Job hunting and work experience

There is a common belief that there are few graduate jobs or work experience opportunities out there. 

Certainly times are difficult, but how you choose to react and your approach to the situation are critical. Those most successful at finding jobs or securing work experience use both the advertised and unadvertised (hidden jobs) routes.

'Many graduate opportunities are open to graduates of all disciplines so you might have more options than you think!'

Advertised vacancies

For immediate vacancies and details of graduate programmes make sure to check out:

  • JobScene [www.dit.ie/jobscene] – the Career Development Centre Online Vacancy database used by employers to target DIT students and graduates. Register today and set up job alerts.
  • Our live feed on latest job announcements
  • Gradireland - official graduate higher education careers website in Ireland advertising current and annual vacancies with major graduate recruiters. Set up job alerts today.
  • Gradireland Official Careers Directory - free publication aimed at final years advertising graduate jobs in Ireland. The directory will be distributed to you this Autumn. If you do not receive a copy, you are welcome to collect one from the Career Development Centre.
  • DIT Emails - Keep checking your DIT emails for job and other career notifications from the DIT Career Development Centre.
  • Linkedin – sign-up with linkedin today and begin to connect with professionals in your industry.  Also a great place to find out about current opportunities.
  • Facebook/Twitter – connect with the DIT Career Development Facebook and Twitter pages today for ongoing career and labour market updates. See www.facebook.com/DITCareersService and @DITCareers.   
  • UK Graduate Vacancy Websites – www.prospects.ac.uk; www.targetjobs.co.uk; www.milkround.com, www.gradcracker.com (engineering)
  • Employer websites – many employers advertise on their own websites and also handle all applications online.
  • Professional Bodies – a number of professional bodies / associations now host job notice boards on their websites. E.g. Engineers Ireland. The IPA directory, available in your library is a good reference source.
  • Specialist journals/publications - on line bulletins from professional bodies and industry specific associations e.g. The New Scientist
  • Other Careers Service Vacancy Listings - all colleges advertise vacancies for their graduates and students on behalf of employers.
  • Newspapers – (check out online or hard copy versions): Irish Times (Friday), Sunday Business Post, Irish Independent (Thursday and Sunday) plus regional and local press e.g. The Wicklow People

**Make sure to check out our resource sheets on College-specific – Useful Links, Advertised Vacancies and Graduate & Internship Programmes

Unadvertised vacancies/ Hidden Jobs Market

It is estimated that only around a quarter of jobs ever get advertised. Many employers choose not to spend money on expensive advertising campaigns, and instead recruit candidates through word of mouth, employee recommendations, referrals from trusted associates, recruiters, or through direct contact with the candidate. You will need to be proactive and contact companies directly if you don't see them advertised. Networking [link] is a vital tool in finding those hidden jobs!

In order to get lists of companies in Ireland and abroad that are relevant to your chosen field, the following websites are useful:

IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland - details company listings in areas of Electronics, Engineering, Financial Services, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Chemicals, Software, Tele-services.

Linkedin – sign-up with linkedin today and begin to connect with professionals in your industry sector.  Also a great place to find out about current opportunities.

Kompass - www.kompass.com - business directory useful for identifying potential opportunities with companies in your field. Enter a relevant keyword (e.g., Information Technology), then select Products and Services in Ireland to generate a list of relevant companies, with contact details.

Golden Pages (Ireland) - www.goldenpages.ie

 Professional Bodies Member Directories e.g. ACEI

 **For more information about finding the jobs which don't get advertised, check out our Hidden Jobs Market Handout.

 

Graduate Programmes

  • Usually between 12 months and 36 months in duration.
  • Used by graduate employers as a means of identify high quality graduates with a view to progressing/fast-tracking candidates towards more senior/management positions. 
  • Applicants typically need to be on the way to achieving good honours grade in their degree. Leaving certificate results can also be taken into account. Postgraduate students are also welcome to apply for graduate programmes.
  • Closing dates for applications occur during final year from September/October onwards. 
  • Work experience not typically needed to apply, but it can help. Extra-curricular activities in college and outside are also highly relevant. 
  • Graduate salary levels vary from industry to industry but range from 20K to 30K.
  • Graduate programmes are usually highly structured, often involving formal/informal/online training. Organisations regularly provide internal mentoring support also.
  • Performance/development criteria are usually agreed between employer and employee with regular feedback given.  Organisations also regularly provide support (time/cost) for further employee education/training. 
  • Many programmes involve employee rotation through different work areas within the company.
  • On completion of the graduate programme employees may be promoted within the organisation, may stay in a current role or indeed may transfer to another area within the company.  Employees may also seek opportunities within another organisation.

Register now and search for graduate programmes on Jobscene - our online database of job opportunities

Work Experience

Your qualification alone is no longer enough to guarantee you a good job once you finish studying.  Employers are looking for something extra – work experience in a relevant field if possible, or in an area in which you can develop transferable skills.

While internships during a college course have existed for a long time, graduate internships are a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland. These internships, which can often be low-paid or voluntary, can be a great way of enhancing your work experience, developing key skills and building a strong network of industry contacts. However, with some suggestion of employers abusing internship schemes , it is important that you are gaining real benefit from the placement.   

  • Summer jobs notified to DIT Career Development Centre are advertised in Jobscene our job vacancy bulletin. Search under “Opportunity Type” for Summer Vacancies
  • "Like” the DIT Career Development Centre Facebook page www.facebook.com/DITCareerDevelopmentCentre for regular updates
  • Check the Careers Diary for opportunities overseas, for example, J1 USA Summer Work and Travel Visa information.  Look at the employment section of Gradireland
  • Keep an eye out for summer jobs posted on the Students Union website and notice-boards.
  • USIT promote part-time work both at home and abroad
  • Check out summer jobs advertised on other Institutes of Technology and University Careers Service websites.
  • Ask friends you have in other colleges, where their summer jobs are advertised.

See our "Summer Work" Part-time Work and Graduate & Internship Programme handouts for more information.