may be allocated to a different department by the Commission.

Unsolicited Job Applications

Apply to companies directly in Ireland, whether or not they are advertising vacancies. Needless to say, it’s a hit-and-miss affair, but the big advantage is that you aren’t competing directly with hundreds of other applicants as with an advertised job vacancy. This approach can be particularly successful if you have skills, experience and qualifications which are in short supply in Ireland. When writing from abroad, enclosing an international reply coupon may help elicit a response.

A list of the 30 largest companies in Ireland at the end of 1999 can be found in the Local Ireland Almanac (Local Ireland). Useful addresses can also be obtained from trade directories (such as Kompass Ireland), which are available at major libraries, and from Irish Chambers of Commerce abroad or the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland (Tel. 01-661 2888).


Networking (which, like so many simple but effective ideas, originated in the USA) is basically making and using business and professional contacts. You should make use of contacts both in Ireland and with any Irish people you come into contact with abroad, including friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, clients and suppliers. If you’re already in Ireland, you can contact or join local expatriate social clubs, churches, societies and professional organisations. Finally don’t forget to ask your friends and acquain¬tances working in Ireland if they know of an employer seeking someone with your experience and qualifications.

Further reading

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