Written by Dave Cullen
2012 has been another challenging year for Irish jobseekers with the unemployment rate rising to 14.8% and the live register now standing at 429,567 people. However there have been some reasons to be optimistic with significant opportunities available in high-skilled industries such as Pharmaceutical and Information Technology. The continued creation of new jobs in these sectors will likely generate spinoff growth downstream in other non-skilled areas. Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast with Tom Dunne, Cpl director, Peter Cosgrove was positive about Ireland’s economic prospects in 2013 and provided his top tips for finding a job in the new year.
Peter spoke about how the heavy competition in the jobs market has meant that job seekers can apply for hundreds of jobs, yet fail to receive a single response from employers. “For every employer out there, they’re getting huge responses that are irrelevant, it’s not that they don’t like you, or that they have anything against you, they just don’t have the time.” Peter advised candidates to avoid applying en masse for roles they weren’t suited for and instead concentrate on the ones they really wanted. He maintains that a greater level of success can be achieved by a candidate if they customise their job search to each individual role they apply for. This will allow them to better explain why they are suited for that particular position.
Peter went on to talk about the importance of developing a high-quality CV that will grab the employer’s attention. “The employer is probably going to read it for 30 to 45 seconds and before you think ‘that’s disgraceful,’ they’re going to give everyone the same amount of time. Writing less is better than writing more. The only thing that matters to them is the two or three things they will read very quickly that will make you stand out.”
One of the biggest hurdles that candidates face is maintaining a positive outlook in the face of innumerable rejections from employers. “Nobody wants to hire somebody who is depressed, annoyed and angry that they haven’t got a job.” Peter admitted that such emotions may be justified but they must not influence your demeanour at the interview stage. “The person you’re speaking to [the interviewer] has their own woes, their own miseries – they want somebody positive and optimistic because we make those first impressions very, very quickly. Believe me, I know it’s difficult. If you’re going for an interview in the morning and you’ve just dropped off three kids and you had to bring someone else to work and take an hour on the M50, you’re probably not in the best mood to be interviewed.” In Peter’s opinion, the ideal time to arrange an interview is when you know you will be in the best possible frame of mind.
On the subject of first impressions, Peter also cites the importance of wearing the appropriate attire at a job interview. “Don’t be less well dressed than the person interviewing you, just because it may be a relaxed, casual environment doesn’t mean you don’t wear a suit and tie, unless you’re told. Nobody ever says: ‘I can’t believe they were so overdressed’. When you walk in within the first 30 seconds, people clock your handshake, your smile, what you’re wearing. You really want them to not notice your clothes.”