Finding and getting a job


If you are looking for a job there is a range of information sources and supports to help you with your search. You may be looking for a job for the first time after leaving school or college, or you may be thinking of changing your job or returning to work. If you are unemployed, there are a number of services and supports to help you find work – see below. Whether you are currently in work, unemployed or in education, the process of finding and applying for a job is the same. It is important to research all possible sources of information on employment opportunities, to send in a well-prepared job application with a relevant cover letter and CV (curriculum vitae) and, if your application is not successful, to continue the search for employment.

You can also look at other options, for example, self-employment, returning to education or volunteering to get work experience. If you are coming from outside Ireland to work you can find more information in our document, Finding a job in Ireland.

Sources of information

Jobs are advertised in many different places. You should check all the sources listed below regularly to ensure that you are aware of any new vacancies.

  • Your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office: Provide information and advice for all jobseekers including a list of job vacancies and a Jobseeker Information Pack (pdf). Intreo is a service from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection which provides a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. You can read more in our document about employment services for jobseekers.
  • Websites: Jobs websites provide details of current job vacancies. The Jobs Ireland website lists jobs available in Ireland and abroad. It also lists internships and employment programme vacancies. You can upload your CV to the Jobs Ireland website so employers can access it and contact you directly.
  • Social media: Social media sites are also used to advertise job vacancies. There are specific social networking sites for jobseekers, which connect people looking for work with employers and other business professionals.
  • Newspapers: Classified jobs sections of national and local newspapers, which you can now check online as most newspapers are now available online.
  • Recruitment agencies: Private companies that provide support to help you get a job. They may receive a fee from your employer if you are successful with your job application. You may need to register with the recruitment agency. The National Recruitment Federation (NRF) has a directory of recruitment agencies. There are specialist recruitment agencies if you are looking for a particular type of job.
  • Notices: Jobs are often advertised in shop and restaurant windows, in libraries, supermarkets and other community noticeboards.
  • Open days and recruitment days: Some employers and industries hold open days to recruit staff. Open days and events in your area may be advertised online, in local newspapers and at other local events.
  • Companies: Job vacancies may only be advertised on the employers website, so you should check the websites of companies that are relevant to your area of work.
  • Personal contacts: Friends or relatives may know of job opportunities.

The Citizens Information website does not carry any information about job vacancies for any sector of the Irish economy. It does not accept CVs/resumés and cannot forward them to employers on your behalf.

Applying for a job

Your CV or resumé is a very important document. It is a summary of your contact details, educational qualifications and work experience. It should also include your key skills and other relevant information together with the names of 2 people who will provide a reference for you.

When you identify a job vacancy, you should:

  • Find out as much as you can about the company and the job opportunity. You may find this information on the company’s website or you can contact them directly.
  • Update your CV and send it with a cover letter or application form as specified in the job advertisement. Make sure that your CV focuses on the specific requirements of the job you are applying for.
  • Prepare for a job interview, by practicing your responses to interview questions.

If you are unemployed, your local employment service (LES) or Job Club can assist you with writing CVs and job applications and with training in interview skills – see ‘Other supports’ below.

Employment equality: You are protected by employment equality legislation when you are applying for a job as well as when you are in employment. So if you are applying for a job it is unlawful for your prospective employer to discriminate against you on any of the 9 grounds, for example, race or family status. There is more information about this in our document about the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Sources of help

Long-term unemployed people: There is a range of employment support schemes which encourage long-term unemployed people to return to work. They are aimed at people who have been on unemployment payments or certain other social welfare payments for a specific period of time.

Some schemes, such as Community Employment provide community-based employment opportunities. Other schemes such as the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance allow people on certain social welfare payments take up self-employment while keeping some of their payment.

Other supports

Local employment services – Obair (LES) were set up to help long-term unemployed people find work. They provide mediators who help with the job search and liaise with local employers. LES also provide guidance counselling to look at training options and employment schemes.

Job Clubs provide training and support for jobseekers by assisting with preparing CVs, training in interview skills and with the search for a job. They also provide ‘drop in’ services and formal workshops lasting from 1 to 4 weeks. To attend a formal workshop you must be a jobseeker who has been referred by an employment services office or a local employment service. You can get €20 per week to help with any additional costs you incur while attending the formal workshops.

A Training Support Grant (TSG) is available to jobseekers and people getting certain other payments. The TSG provides quick access to short-term training that is not immediately available from a State provider or that will help you get a job quickly. Your case officer can approve a grant under this scheme if it meets your identified needs (for example, as set out in your Personal Progression Plan) and is not available from another State provider.

For more information on finding and getting a job you can download Working for Work and a leaflet on looking for work (pdf) from the website of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed.

Page edited: 31 August 2018