Looking for work


There are a number of services and supports to help you find work if you are unemployed.

Whether you are currently in work, unemployed or in education, the process of finding and applying for a job is the same.

It is important to research all possible sources of information on employment opportunities, to send in a well-prepared job application with a relevant CV (curriculum vitae) and, if your application is not successful, to continue the search for employment. Alternatively you should also look at other options such as returning to education or self-employment.

Sources of information

To begin your job search you need to identify the different places where jobs are advertised. You should check all the sources listed below regularly to ensure you are aware of any new vacancies. The main ones are:

  • Your local Intreo centre/employment services office: provides information and advice for jobseekers including a list of job vacancies and a Jobseeker Information Pack (pdf). Intreo is a new service from the Department of Social Protection which provides a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. Details of new locations are published on welfare.ie and Intreo will be available in all offices by 2014.
  • Websites: The Jobs Ireland website allows you to add your CV where it can be accessed by employers. If you do an online search you will find a range of other job websites.
  • Newspapers: Classified jobs sections of national and local newspapers
  • Recruitment agencies: You will find them listed in the telephone directory or by doing an online search. There are specialist recruitment agencies if you are looking for a particular type of job.
  • Notices: Jobs are often advertised in shop and restaurant windows, in libraries, supermarkets and other community noticeboards
  • Companies: As vacancies are often only advertised on a company website, you should check those which are relevant to your area of work
  • Personal contacts: Friends or relatives may know of job opportunities

The Citizens Information website does not carry any information about job vacancies for any sector of the Irish economy. It does not accept CVs/resumés and cannot forward them to employers on your behalf.

Applying for a job

Your CV or resumé 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.

When you identify a job vacancy, contact the employer to get further details about it and the company. You should update your CV and send it with a letter or application form as specified in the job advertisement. The information in your CV and application letter or form should focus on the specific requirements of the job. If you are called for a job interview it is important to prepare for it.

If you are unemployed, your local employment service (LES) or Job Club can assist you with writing CVs and job applications and with training in interview skills – see ‘Other supports’ below.

Employment equality: You are protected by employment equality legislation when you are applying for a job as well as when you are in employment. So if you are applying for a job it is unlawful for your prospective employer to discriminate against you on any of the nine grounds such as race, sex or family status. There is more information about this in our document about the Equality Authority.

Sources of help

Long-term unemployed people: There is a range of employment support schemes which encourage long-term unemployed people to return to work. They are aimed at people who have been on unemployment or certain other social welfare payments for a specific period of time.

Some schemes, such as Community Employment, Tús or the Community Services Programme provide community-based employment opportunities. The JobBridge internship scheme provides work experience opportunities for unemployed people. Other schemes such as the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance allow people on certain social welfare payments to take up self-employment while retaining some of their payment.

Other supports

Job clubs provide training and support for jobseekers by assisting with preparing CVs, training in interview skills and with the search for a job.

Local employment services – Obair (LES) were set up to help long-term unemployed people find work. They operate generally through partnership companies and provide mediators who help with the job search and liaise with local employers. LES also provide guidance counselling to look at training options and employment schemes.

The Technical Employment Support Grant (TESG) can help unemployed people who are facing particular barriers to access training, advice, support or purchase certain goods and services. You do not have automatic entitlement to access this grant and to be considered for it you must be registered with Intreo and be undertaking a guidance process leading to an agreed career plan. You must also be getting a jobseeker’s payment or a lone parent or disability-related payment. A grant of up to €500 may be provided for training or up to €250 for non-training supports, for example, to cover travel costs to job interviews.

For more information on finding and getting a job you can download Working for Work from the website of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed.

Where to apply

Contact your local employment services office or Intreo centre.
Last Updated: 11/2/2014

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If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.

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