Job Search Techniques


Frequently vacancies are filled without being advertised, this is what is known as the Hidden Job Market. Even in times of recession there are still quite a number of  companies hiring but they may not be using the traditional method of using the local papers etc.



Below is a list of avenues into the job market:


1.      Recruitment Agencies

2.      Networking/ Word of mouth

3.      LinkedIn

4.      Advertising (local and national newspapers or trade journals)

5.      Online (Jobs Boards & Websites)

6.      Direct Applications

7.      Referrals

8.      Recruitment Fairs

9.      FAS

10.  Volunteering


In the current job market it is essential that job seekers use all or most of the job searching techniques listed below.



1. Recruitment Agencies - Select agencies that best suit your needs, experience and skills set. The next step is to make contact with these agencies either via phone or email or by registering on their website. It is important to build a relationship with the recruiter. If it is possible, try and arrange a meeting with the agency and if a meeting is secured treat it as though it were an interview. First impressions are very important so treat the meeting as an interview. If possible try and get a personal introduction to the agency in question.


2. Networking - Networking has become increasingly popular over the last number of years. Examples of networking events include; GAA Seminars, County Board Meetings, Chamber of Commerce Meetings, College Seminars, Public Networking Events, Marketing Institute of Ireland, Engineers Ireland etc.


It is vital to use these opportunities and to be proactive while attending. By attending networking events you get the opportunity to meet new people. Be sure take these opportunities to let people know you are in the job market and looking for opportunities.. Networking events assist you in developing a rapport with your peers and potential future employers. You may get speaking to someone from a company that is experiencing a problem and you might have helpful suggestions or solutions for them and this ultimately can lead to an employment opportunity. 


Networking events give you the opportunity to keep up to date with developments in your profession. They also give you a chance to meet with like-minded individuals and professionals in your area of interest. 


3. LinkedIn : LinkedIn is a networking website that allows you to build a portfolio about your past experiences, achievements and education and provides an opportunity to join groups of interest and connect with other professionals. It is in effect an online CV. It provides the opportunity of receiving recommendations from previous colleagues and enables potential employers to view your details on line.


How to use LinkedIn - Take time to create a detailed profile on LinkedIn. This should be your online CV. Add in details about skills you have as that will help people find your profile when doing online searches. Build up your LinkedIn network – send invites to connect with people that you know through work, college, friends etc. It is very important that you build up your connections as this is what makes LinkedIn a powerful job searching tool.


Join relevant groups i.e. LookWest, GAA Forums, Sligo Business Network. This will allow you to keep aware of developments in the region and share information on topics of common interest.


4. Advertising - Ensure that you read local newspapers for job advertisements and newspapers from surrounding regions. The national newspapers are another source that you should monitor eg Irish Independent on Thursday and the Irish Times on Friday and Sunday Newspapers.


5. On-line – Job Boards & Websites - There are numerous websites and job boards available on-line. It is important that you select a few sites and job boards to use as you do not want to have your CV posted on every site. Make a list of the relevant sites that match your area of expertise and ensure they are legitimate.  When it comes to on-line advertisements, be aware that there is a lot of duplication across the websites. Therefore you must be selective in the positions that you apply for. See List below


Job Sites

Irish Jobs                                       

Recruit Ireland                              

Jobs Ireland                                   


Loadza Jobs                                   

Public Jobs                                      

Employ Ireland                              

My Jobs                                          

Grad Ireland                                  

Local Government Jobs                 

Construction Jobs                          




6. Direct Applications - Before making any direct applications it is important that you build a list of potential companies in your region that you may decide to approach. For each company it is advisable to have a specific contact before approaching them as this gives you a greater chance at meeting someone within the company. You are then prepared for making a call to the company or to send an email. Again the onus lies on you to follow up with the company in two weeks and to keep accurate records of all correspondence. Increasingly companies are hiring from a pool of CV’s they are receiving direct without advertising.



7. Referrals - Referrals can come from a number of different sources. The most common sources would be as follows:

·         Previous college lecturers

·         Friends and neighbours

·         Former employers or HR managers

·         LinkedIn page testimonials

·         Recruitment Fairs 

·         Word of Mouth (always be ready to let someone know you are on the lookout for a job!)

When discussing your work situation with a potential employer or even with an acquaintance it is important to create positivity around what you are saying. Explain that you are looking for new opportunities and hope to expand your skills and experience. Referrals are something you need to actively go out and ask for. In the main you should be asking people you  know and trust to keep you in mind should they hear about opportunities.



8. Recruitment Fairs - are a great way of meeting a number of potential employers at one venue. Keep an eye out, locally and nationally, for any recruitment fairs that are coming up. At the recruitment fair approach as many potential employers as possible, and always have a plentiful supply of CV’s and treat every meeting as an interview.


9. FAS - It is advisable to register on-line with FAS or to make an appointment at your local FAS office to speak with an advisor. FAS provides a platform for job seekers to create a personal profile describing their key skills and past experience and it also provides employers with a space to advertise vacancies and seek out key skills.

FAS provide numerous training programmes for individuals to up skill or to increase their existing skills set. They also provide community based employment and training programmes to make learning accessible in local areas. Once you set up a FAS profile on line you will have the opportunity to edit this and keep a record of any position that you may apply for.



10. Volunteering - You must ask yourself, what can I do to enhance my skills and to improve my chances of being called for interview? Volunteering is a good option as it helps you to remain active but more importantly it allows you to use your skills. Volunteering can give you the opportunity to meet with a new group and network of individuals which may stand to you in the future. It shows a potential employer that you have not been idle while conducting your job hunt and that you have gained some experience while job hunting.


Complied by Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group