Graduate | Collins McNicholas

Jobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job Campaign

Jobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job CampaignJobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job Campaign What is a job search campaign? A job search campaign is a structured and consistently employed plan to promote a positive self image and enhance your career opportunities. Key Steps in a Job Search Campaign: • Apply yourself fully to your job search campaign; your job now is to get a new job • Research the market, evaluate possible options and opportunities. • Generate a list of companies to target in your region and research how to target these companies. • Set daily, weekly and monthly targets. • Organise your job search and establish an efficient record keeping system. Succeeding in Today’s Job Market Over half of vacancies are filled without being advertised, this is what is known as the Hidden Job Market. There are many different routes to market, both advertised and hidden: Routes to market 1. Recruitment Agencies Select agencies that best suit your needs. It is important to build a relationship with the recruiter. The onus lies with you to keep in contact with the agency and to follow up regularly. Try and arrange a meeting with the agency and treat it as an interview. Continue to review websites for suitable positions, and if you locate a position that is of interest to you discuss this role with your recruiter and seek their advice. 2. Start Networking Networking events include; Open Coffee Mornings, Chamber of Commerce Meetings, College Seminars, public networking events at local sports / communities / parishes, etc. It is vital to use these opportunities and to be proactive while attending. Attending networking events gives you the opportunity to meet new people that may be of assistance to you in finding work in the future. Networking events keep up to date with developments in your profession. Always connect with people on LinkedIn following a networking event. 3. Improve Your LinkedIn Profile • Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. • Use a professional looking photo. • Build your network. • Contribute to discussions and groups. 4. On-line: Job Boards & Websites Some of the most popular job sites are: Irish Jobs, Recruit Ireland, Publicjobs.ie and Jobs.ie, but there are many more. Sign up for job alerts on these sites so that you will be notified when jobs that you might want to apply for are first advertised. Set up Google job alerts. Make sure to keep accurate records of every position that you apply for and target niche websites for your particular specialism. Be sure to follow up with companies within two weeks after the initial contact. Download any job apps to your phone, stay connected 24/7 to maximise your chances of finding a job 5. Direct Applications Before making any direct applications, 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. Take your time filling out candidate applications online, save the automatic response they send you. Personalise the application; use the persons name and title instead of ‘Dear Sir/Madam.’ 6. Referrals Referrals can come from a number of different sources: previous college lecturers, friends and neighbours, former employers or HR managers, and LinkedIn testimonials. Let your network know that you are back in the job market and seeking a new opportunity. 7. Traditional Advertising Read local and national newspapers for job advertisements and check their websites regularly. 8. Recruitment Fairs Recruitment Fairs are a great way to meet a number of potential employers at the one event. Always have lots of CVs with you, approach as many recruiters as possible, and treat every meeting like an interview. 9. Volunteering Volunteering allows you to update and enhance 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 is also a very positive thing to talk about at an interview. 10. Internships Although often maligned internships can give you an opportunity to gain experience, learn new skills, and get an important first step into an industry. For more information on how to find work in today’s job market check out our dedicated webpage.           Niamh Cregg Recruitment Consultant Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services...

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Jobseekers Guide – Interview Tips

Introduction “You only get one chance to make a first impression” First impressions do count, and research has shown that the average person can make up their minds about somebody within the first 30 seconds! A job interview is no different. Preparation, presentation and attitude are the key ingredients to be successful. What to Expect? From the employer’s perspective, the purpose of the interview is to evaluate you and your capabilities, to assess your ability to contribute to the organisation and to see how well you might fit into the organisation. The Stages of an Interview There are 4 stages in a typical job interview: • Breaking the ice – introductions and ‘chitchat’ designed to help you relax and feel comfortable. • Exchanging information – questions that focus on the organisation, the job and your interest in both. • Expanding the focus – specific questions about you and how well you will be able to do the job. • Wrapping up – time for clarifying, asking questions and final comments. Interview Preparation Preparing yourself properly for an interview will help you relax and give you the confidence to answer tough questions. Thorough preparation will dramatically improve your chances of getting the job. Research the Company & the Role Firstly make sure you read through the job description carefully. If you are dealing with a recruitment consultant they should also be able to tell you about the company you are going to see, and about the person who is interviewing you. You should also conduct your own background research on the firm and the individuals you are meeting. You will...

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Graduate Assessment Centres: Practice makes perfect

Many graduates are now faced with the daunting task of undertaking the relative unknown of an assessment centre in order to make that first step onto the employment ladder. Companies dealing with a high volume of applicants, many of whom are of a very high calibre, want to view their candidates from many angles – interacting with others in a team, one-on-one, problem solving, presenting ideas etc. As Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services Group have a track record of running assessment centres, we were approached by IT Sligo to develop and run an assessment process for a group of their students. There were 5 stages as part of the assessment process: The first stage consisted of 3 of the most common ability assessments used by employers Verbal Reasoning Numerical Reasoning Attention to Detail Following on from the ability assessment, the second stage involved the students partaking in a course specific group assessment. For the third stage the students were required to analyse a piece of text and make a presentation to the assessor. Students were assessed on their problem solving, presentation and communication skills. The fourth section of the assessment involved the students undertaking a mock competency based interview. The students were provided with comprehensive preparatory materials in the weeks prior to the interview so that they could gain maximum benefit from the session. Collins McNicholas then provided individualised face to face feedback to the students. As part of the feedback the students were encouraged to ask questions and were provided with guidance and information regarding real assessment processes. This was the most valuable element of the process...

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Graduate Assessment Centres – What to Expect

What should I expect at a Graduate Programme Assessment Centre? Assessment Centres are increasingly common and have been a part of the Graduate Programme for many years. Assessment Centres are designed to assess your competency or skills in relation to the role, your cultural fit and overall motivations or career aspirations. As part of the programme you may be asked to complete: Group Exercise Usually 5 – 6 people working together to complete a task or solve a problem. What may be assessed? Team Working Style, Communication Skills and Problem Solving Skills Presentation An individual is provided with a topic on the spot or prior to the day and asked to give a presentation to the Assessor or a group on that topic. What may be assessed? Communication Skills, Analysis and Decision Making Analysis Presentation An individual delivers a presentation based on conclusions drawn from a large volume of newly presented information or data. What may be assessed? Problem Solving Skills, Decision Making Skills and Communication Skills In-Tray Exercise Sorting through written material, prioritising and remaining calm under pressure. What may be assessed? Decision Making, Prioritisation, Resilience, Analysis Ability Assessments Online or paper based ability psychometric tests completed on the day or a date prior online. What may be assessed? Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning   Top Tips Ask Lots of Questions: Ensure you understand what is required of you Get Stuck In:  Suspend belief if required, be enthusiastic Take the chance to learn: About the company, the job and even yourself Be Yourself: That’s who they selected for the Assessment Centre after all!   Caroline Ward HR...

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Top Tips for Graduates Entering the Job Market

Students are nearly finished their exams and soon they will be starting their first job search as graduates. In the first quarter of 2015 the unemployment rate fell from 10.4% to 9.9%. It was encouraging to see last week that the unemployment rate dipped below 10% for the first time since January 2009. Circumstances are improving for graduates entering the job market compared with recent years. Graduates can now be more optimistic about their job prospects leaving college. Despite the lowering unemployment rate there is still intense competition for jobs and graduates need to be well prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. Here are my top tips for graduates entering the Irish job market. Create a good CV and Cover Letter: a graduate CV will be different from other CVs. Less job experience means you will have to focus more on your education. Highlight any transferable skills you have developed and any areas of expertise within your qualification. A cover letter is a great place to draw attention to your skills and how they could be useful in the job you are applying for. Do an internship: this is a great way to gain experience. A lack of professional experience is often the biggest obstacle for graduates. An internship can provide you with new skills, a good reference and some valuable new contacts. A JobBridge internship, despite criticism from some quarters, can be a good option. It is often better to get out there and start gaining experience straight away than spending months sending off applications without anything to show for your time. Develop...

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GMIT Graduate Careers Fair 2014

On Monday last, the 6th of October, Collins McNicholas attended the GMIT 2014 Graduate Careers Fair. The event ran from 12am – 3pm at GMIT, Galway with a great turnout. Local, national and international organisations were in attendance who were seeking current and future graduates. Employers were on site to provide insight, advice and prospects to possible candidates. Companies in attendance included HP, Kirby Group Engineering, Boston Scientific, Engineers Ireland and Avaya. The Collins McNicholas team were also at hand on the day to provide advice and guidance at their CV Clinic which proved to be extremely popular for the duration of the event. The event was a brilliant opportunity to meet current and future graduates – all talented individuals either starting out in their career or developing greater career prospects by returning to education. It was also helpful for existing GMIT students to explore their career options. Thanks to everyone who came and spoke to us on the day. Thanks also to Christopher O’ Toole, Technical Recruitment Consultant and Donal O’ Donoghue, IT Recruitment Consultant for helping out on the day and for giving CV and cover letter advice on the day. We are already looking forward to next year’s event and wish all future graduates fruitful career prospects for the future. Kirby Brennan, Recruitment Consultant Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group...

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