Preparing a Job Search

Finding a job, or deciding on a job, can be one of the major milestones along a person's career path. Most people can safely assume that in today's world of work, they will have to look for a job several times in their working life, as the modern workplace changes according to local and global economic changes.

Check how todays workers got their jobs...

Finding a job that pays well can be difficult and challenging. Finding one that also matches your interests is a further challenge. An organisation that operates in a way that you are comfortable with, and co-workers that you enjoy being with is yet another challenge.

In the changing world of work, many employers are committed to making their workplaces and businesses inclusive environments, where everybody is treated with dignity and respect and policies are in place regarding issues such as equality, human rights, dignity at work, and fair recruitment. 

Like just about anything, if you want a good result (a job offer) you are more likely to achieve it by planning carefully and making the most of the resources available to you. If you are still employed, you will have the advantage of your current income to keep yourself going, but how you manage your time effectively is more challenging. If you are unemployed, you have more time on your hands, but how you manage your finances to keep yourself going is more challenging. In both cases getting organised for the task is a central part of the whole process.

Once you get yourself organised you will want to decide what exactly you should be looking for. To make the process more manageable, it would be wise to become as clear as possible about what your requirements actually are. For example you will have to consider things like what locations are you willing to travel to, what sectors would suit you best and so on. You need to do some career research to clarify your mind and set up realistic goals.

Once you are clear about what you are looking for you can start to research available positions. There are many places to find jobs, and you owe it to yourself to be aware of the different sources of information in the current marketplace. We provide a guide to where to find vacancies here.

Once you see a vacancy for a job you are interested in you can make an application for the position. Chances are you are not the only one, so you have to compete for the position. As with all competitions, some preparation is necessary to give yourself a healthy chance of winning.

To make a job application you will need to prepare a letter indicating your interest in the position (known as the Cover Letter) and create or modify a copy of your CV for the position.

Your CV is a very important document. It is a summary of your personal 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.

These two documents, your CV and cover letter, are critical to your success in catching the attention of a possible employer. There is a whole industry built up around how these two small documents should be written, and it is wise to familiarise yourself with some of the advice and pitfalls that can be found. We provide some useful links below to get you started.

Guiding Principles

These Five principles, created by career development specialists from across Canada, provide a useful guide to help prioritise what is important when looking to further your career. These principles help you  reflect, in an ongoing manner, on the changing nature of the world of work:

1. Change is constant
We change constantly and so does the world around us — including the working world. Most people now encounter many jobs, in different occupations, organisations and industry sectors during their lifelong career journey. Adaptability and resilience are important skills to master. Every change, good or bad, brings new opportunities. It is said that the future belongs to those that can see it coming. Those who are most aware of change, in themselves and the world around them, are able to make proactive choices and benefit from change - rather than resist or complain about it.

2. Learning is Lifelong
Since change is constant, learning needs to be on-going. Learning does not end with the Leaving Cert or completion of third level studies or training. Opportunities to learn are everywhere! Learn to recognise them and make your learning lifelong.

3. Focus on the journey
Life is a journey. Identifying your goals and purpose gives direction. However, people who are too fixed on a destination can miss the doors of opportunity, relationships, situations and possibilities that present themselves along the way. Become a good traveller on the journey of life.

4. Access your Allies
The journey of life is not solitary. Friends, relatives, teachers, neighbours can be willing and helpful allies in choosing next steps on your life journey. Anyone who knows and cares about you can be a great ally for you, and you for them.

5. Follow your heart
Know yourself, believe in yourself and follow your heart. Imagining your future helps you understand what you really want in life. Knowing who you really are and what you want makes you strong and motivates you through life’s challenges. Believe in yourself, and never be afraid to dream. Those with dreams, however outlandish, are the lucky ones. Dreams can lead to an understanding of who we really are and what we really want, a prime motivator in shaping a meaningful, purposeful and rewarding career. No one should be afraid to pursue dreams based on what is in their heart.

The 'High Five' principles were conceived by Canadian career development leaders and are featured in The Real Game Series and all career resources from the National Life/Work Centre and other prominent Canadian career development organizations.

Setting Expectations

When faced with a job search campaign, you are forced to explore a lot of details and make a lot of choices. Keeping a clear head and managing the ups and downs of the process can be difficult, even more so if your expectations are unrealistic. So here are 10 things to consider before you get bogged down and lose sight (or faith!) in the process.

1. There is no magic formula

It would be nice if an effective job search consisted of a predictable series of steps that led to a satisfactory job. This is simply not the case. Everybody's needs are different and the jobs marketplace is constantly changing, so your approach has to be tailored to your needs and to your goals. There are well defined steps, but each individual approaches them uniquely. Your approach should make the best use of your personality, while at the same time getting all the necessary groundwork done at the same time.

2. It's a rollercoaster

Only in exceptional circumstances does someone simply apply for the first job they notice and get it. More often it is a long series of ups and downs, promises and rejections, excitement and bordom. Its a rollercoaster - one on which you are not alone. Expect several ups and downs and know that this is normal when you go on the job search rollercoaster.

Plan for the long term - an open ended process with continuous activity on your part. Think of it as a journey - with many possible turns, detours, and obstacles. You will become wiser and stronger for each wrong turn, and focus on the destination, not the last bad turn.

3. Uncertainty is a given

Perhaps the most stressful aspect is the new sense of uncertainty that goes with the process. You don't know if you are trying hard enough, doing the right things, how long the journey will take, and so on. You are also powerless to factors beyond your control - a victim of circumstances.  Take note of the following tip: "If you manage every factor that's available to you to manage, you're doing everything you can do".

4. Use any help available.

You probably never went on any other rollercoaster alone - so why this one? One of the most important contributions to any successful job search is the assistance you get from friends, associates, family and professional advisors. They can assist you on two levels:

a) in managing your job search strategy - for example, cv preparation, getting organised for interviews etc. and

b) in making contact with possible employers, creating new leads etc. (called 'networking')

Professional advice from Career Coaches and Career Counsellors can be costly in the short term (especially if you are unemployed!), but could save you a lot more over the long term. Registering with Recruitment agencies costs nothing and may open opportunities worth considering (see section 'where to find jobs')

The most important point here is that you allow yourself to be open and willing to accept assistance and advice as a priority - and not think that this is a personal and private matter.

5. Its a numbers game

It can be hard not to take the process personally - and there may be times you think you the odds are against you. The truth is the odds usually are against you - but they are equally against all others on the same rollercoaster. So even if you are right for a particular job - so might several others, and you get disqualified primarily because you lost the numbers game. Consider the following:

  • Hundreds of others may apply for the same classified ad whether in print or online
  • How many people have you let know you are looking for a job? Have other people more or less people helping them?
  • How many times does it take to make contact with each person you need to contact - it can take many calls to finally get through to someone. How often should you call? Will you be the first or last to get the message through?
  • How many interviews with how many interviewers will you meet on your journey?
  • How many rejections will you expect to get for how many applications? How many will not even reply to acknowledge your interest?

The point is that you are just one of many on the journey, so it is important that you do all of the things constantly to keep your chances as high as possible.

6. It will take longer than you would like

You would like your search to be over as quickly as possible - and in some cases this might be possible. However it is more likely that your search will continue for a significant length of time. You need to keep in mind that this is an open ended journey with no definite arrival time - lets face it, your not sure what the destination will be as yet.

7. The more time you spend focusing on the journey, the quicker the trip will be.

Setting a realistic pace for your job search is important. You will have to spend quite a lot of time at first as you get ready for the process (see Getting Organised), but once you are set up you need to decide how much time you want to spend on your new job - searching for a job!

Many people find it difficult to get into a frame of mind that this is really just another form of work - and should be treated with a similar attitude. It maybe more like part time work in reality as few people will find 35 - 40 hours of intensive job search activity realistic. Nonetheless, it is very easy to get distracted if you are no longer working regular hours, and one of the first things to lose out will be your job search.

If you are still working, you will need to set time aside within your already busy day to achieve your objectives. You will also need to be mindful when you make contact with potential employers - for example during normal working hours.

It also helps to consider that the range of activities required on your job search journey is quite broad - every meeting, outing, or activity plays a small part in the overall process. All occasions can potentially boost your chances as you meet new people and make it known that you are looking out for the 'right' opportunity.

8. Your attitude will influence your outcome.

On many occasions along the way you will be meeting people who may have the opportunity to help you, and ultimately employ you. Your attitude to your own job search is likely to be seen as similar to how your attitude would be if you were facing any other challenging task if employed. If you present yourself as lost and defeated, then that's not going to encourage others to recommend you to for a job. If you are purposeful and focused in how you present yourself, you will bee seen as capable and motivated - the sort of characteristics that will be noticed and sought after by employers.

9. Do it your way

When involved in the job search process, it's too easy to compare yourself with imaginary others who conduct a more strategic search, are more persuasive, have a wider network of contacts and are bristling with self-confidence and awards. It's easy to forget that they are looking for a job to match their needs and not yours. If you are mindful of the issues mentioned on this page and elsewhere in this site, you will be more prepared to go about a job search that suits you.

Work with what you have and what you can get. Remember that you are in charge of your own search. No coach, counsellor, mentor, or strategist can get you the job that you want or need.

To make the process as simple as its going to be, work on your people skills (see Career Skills). Learn how to be with people and, as best you can, to make them feel comfortable. How you put yourself out into the world of work - the way you impress people and make yourself memorable - will determine how successfully you'll navigate this journey.

Work on liking and approving yourself - because if you don't no one else will!

10. There is no perfect job

If you are fortunate enough to have plenty of offers, the temptation is to wait until the 'perfect job' comes along. This is not wise - there is no such thing as a perfect job. Focus instead on find your way to an ideal job - one that engages your interests, taps your skills and abilities, aligns with your career values, and suits your personal style.

Remember: your next job will probably not be the last job you will have. Nothing is forever. Change is constant. Evaluate each opportunity in the context of your career plans as you envision them currently, and in the larger context of your life.


Getting Organised

To carry out a job search effectively, you need to create a workspace that will help you manage information, contacts and research efficiently. If you are still employed you may have access to phones, faxes, the Internet and so on, but you may not be able to use them freely to look for a job. If you are unemployed, you will need to be in contact with the world from home.

Your job search will be more effective if you can separate your personal life from your time searching for a job. If you are at home, there will be endless distractions to deal with, and they will drain your energy and disrupt your focus. You would be wise to establish boundaries with your friends and family in terms of having uninterrupted time to pursue your current task - finding a job.

If at all possible, set up an area of your home exclusively for your job search activities. Ideally it should be a quite place, away from the noise of TV or radio, and with a closed door to maintain your privacy. This will be your office for the next while, so arrange it according to your needs and available space.

A phone - and if possible an answering machine (or answering service from your phone provider) is the most essential tool you will require. This will be needed to make calls and do research, and to receive calls from possible employers or agents. Ideally this should be a land line - as it is cheaper to run and the quality of the signal will be better.  If you intend to use a mobile, there are a number of things you need to be aware of:

  • An incoming call from an employer or agent may turn into a phone interview - which could take time. Ensure your battery is topped up at all times.
  • If you receive a call in a busy or noisy environment, you need to be ready to ask to be able to ring back in a few moments when you find a quite spot. You may need to compose yourself to ensure you give the best impression to a possible employer.
  • You need to ensure you answer the call professionally, or that your 'unavailable' message is appropriate if you are on a call. Record a new professional message for the duration of your job search.
  • If making a call from your mobile, try to ensure you are in a quiet private place, that the signal is good, and that you have enough credit to complete the call.

You will also need to use the internet - if you don't have it at home, you may be able to access it from a friend's house, your local library, or from an internet cafe. The internet is required for many aspects of a job search - using job boards to find vacancies, researching companies, and most importantly, using email. To maximise your use of the internet, follow this link and get a 6 minute video on how to best use the internet for job searching.

Social network sites are (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) are becoming popular websites for networking and finding leads for jobs. Follow this link for an introduction to using these sites as part of your job search.

Email is used by almost all employers as the primary means of communication. Also, as part of your job search you will most likely register with several jobsites and set up automatic alerts for jobs that match your job search criteria (see Where to Find Jobs). These alerts are sent to you by email, and should be followed up immediately. If you don't have access to email on a computer at home, consider using a mobile phone alternative that has the ability to view and send emails.

Note: When using email, your email represents you. Apart from whatever you say, the format and style of the email will create an impression of you immediatly. Here are some pointers to watch out for:

  • Mind Your Manners: Think of the basic rules you learned growing up, like saying please and thank you. Address people you don't know as Mr., Mrs., or Dr. You should only address someone by first name if they imply it's okay to do so.
  • Watch Your Tone: It is very difficult to express tone in writing. You want to come across as respectful, friendly, and approachable. You don't want to sound curt or demanding.
  • Be Concise: Get to the point of your email as quickly as possible, but don't leave out important details that will help your recipient answer your query.
  • Be Professional: This means, stay away from abbreviations and don't use emoticons (those little smiley faces). Don't use a cute or suggestive email address for business communications. (e.g. or
  • Use Correct Spelling and Proper Grammar: Use a dictionary or a spell checker — whichever works better for you. While you can write in a conversational tone (contractions are okay), pay attention to basic rules of grammar.
  • Ask Before You Send an Attachment: Because of computer viruses, many people won't open attachments unless they know the sender. Even that can be a mistake because many viruses come disguised in email messages from someone you know. Before sending an attachment, ask the recipient if you may do so.
  • Wait to Fill in the "TO" Email Address: Never fill in the 'TO' email address until you are completely through proofing your email and sure that it is exactly the way that you want it. This will keep you from accidentally sending an email prematurely.

Appointments Diary
Whether you use an ordinary diary, a filofax, your computer or your mobile phone, you will need an efficient, accessible, reliable way of keeping track of your appointments. Use whichever you are comfortable with. Using a portable diary (or mobile phone) has the advantage that you always have it with you, and so can access names and numbers quickly when out and about. You can also add new contacts easily, and setup meetings with confidence.

Contacts List
Its a good idea to keep a list of all contacts you make along the way - you never know when you may need them. This list should be continually growing as you apply for new positions, meet new people, and research companies. Collect phone numbers and remember to add relevant information to your list to remind you who they are and how you heard about them.

No matter how much you rely on email and phone calls, you are likely to have to use the post system at some stage in the process. As with other forms of communication, the format and style of your letters and other correspondence will give clues to the recruiter about you.

Someone who has invested some time in presenting their correspondence (cover letters, CV's, Application forms etc.) is more likely to be considered more favourably than someone who has not. All information should be on good quality paper (90gms or more) and should be neat and easily read.  

Business Card
If you have a particular profession / occupation / skillset you might consider getting some business cards printed. These can add an additional sense of commitment to your search and can be given out easily in social situations. Note that is not always appropriate to hand someone your CV, but it is never inappropriate to hand out a business card.

  • In addition to your name and contact details, your card should provide some indication of your profession, area of expertise or industry sector. People need a way to remember what work you do, or want to do.
  • Include all contact details - telephone, fax, mobile, and email as appropriate.
  • Spend some thought on design and quality of paper - first impressions last!

Filing System
Part of conducting an effective job search is keeping your correspondence (or copies of them) in an tidy, easily managed filing system. If most of your work is on a computer, organise your files carefully and take backups regularly. Some correspondence will be by post, so you will have to keep a physical copy of some documents. Get your hands on some portable filing boxes or similar to keep your records together, along with copies of your CV or references.



Your research will be guided by choices you make about what kind of job you want. Assuming you have a rough idea as to what you want (if not, go to the section on Career Planning) you will need to identify:

1. The locations you are willing to consider
  • How far are you willing to travel to work? Get out a map and decide how far you will 'cast your net'. You may have to revise this over time if you are not finding any opportunities.
  • How will you commute? If by car you may find some locations are more favourable based on traffic patterns. If by public transport, you need to prioritise on locations that you can get to easily first.
  • Are you prepared to relocate? If your local area has no opportunities, would you consider moving to another town / county / country. Depending on your circumstances, this may offer a considerably higher chance of employment.

2. The sector(s) that interest you
  • Unless you are considering a change in career direction, you should probably stay in employment sectors that you have previous experience in. However there may be other roles within those sectors that you have not considered. You may also find that enrolling on a course related to an area of interest will open up new opportunities within a sector.
explore industry sectors here Explore Career Sectors here

3. The companies that operate in those sectors

  • You will need to find out what companies might possibly offer employment opportunities within the sectors you choose. When you find a company, you will need to get to know what their business is about and what kinds of people they look for. All companies differ in their approach to new staff, and have different styles of workplace. Getting good background information on a company is essential for jobs expected to be significant career moves.
explore industry sectors here Research Company Profiles here

4. The roles (occupations) you are experienced enough to take on
  • There may be alternative occupations for which you are qualified and have not considered before. Browsing through our occupation database may give you some ideas and broaden the range of opportunities to consider.
explore industry sectors here Investigate Occupations here

5. The current state of the Labour market
  • Even though our recession has levelled out, it remains increasingly difficult to know where to find opportunities. Labour market information is by its nature quite general, but it does provide information on trends and future possibilities.
  • We look at the current state of the Labour market and provide links to where further information can be obtained.
explore industry sectors here Research our Labour Market here

All of these factors can be researched from our Work and Employment section.

Finding Job Vacancies

Knowing how to look for a job is a skill in itself, and one that most people overlook and few are prepared for. In this section we will describe the various ways new jobs become known, and provide some useful tips on how to find out where new positions might become available.

The Hidden Job Marketplace

Estimates are that as much as 70% - 80% of vacancies are filled without using formal advertising methods. These positions are filled by --or created for-- candidates who come to an employer's attention through employee recommendations, referrals from trusted associates, recruiters, or direct contact with the candidate. Such candidates come "pre-recommended" by someone the employer trusts. Networking, using your contacts to connect with the employer's contacts, is the key to this Hidden Job Market.

You can use a variety of tactics to find work that hasn’t been advertised. No matter how you approach it, though, your search for work is just like a marketing campaign – where employers are the buyers, and you’re the product! There are two basic paths you can take here. One is called Cold Marketing, which simply means that the employers you apply to do not know you previously, and thus you are “going in cold.” The other type is called Warm Marketing. As its name implies, here your path has been paved for you by someone who has a connection to the employer. As a result, you receive a “warm welcome” instead of a cooler reception.

Cold Marketing, (also called speculative applications) when you get down to it, is all about getting your CV in front of people who can employ you. Warm Marketing, on the other hand, is all about getting YOU in front of people who can employ you.

One popular form of Cold Marketing is mass mailing - when you gather the names of companies and organisations that might be of interest and you send as many of them as you can your CV, either by post or e-mail. Usually you address the message generically, as in "Dear Sir/Madame," or "To Human Resources."

A slightly more beneficial route is targeted mailing - similar to mass mailing only now you take the time to customise each letter. Getting the correct name, title and spelling of the HR manager can help, as does showing that you have researched the employer beforehand, which can be demonstrated in your cover letter.

In both cases it is wise to follow up within five business days of sending your application with a polite phone call, asking if they've received it, and if you might come in to discuss opportunities.

In some business areas it is useful to go to the workplace and drop in your CV. This approach is good for clerical jobs such as administrative assistants, accounting clerks, restaurant/bar staff, retail sales assistants and similar. Since there are many more positions in this pay range than at higher levels, and since the turnover is therefore that much higher, an employer may just keep your CV on file because something may crop up sooner than later. Also while you're there dropping off your application, you can ask to see the manager and introduce yourself in person.

Advertised Jobs Market

For many jobs, recruiters have to rely on some form of advertising to ensure they get people with the right qualifications and in the right quantities. There are many different ways in which a recruiter can advertise, and this can change over time as the marketplace changes.

There are two main methods available, direct advertising, as when a job advert appears in the local newspaper or jobs website, or indirect advertising, as when notification of a position is given to particular agency or consultant who are paid a fee to assist in finding suitable candidates for the position.

Indirect Advertising - Recruitment Agencies / Services

Recruitment agencies act as an independent contacts between their client companies (those offering jobs) and the candidates they recruit (jobseekers) for a position. They are the matchmakers of the recruitment world, and often are aware of job vacancies long before they are advertised publically. Registering with a recruitment agency can open up opportunities that would otherwise be missed.

Professional Employment Agencies

Broadly speaking there are three types of professional employment agencies available in Ireland. All of these can have access to vacancy information prior to advertising them.

Intreo & SOLAS

Intreo Offices act as a single point of contact for all employment services and supports for both Jobseekers and Employers, providing support regarding benefits entitlements, advice on training options and assistance in securing employment/employees. Contact details of Employment Services/Intreo offices are available on

The Department of Social Protection have their own job site linking to vacancies called Jobs Ireland where you can post your CV for potential Employers to view and search for jobs: click here.

Commercial Recruitment agencies ~ Ireland has a huge number of commercially run recruitment agencies. They range in size from large organisations with hundreds of employees to small businesses with just a handful of recruiters.

Using a recruitment agency or consultant gives you access to jobs not advertised directly by companies. A specialist consultancy will have a good knowledge of the sector they work in, knowing many companies operating in the area. They can advise on types of opportunity available, and because they only get paid for successful placements, they are motivated to get you a job you will stay in.

For many people, their first contact with an agency is made after having seen a particular job posted on one of the many job boards (see Sample Jobsites panel, right), or through an advertisement in the press. The recruitment consultant dealing with that particular job will be your main contact in that recruitment agency.

Most recruitment agencies work on the basis that a particular recruitment consultant works with or 'owns' particular clients (you), so it is important that you establish a good relationship with your consultant. If you are not happy with the consultant assigned to you, you can try and find the same job with a different agency (most jobs handled by agencies are spread over at least five different recruitment agencies).

Tips for getting the best from recruitment consultants:

  • Register with several agencies that operate in the sector you are interested in
  • Work to build good relationships with consultants assigned to you - you need them on your side!
  • Sell yourself to the consultant just as you would to a potential employer - you will have more time to brief them on exactly what you are looking for than you would in a job interview. Be aware that they can match you better if they know you better!
  • Recruitment agencies provide professional advice. They know the market and perhaps more importantly they know the company that you are applying to. Thus they can help you better your chance of getting an interview and prepare you for that interview.
  • Make regular contact by calling or emailing - they may have many clients to deal with and you need to keep yourself to the front of their mind when a new suitable job comes in.

Recruitment companies should be licensed by the Department of Trade and Enterprise and should preferably be a member of the National Recruitment Federation (applies to Irish agencies). This ensures that the agency adheres to a common code of practice/conduct.

Further information:
 List of registered agencies (NRF)
Hints and Tips Guide To Using Recruitment Agencies

Career services of academic institutions ~ Universities and similar institutions maintain a full-time career advisory service. Funded by the colleges themselves, they serve as an employment agency for graduating or recently graduated students, and are centers of information for graduates about employment opportunities and for employers who are seeking to recruit students with particular knowledge/degree speciality.

Graduates looking for jobs should notify their colleges' careers service, and also register with the college website Additional jobs can often be found on a colleges' own job boards and newsletters distributed within the college.

Direct Advertising

Direct advertising is, by its nature, the most visible form of job advertising. Companies use every available method to inform us of new positions; newspaper, radio, mobile (buses etc) billboards, job fairs, and more frequently now, the internet.

National Press (The Appointments Section)

This is the most traditional form of advertising and is still popular. Read the requirements carefully and apply as appropriate. Examples include:

  • Irish Times – Friday
  • Irish Independent – Thursday
  • Evening Herald - Every evening
  • All Sunday Papers
  • Financial Times

Also watch out for other newspaper and magazine sources such as:

  • Local Press and recruitment magazines
  • Professional Press Specialist/Trade Magazines, e.g. “Irish Marketing Journal”

Some newspapers also have internet sites on which they advertise available positions, as this form of advertising has become the most popular format in recent years.

Internet Job Sites

The internet has become a primary tool by employers to advertise new vacancies. There are two main sources of job adverts, those website's dedicated to job advertising (Job Boards) and company website's that advertise positions within their own organisation. Job boards tend to have jobs advertised directly by companies alongside jobs managed by recruitment agencies - who also use them to find candidates.

Company websites ~ Most of the medium and larger companies will have a 'careers' section on their website that will contain advertisements for positions when they are available. If you are targeting particular companies, check out their websites regularly to see if something interesting appears. Company websites also usually contain the contact information for those in charge of recruitment should you wish to contact the company directly.

Company websites are also very useful insofar as you can find out what is going on in the company from browsing the website - essential information if you want to work there. If you ever do get as far as an interview with a company, you will need to show that you understand the company and its business - so their website will form one aspect of the necessary company research needed for the interview.

Job boards ~ There are a great many websites dedicated to the area of recruitment, and they compete heavily against each other for advertisement revenue. Because of the nature of the internet, these jobs websites can offer a range of useful services that go beyond all other forms of advertising.

In their simplest form, these websites will contain a variety of jobs organised by category (industry sectors) and region (counties). Use these filters on the site to locate possible jobs that might suit you. If you find a job you like, then, depending on the site you are on, you may have to register (provide details such as your name, address, email etc) to make the application, or simply email the company advertising the position with your CV.

Most of these sites have additional services to assist you find jobs that interest you. If you register with them and indicate the types of jobs (and other criteria) you are looking for, they will be able to automatically send you (via email) details of jobs that match your criteria as and when they are found. Checking your email regularly will keep you up to date on what jobs are on offer.

Another popular service offered arises when job seekers are allowed (encouraged) to upload their CV to the job site. This allows recruiters the possibility of searching for candidates in much the same way as you search for jobs. These recruiters pay a fee for this service, so no charges are expected from the jobseeker. This allows for the possibility of you being contacted by a company because your CV appeals to them, even if you didn't know there was a job on offer.

Apart from the different services offered, there are different types of job sites.

Generic Job Boards do not specialise in any given industry sector, location or level of position.

Offer a wide variety of job postings throughout the country, and the bigger ones will have the option to show international positions also.

These boards can yield irrelevant jobs and/or business opportunities masquerading as jobs.

Meta-Search Job Boards sift through several other search boards to help you achieve more results with less effort. Job boards like will search many different generic, niche, and geographic-specific boards in order to aggregate job leads for you.

You can identify more job leads while spending less time searching multiple job sites

These boards will tend to offer you a broader selection of jobs to choose from, which may overwhelm you. It can be difficult to narrow down to jobs that match your criteria. These sites usually don't have the additional services offered by the sites they search, like CV matching for example.

Niche Job Boards like or specialise in particular industry sectors, and offer jobs only in that industry.

Niche boards offer a broad perspective on the types of work available in any given field.

Not all industries, or position types have their own job boards. Niche boards are often smaller and tend to offer fewer features than the major generic job boards.

Geographic-Specific Job Boards showcase jobs that have a geographic locale in common. Examples include and London Jobs

Geographic boards will often list jobs that aren't listed on the major niche, generic, or meta-search boards.

If you’re looking for higher level, higher paying, or corporate positions, these often are not advertised on geographic boards.

Executive Job Boards cater to the unique career needs of executives, who are loosely defined as professionals with significant experience. One such example is

Most executive job boards offer ancillary services that are helpful to executive job seekers, such as live and virtual networking events for executives only.

Many, though not all, executive job boards charge a membership or subscription fee, unlike most other job boards which only charge employers and/or recruiters for job postings.

International Job Boards cover a broad geographic regions or include a global focus. Examples include and Eures.

If you’re seeking work outside Ireland or in the global marketplace, international job boards will present you with more appropriate job leads than most other boards.

Not all international job boards cover the same countries or regions, so it may be necessary to search through more of these boards to source the same quantity and quality of job leads available on other types of boards.

Work and Live in Europe ~ everyone can apply for a chance to study or work in Europe. The EU Blue Card is a work permit issued by 25 out of 28 EU Member States to highly-qualified non-EU citizens, as well as students, vocational trainees, seasonal workers and professionals for areas where there are skills shortages such as medicine or technology. For more information see 'Who can apply for the Europe Blue Card'.

As you can see, job boards vary widely in scope, purpose, and usefulness. It is both common practice, and highly recommended that you to use several as part of your job search.

For people who are currently employed and actively looking to change their job, a word of caution. Posting your CV on a jobs site leaves you open to being discovered by your current employer!