As an old saying goes you cannot fit a square peg in a round hole so before you take that job offer, ask yourself- ‘Is this company somewhere I can truly picture myself?’ You need to work in an environment that you look forward to being in everyday, an environment that inspires you to do the very best you can do. A positive company culture that suits you will drive your passion to succeed whilst fueling your ambition and determination to climb to the top of whatever cooperate ladder you belong to. Otherwise, it will be the cause of you wishing with every bone of your body as the 7am alarm buzzes on dark winter mornings, that you could go back to sleep. Here’s some things to do see if you are aligned with the culture of a company you may be looking to work for: 1. Do Your Research Find out as much about the company as you possibly can. Have a creep around their website, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Accounts or threads on boards.ie or Glassdoor can also be very useful for behind the scenes gossip but be very wary of them and take them with a pinch of salt as they are anonymous comments and we have no idea as to the honesty, profile or past experiences of the commentator. 2. Values & Goals Values determine behaviour and decisions so it is important that an employer’s and an employee’s values match. If you do not agree with the values the company complies by, the work load and even minute tasks will prove to be difficult for you. When we as employees cannot comprehend or agree with the values of a company the decisions we make will be out of alignment with the company’s current practices and that will cause a whole lot of extra work and stress, which nobody needs. Your vision for the future should also match where the company aims to go. There is no point accepting a job when you have no interest in what the company itself is aiming to build. 3. Work Environment If you are not fortunate enough to know someone already working there, use your interview to assess the work environment and way in which the company works. Some of you may be social butterflies who can work in an open plan office chatting the day away whilst still meeting your goals and deadlines. More of you may prefer a quiet space where you can put your head down, get your work done and scurry off before having to interact with anyone. Also do not forget that in your interview the employers are also assessing whether you would be a good cultural fit for their company or not. Some questions you could take the opportunity to ask the interviewers may include: If you could describe the company’s culture in three words what would you say? Are the work hours strict or do you offer flexibility? If lucky enough to get this position what type of office environment would I be in? Is there reward structures or incentives in place? How would you describe the work culture on this team? 4. Social Does the company’s present culture fit in with your lifestyle? Perhaps everyone in the office is an avid sports fan but you cannot tell a football from a tennis racket, or maybe the only out of work activity on offer is drinks in the local bar on a Friday night when you need to be at home with the kids. If social activities are important to you to get to know your colleagues and to also help you meet that work life balance that is congruent with positive mental health you need to make sure the social benefits and activities the company works around suit you and at the very least appeal to you! Finally let me tell you to listen to your gut! You more than likely got a feeling from the interviewers, present employees you passed in the hallway or even the receptionist at the front door as to what the atmosphere in the company is like and if you received warm, welcoming vibes that’s usually a good sign. Think about what you want, what type of workplace will work for you and just go find it! Maybe you are looking for flexible hours, need incentives to reach targets or seek a social club to build relationships with your colleagues, either way the company with the perfect culture for you does exist. You just have to relax and take the time to find it. So now, when offered your next position instead of accepting it right away based off its six figure salary (hey we can dream) take the time to consider is it really a good fit for you?
2016 was an exceptionally interesting year, with economic activity increasing and then coming under threat from the impending Brexit. That being said, there seems to be no ceasing in companies and firms in Ireland growing their legal divisions. There has been a lot of conflicting commentary over the timing and potential impact of Brexit on the global economy and in this context Ireland’s prospects post-Brexit. Whilst no one can be sure, Ireland seems to be the “Hot Topic” when it comes to companies and firms discussing post-Brexit life. Ireland is an obvious choice when it comes to top UK law firms and companies contemplating a move of headquarters. That being said, the pressure is on for Ireland to prove that our infrastructure can handle this growth. Lawyers have been and will continue to play a key role in any development in this area, and thus we anticipate an upsurge in legal recruitment continuing throughout the rest of 2017. UK, Australian and New Zealand Returners As a result of the recession and personal circumstances, many Irish legal graduates or professionals moved to different jurisdictions to either begin or continue their legal careers. This could be attributed to the fact that people were not being trained in certain areas of law linked to a strong economy such as corporate, commercial, banking, construction etc. As such, there is a gap in the market at this level (NQ to 5PQE). Our clients are keen to speak with those who may be interested in a return home and Brexit is expected to increase the flow of people back to Ireland from the UK. It is always a personal choice however, and salaries in London are at an all-time high. Given the busy construction and energy market in Australia and New Zealand, we are finding that Irish returners from these jurisdictions can offer amongst other things strong non-contentious advisory and contentious experience in large scale projects. The newly adopted construction contracts act in Ireland draws similarities to legislation in New Zealand and Australia so this experience is very relevant. “Hot Property” in the Legal and Company Secretarial Market Whilst recruitment is steady across a variety of legal disciplines in Ireland, it is clear that certain areas are in strong demand. We are finding that all leading commercial firms are seeking transactional lawyers in the areas of banking, funds, corporate and commercial property. ICSA company secretaries will continue to be in high demand throughout 2017 both in-house and in legal and accountancy practices, given the implications of the Companies Act 2014. Company secretaries with experience across investment funds are required across financial services and legal practices and these professionals often attract a higher salary. On the in-house side, companies continue to grow their legal and regulatory teams and people with niche experience in areas such as pharmaceutical, financial regulation, utilities, telecoms, aviation etc. are highly sought after. Partner/Senior Associate Recruitment Experienced hires are often a strategic move and it is important for candidates to know their worth. If a candidate can offer a skill set in a particular niche or emerging market or has a strong following of clients, law firms are more than happy to consider taking advantage of this and many leading firms hired in 2016 at a senior level. NQ Market The market is highly competitive at this level. Despite strong retention levels in Ireland, firms have needed to add to their offering to avoid lateral moves and relocations to London, off shore jurisdictions or the Middle East. In-House 2016 was a busy year for in-house recruitment with candidates strongly motivated to move in-house from practice. Areas of growth include aviation, pharmaceutical, FinTech, life sciences, asset management, funds etc. Continued FDI in Ireland and the possibility that Brexit will increase demand, should create further opportunities during 2017. Private Practice 2016 saw private practices focus on sourcing London returners as competition for talent increased, with 3-5 years PQE the in-demand level of experience. With strong solicitors often lost to in-house departments, law firms are placing a lot of emphasis on the non-tangible benefits they can offer their talent. Money often dictates whether talent will move on and law firms are increasingly flexible to attract lateral movers. With regard to salaries in the legal sector the race is on for legal talent and some firms are increasing their salaries to prevent their trainees from leaving upon qualification. There is also a growing amount of flexibility in terms of what firms are willing to offer. The banded salary model often does not exist when it comes to a specialist lawyer or a strong candidate returning from London. When it comes to senior candidates, your salary offer will often come down to a business case (i.e. what clients/fees can you bring to the firm). The Legal market in Ireland (and particularly Dublin) is continuing to show clear signs of growth. Lawyers are key partners to businesses and levels of recruitment both in-house and in practice indicate economic confidence. 2016 has been an exceptionally interesting year, with economic activity increasing and then coming under threat from the impending Brexit. That being said, there seems to be no ceasing in companies and firms in Ireland growing their legal divisions. If you are looking for specialist advice please contact Cailim Boyle, Senior Legal & Compliance Recruitment Consultant Tel: (0)1 4744617 Email: email@example.com
With an ever increasing number of platforms to utilise for finding a job, how do you stand out from the crowd and grab an employer’s attention? We’ve put together nine easy steps to get yourself noticed online. Create a LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn is the most commonly used and abused job website in most countries at this stage. With over one million users in Ireland, LinkedIn has the capabilities of jobs boards along with a community of knowledge that any candidate can benefit from. Recruiters are probably some of the most avid LinkedIn users so make sure your profile is filled out in detail and is optimised with keywords associated with your target job. Bonus Tip: Along with LinkedIn, recruiters and hiring managers also love Twitter to get jobs out there so consider becoming a regular user on this site also. Use Jobs Boards Smartly When applying for jobs tailor your CV for each position. Optimise your cover letter and skill section to match that of the job specification. Consider creating a profile on these sites but keep track of them as people tend to forget they create these profiles after they find a job. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) This daunting term is not just relevant to marketers but to anyone who is marketing themselves online. SEO is identifying keywords relevant to your role and using these evenly throughout your profile. Look over specifications for jobs that you are interested in, identify commonly repeated skills that you possess and use these in your profiles. This method works for any profile that is searchable online (both publically and privately) so apply these techniques to LinkedIn, jobs boards and anywhere else you are looking for a job. Embed Social Profiles into CVs Whether handing out hard copy CVs or sending CVs via email etc. make sure to include links to your online profiles. This gives recruiters and employers the opportunity to get to know you before an interview and will help recruiters gauge overall fit with the company. But be careful what you post on these sites as inappropriate posts can be detrimental to your future role. Interact on Social Media Most recruiters are active online, sharing content and updates. If they share a job that may not suit your experience but you know someone, forward or retweet to them. If your contact gets an interview they can drop your name in for the recruiter’s knowledge. Sharing recruiter’s content and commenting on company news can be a great way of getting known by a company/recruiter. Following thought leaders in your industry will keep you ahead of the tide as regards changes in the trade and alert you to any importance conferences or networking events that you should be present at. Be In Demand Know what is going on in the landscape of your industry. Are things changing? Are there new technologies that will affect your job? Be ready to talk about these openly in your cover letter, on LinkedIn and in interviews. Showing that you are ahead of the curve with industry news shows that you are interested in your chosen profession/industry. Keep a close eye on competitors to know what they are doing and come up with examples of how you can help your company gain traction over their competitors. Showing genuine vigour for a company can score you points with a recruiter. Be Creative The above point leads directly into this one – Be Creative. If you know your industry and the companies that you are applying for then you know the norms. Do not be afraid of pushing these norms to get noticed but know the limits of your industry. Do not copy off others but show your uniqueness through your CV and online profiles so that personality and cultural fit are evident. Get Recommended LinkedIn have a nifty tool called ‘Recommendations’ which allows colleagues/managers/former associates to publicly or privately provide feedback on your work ethic and experience working with you. This can be great when recruiters are trying to find talent as referrals can say a lot more about a person’s ability to work than their profile can. Unique Selling Point Proposition The most important thing to remember when actively seeking employment is that you are selling your skills and abilities to recruiters and human resource departments in the hope of a position in their company. With this in mind you need to figure out what skills/abilities you possess that makes you different to others in your field. For your online profile use something generic to the industry that you are in/want to be in but tailor your cover letter and CV for each role you are applying for – make it relevant to the position that you are aiming for. Examples would be: “I increased our company’s online sales by 11% in three months, using a mixture of social media, content creation and email marketing, which was coordinated solely by myself.” “I effectively managed several large client accounts over the past year, turning them from loss making accounts into some of the largest profit making accounts for my company.”
1. Use your commute to become an expert in your field. Instead of listening to music on your morning commute start listening to podcasts related to your job and industry. Download an app such as Stitcher or Podcast Addict for Android or iTunes for podcasts on any topic. Give lots of different shows a listen until you find a few that are both informative and entertaining. On my phone I have 10 different shows covering different marketing topics so I always have something to listen to each day. Also many shows will have a large archive of material so you won’t run out of things to listen to. 2. Read every day Read 10-15 pages of a book related to your field each night before you head to bed or over your lunch break- whatever works better for you. For just minutes a day you can get through a book a month – that’s 12 books a year on your job or industry that you weren’t reading before. If this doesn’t work for you read an industry blog or two while sipping your morning coffee at your desk. 3. Get better at presenting There are many statistics on the internet citing that more people are afraid of public speaking than death. So if you can get comfortable presenting and talking in front of a group you’re giving yourself a massive advantage over many other people. Most jobs require some presentation skills whether it is to your team internally, to clients, or at an interview. If you have a fear of public speaking you should join a local Toastmasters group where you can practice public speaking in a supportive environment with others in the same situation. The organisation has over 15,000 clubs in 135 countries.
When trying to find your first job there are a lot of different resources out there that can help you but what happens when you now have a considerable amount of experience and are looking for a more senior position? Interviews change, become less theoretical and more centred around the experiences you have had. Interviewers are now looking for a more polished candidate who has both the relevant skill set and an in-depth knowledge of their industry. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a job once you have gained some experience. Company Knowledge Research needs to be more in depth going into the interview, not only covering the company’s products and services but also what projects are they involved in, what is going on with their competitors and what is the latest news on the company. Highlight what has been done in the past that you liked but never criticise the past employee’s decisions. If it is a new role you need to understand why they are creating the role and how you could make a difference if you got it. The more you understand about the company, the easier it will be for you to present yourself as the answer to the company’s prayers. Competency Based Questions This is your time to shine as your skills have developed over the past couple of years and your experiences are more business orientated now. Talk about your work experiences as opposed to outside experiences. If the question they ask is not something you can answer in a work context then of course talking about your hobby or voluntary experience is fine to talk about. Again, now that you have worked in a professional environment it is important to understand the significance of working towards a company’s objectives. Showing examples of how you have worked towards a company’s aims and objectives can show your value to a future employer. The interviewer will also want to know about your softer skills such as leadership and interpersonal skills. Expect questions on how you’ve dealt with pressure, deadlines, difficult employees/colleagues/management etc. as the interviewer will be trying to ascertain whether you are a good fit for the job or not. Showcase Your Experience If you’re going for a more creative role, bringing your portfolio of experience along to an interview is a great way to showcase your ability. Building a website using free template sites like Weebly or Wix with links on your LinkedIn profile or hardcopy CV can show interviewers that you have the relevant skills and abilities before you meet them. Questions You Ask Now that you have the experience of working in a functioning professional environment the interviewer will want to know what makes you tick. Ask about perks, the environment and culture, ability to move up the ranks but keep in mind the position that you are interviewing for and the company that it is. How You Portray Yourself in the Interview At this stage in your career you should be comfortable in meetings with peers that you can think well on your feet and look and feel at ease. Interviewers are searching for people who have made the most out of their previous experience and want to learn more. Interviews are meant to be stressful to an extent but also a space that client and candidate can get to know each other more. Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer about their experience of the company and for more information. Relax and take the interview in your stride, you have the experience to answer the questions asked.
Even with amazing advances in communication technology including video conferencing, Skype and Facetime to name but a few, the simple telephone still plays a huge role in company recruitment processes. Within the world of International Financial Services where direct reporting lines can be global, phone interviews are still very practical and cost effective. Recruitment consultants will always advise those about to partake in phone interviews to prepare for them as effectively as they would for face to face interviews. Having relevant research done for the job, company, market and competitors is always a good starting point. Having good examples ready that can demonstrate your competencies is essential too, considering that most Financial Services organisations will use competency model based interview questions. BUT no matter how much research you do and no matter how good your competency examples are, if you are unable to COMMUNICATE this effectively in an interview the odds will be against you securing the position. The reason for this blog is that recently I was in contact with an International Financial Services Organisation that were in the process of setting up a new operation in Europe and were relying heavily on phone based interviewing as part of their recruitment selection programme. The organisation was recruiting Financial Services Professionals ranging from two years’ experience up to senior management level and there was a considerable amount of interest and therefore applicants for their vacancies. Talking directly with one of their Recruitment & Selection Managers who conducted many of their telephone interviews, I asked how they made decisions on which candidates to invite back to second round interviews, in particular- how they were choosing between candidates who had very similar skillsets on paper and who came across as prepared on the phone interview too. The answer I got was one word – PASSION. In other words if the Recruitment & Selection Manager was not hearing or feeling the PASSION the interviewee had for the role and organisation on the phone then it was effectively game over. So that brings us to communicating with PASSION; how is it possible to convey this effectively in an interview and in particular a phone interview? The difficulty is that in terms of general communication we convey things like PASSION more so through our Body Language rather than Paralinguistics (pitch, speed, tone, volume etc. – of how we speak) or even the Words that we use. During a telephone interview an interviewee does not have the benefit of using their body language to convey their interest so it is hugely important for an interviewee to pay more attention to the words that they use and the tone, pitch and speed of how they express their words in order to come across with enthusiasm and passion. To get it right, it is highly advisable to practice your answers out loud prior to any phone interview, even reach out to a recruitment consultant to help fine-tune your telephone interview delivery. Listen to what you are saying and how you are saying it – Try and use positive adjectives and manipulate the tone and speed of your voice to come across as friendly, knowledgeable, energetic, confident and obviously passionate about the job / company. Try smiling when you speak on the phone too – this always helps. Just think about how many times we change something as short as the message on our own phones simply because we are not happy with what is says OR how it sounds? If we want to be happy with what we say on a phone to an employer and how it sounds then it too is worth changing a few times too, don’t you think? PASSION is a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something and if that’s wanting a new job with a new employer then make it happen. Let your PASSION be heard!!!
For many people starting their job search, writing a cover letter can be a daunting task. It’s hard to know where to start and how to sum up why you are the ideal candidate for the job in just a few short paragraphs. Follow these five tips to make sure your cover letter makes you stand out from the crowd. Be Specific Most people’s cover letters are very general. In order to make your application stand out, you need to be specific about why you want that job in that particular company. Make sure you state clearly the job you are applying for as a hiring manager could be hiring for countless jobs at one time. A cover letter is your chance to show that you have done your homework on the company and show a true desire to work for the company. Most importantly, make sure that if you are stating a company by name, you have the correct name in the Cover Letter. Hiring managers know you are probably applying for roles in various companies but it shows sloppiness and no attention to detail. State Your Strengths I’m not talking about the cliché strengths everyone gives – strong communication skills, brilliant team player and hardworking etc. Focus on strengths specific to you that can be supported with evidence. Whether it is your extensive work experience in a relevant area, or your academic achievements, make sure you state them clearly. Cover letters are a time to be boastful even if Irish Culture has trained many people to be overly modest and to not sell themselves to the fullest. Keep it short and to the point Cut down on any information that is irrelevant to the job you are applying for. Hiring managers have to review dozens of Cover Letters and CVs. The vast majority of the time they will not read your application; just simply skim it for the relevant information. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) by writing paragraphs of irrelevant information to the job. Clean Formatting and No Grammatical Errors First impressions really count when you only have 15 seconds to make an impact with your cover letter. Read and reread your cover letter to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. It’s always a good idea to get a family member or friend to check it over with fresh eyes. Typographical errors also leave a lasting impression, and not of the positive kind. Make sure your font and text size is consistent throughout your cover letter. Make sure to use punctuation where needed, and have clearly structured paragraphs. To Sum up Restate your interest in the job, and thank the hiring manager for taking the time to consider you.
Online Marketing has been an area of significant growth over the last few years. Seeing as your CV is your first point of contact with potential employers, many jobseekers have been utilising their CVs to convey their creativity and suitability for online marketing roles. Used well, a creative CV can really give you the edge over the competition. Not only does it reflect your personality, it speaks volumes about your creativity and problem solving skills. A well designed CV is the first impression a future employer will get of you, your style, and your methods of working. However before you run off and start working on your CV masterpiece bear the following in mind; Don’t skimp on Relevant Information Whilst it’s easy to get carried away on a creative buzz, don’t skimp on relevant information for the sake of design. An effective creative CV finds the balance between design and information. It’s important for employers to know what you’ve achieved and where you’ve been so make sure you stress your experience and include all relevant information. At the end of the day, it is the most important factor. Don’t overdo it It is very easy for the design to overwhelm your CV, so show a little bit of restraint and taste when it comes to designing your CV. Content is king at the end of the day so make sure it’s easy to read, well organised and clear. As previously mentioned the competition for jobs in the online marketing sector is strong and each candidate is fighting a new fight with each application. You can be one step ahead of the competition by highlighting your CV through creativity; from there it is down to your experience and your ability to perform in the interview process. But being 1-0 up before you get to that process is of great benefit!