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How to manage your career strategy, for internal posts or an external job search.

Your employer should have a performance review process. As part of this process you should get the opportunity to discuss the next steps in your career.




How to apply for internal jobs

You should take this opportunity to have a frank conversation with your line manager about what the possibilities of progression are in the organisation and what you need to do to achieve this. If you don’t have a formal review process or this isn’t deemed an appropriate forum then ask to set some time with your manager to discuss your career path.


  • Most organisations will advertise all vacancies internally before looking externally. This is normally done on your companies’ intranet, so check this on a regular basis and apply for relevant roles. If you are applying for a position outside your current department, let your line manager know out of courtesy - you never know this could prompt them to start thinking about your next steps if they don’t want to lose you.
  • If your duties change in your role you can use this as an opportunity to have a career review. However, going above and beyond your standard job description can often get you noticed by decision makers who will take this into account when considering promotions. An example of this would be to be aware of trends within your industry such as the use of new technology and developing some expertise in this area. You never know, it is possible to create a job for yourself that hasn’t existed previously. Make sure you use your skills and passion to your advantage.
  • No one likes a show off. However it is important that your line manager and those above them are aware of significant achievements or changes that you have brought to the organisation. Be sure to highlight to your direct manager any successes that you have and ensure that you keep a record of these for any future reviews or interviews. Regardless of whether you have just started your career or are a Senior Executive training adds values at all levels.
  • Your organisation is likely to have core training and optional training programmes. You should review all training available to you and chose to do courses that are most relevant to your career. You can also look at doing an external qualification to improve your skills and often your company will assist you with this.
  • Finally, don’t make yourself indispensable. You might think that being the only person in the organisation able to do a certain task is a good thing as it means that they can’t get rid of you. On the flip side, being indispensable means that you can’t progress, as they can never backfill your role. So make sure that you have identified someone who can move into your position that you can groom as a successor.

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External job search

Should you decide to look externally at career opportunities there are a number of actions that you should take before you commence your search.

  • Be clear about the type of job you are looking for and the type of organisation that you want to work within. If you are not sure, speak to friends with a similar background to yourself or speak to an expert like a specialist Recruitment Consultant.

  • Once you have made a decision about the type of role that you are looking for, prepare a CV that matches your relevant experience to this type of role. If you decide that you are interested in more than one type of role, prepare multiple CVs to reflect these types of jobs.

  • Consider your strategy for entering the jobs market. What is right for you? Will you apply to jobs online or in the media, attend relevant networking events, use a recruitment agency, utilise web-based tools like LinkedIn or a combination of several different methods.


Applying for jobs online

There are numerous generic and specialist websites available in Ireland to search for specialist roles. Before you commence your search it would be useful to speak to people in your industry about what they have found effective for them. The large general boards are,,,

Some job boards allow you to post a copy of your CV, but you should consider whether you want this out in the public domain with the possibility of your current employer getting visibility of it. In addition, you can also search the recruitment agency jobs with being an example of this.


Applying for jobs offline

Many employers still use traditional methods for advertising roles, especially at the more senior level.

In addition free papers such as the Metro and city dailies like the Evening Herald can be useful for more junior candidates.

Specialist publications are also another good medium to look for a new role, for example if you are a qualified accountant make sure you review your professional associations magazine such as Accountancy Age whilst also looking at more generalist publications like Business and Finance.  



Using a recruitment agency

If you chose to use a recruitment agency to assist you in your job search then it is important to understand who to choose and what they should and shouldn’t be doing for you. It is always best to choose an agency, which you either have had a good previous experience with or you know someone who recommends them. Looking for a new job is one of the biggest decisions you can make, so you need to be able to trust the agency you partner with.

Do not register with more than 1 or 2 agencies, we recommend this for a number of reasons:
  • You will be able to build a personal relationship with your Consultant who will in turn have a better understanding of the type of role which you are looking for.

  • It will also enable you to track your job search better, where your CV has been sent etc.

  • The more agencies you work with, the more confusing this can become and can sometimes result in your CV being sent multiple times to the same organisation, which can be off putting for that organisation as you can come across desperate.

You should expect the following from your Consultant:

  • A one-to-one, face-to-face interview in which your previous experience and aspirations are covered.

  • At the end of this interview your Consultant should agree an action plan on how they will work with you to find assist you in finding a new job.

  • For any position that you are put forward for you should receive a full briefing on the job and the organisation.

  • Should you be requested for interview your Consultant should prepare you for the interview over the phone or face-to-face, as well as Hays Interview Tips.

  • After an interview you should expect feedback from the Consultant in a timely manner and have the next steps of the process explained.

  • If you are unsuccessful your Consultant in most cases should be able to provide you with feedback, although sometimes this is not possible depending on the company’s policy.

  • Should an offer be forthcoming your Consultant should advise you on how to secure the best possible offer.

  • Your Consultant can advise on the best way to hand in your notice

Over the last 10 years the internet has become more influential on how people have looked for new jobs. Since the introduction of social media this has been transformed purely from searching job boards to being able to take an interactive approach and much in the same way Facebook has revolutionised the way we share data with friends, LinkedIn has changed the way we are viewed by potential employers. 

If you have not already registered with LinkedIn, we would strongly recommend you log on to and take control of your online persona. The website allows you to build a profile which looks much like a CV and the default settings allow people in your network, either your connections or groups to approach you about job opportunities. We recommend you join groups relevant to your profession, which will allow you to have a broader network and potentially link in with a wider group of people. LinkedIn is normally the first place employer's will check when they receive a CV, its your opportunity to make the best first impression by having your profile up to date and being active on LinkedIn. Learn more about how to use LinkedIn

Finally, remember what you say on the web is there for all to see, so don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your MD to hear in a boardroom or you wouldn’t feel comfortable having splashed over the front page of the papers. Take control and be pro-active. Follow up with recruiters and companies that you have sent your CV to, to see if they have received it and if you are under consideration. Only apply for roles that match your skill set and track your success against these roles. If you are not successful applying for a position, get feedback, find out why so you can learn for the next time.


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