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Career Clinic

Friday, 11 December 2009

Career Clinic

The live register in September of this year stood at 429,400 people, an increase of 183,422 people or 76.4% in just one year according to the Central Statistic Office's figures. The standardised unemployment rate in September was 12.6%.

(Sourced from www.inou.ie ) On September 22nd, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) for Quarter 2 2009, which covers the period March to June. The QNHS Q2 '09 recorded a drop in employment levels by 8.2% in comparison to Q2 2008. With just a little over 1.9m in employment, employment has dropped back to Q1 2005 levels. However at that stage unemployment was only 4.2% and it is now 12%. Long-term unemployment has started to rise and now stands at 2.6% - a figure not seen since early 1999. Over the last year, 174,300 jobs were lost against 23,800 created. Out of the six categories where jobs were created, three are funded through the public purse and so future employment growth is doubtful.

(Sourced from Irish Times, 30th October) The Irish are also the gloomiest in the EU on job prospects. In a recent survey, over two thirds felt that if they were made redundant it was not likely they would find another job.


Sean Gallagher

Sean Gallagher is probably best known as an entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Ireland's largest home technology company, Smarthomes which he set up in 2002, along with his business partner Derek Roddy. He is also one of the Dragons from RTÉ's Dragons' Den. He completed an MBA in 2000. Today, his interests include property development, telecommunications, as well as working closely with his Dragons' Den investment companies, including SurfSeeds.

Aoife Coonagh

Aoife heads up the career development service in Carr Communications. She provides clients with individual and group interview preparation sessions, as well as recruitment interviewing skills at all levels. She also delivers training and development programmes, ranging from individual skills development to company-wide training and development programmes such as customer service, quality process improvement and management development. Aoife's clients include the departments of Education, and Environment, Heritage & Local Government, DPP, OPW, Valuation Office, Comptroller and Auditor General, as well as South Tipperary county council. Private clients include Merrill Lynch and AIB. She has a background of 20 years' HR, recruitment and training experience with Aer Lingus and in the financial services sector.

James Mailley

Managing Director of Monster.ie. Based in Dublin, he is responsible for driving business growth in Ireland and ensuring that Monster.ie remains the industry's leading provider of online recruitment services and solutions. James is also responsible for sales strategy and implementation. James joined Monster.ie in 2003. Prior to this, he worked as a management consultant at TMP Worldwide and a recruitment consultant at Michael Page. James has a degree from Manchester Metropolitan University.


Career Clinic Breakdown:

Week 1:
On our first week we met our three Career Clinic participants, Eimear Farrell who was looking to move into PR, Martin Malone our brick layer who was looking to change career direction and Annmarie Wolohan who was aiming to re-enter work as an office manager.

Week 2:
On our second week we re-visited Eimear and found out how she got on at her networking event, plus we found out some good news from her, she's managed to find a job in Geneva!

Week 3:
Last week we found out how our unemployed bricklayer Martin Malone got on with our career direction expert John Fitzgerald as we try to find the best path for him to re-enter the workforce!

Week 4:
Last week we caught up with our out of work office manager Annmarie Wolohan who had no formal qualifications in accounting. We set her up in a class in an IPASS course in Payroll in Plunkett College and got Annmarie back into the classroom! Just before her studio appearance, Annmarie got a job!

Week 5:
Last week we got a HR expert, Aoife Coonagh, to give you the dos and don'ts of CV writing!

Week 6:
This week we catch up with our unemployed bricklayer Martin as we find out how he got on doing a day's work experience gardening with Eugene Higgins!

Week 7:
Martin will be getting a talk in business start-up with an expert!

Week 8:
We will be examining the dos and don'ts of job interviews with our panel of experts, Sean Gallagher, Aoife Coonagh and James Mailley!

Week 9:
We will do a final catch up with our career clinic participants and chatting to author Tom McGuinness about his book "The Redundancy Book"


The 9 things you can get wrong before you even start your interview:

1. Lack of punctuality - You must be on time for your interview, it is good practice to arrive 5-10 minutes before your interview is due to start. Leave yourself enough time to get there and time for finding the correct place if you are unfamiliar with the location
2. Informal attire - Jeans and runners are simply not acceptable. Make sure you are dressed for the job you want, not the job you have. A business suit is normally a smart choice.
3. Poor handshake - Make sure you do shake hands and make sure it is a firm confident grip
4. Not clean shaven - For men: Make sure that you do not have stubble and that your hair isn't untidy. First impressions are extremely important.
5. Don't sit before asked - Don't rush straight to the chair before the proper introductions. Take your time and when invited to sit, do so.
6. No eye contact - Many candidates will look at their feet, at the ceiling, to one side. anywhere but into the eyes of the interviewer! Eye contact helps you make a connection with your interviewer and will let them know you are confident and a good communicator. If there is more than one interviewer, make sure you make eye contact with all of them and do not direct all your answers at one person.
7. Fidgeting - There is nothing more distracting for an interviewer than someone constantly tapping a pen against their leg or shaking their leg. Nerves are understandable, but try keeping your composure and restraining from fidgeting.
8. Not smiling - Companies are often looking to find someone who will fit well into their company as well as into the job. Be sure to smile when appropriate, it helps you to make a connection with the employer and will also help you relax.
9. Slouching - Don't look defeated before you've even started. Sit up straight in your chair and face your interviewers confidently!


Our three experts have compiled a list of things that they hate to see in an interview:

1. The flat battery: feels like the interviewee has been force to attend the interview - no enthusiasm, energy or spark


2. The tape deck - interviewee has "learned" perfect answers to your open questions


3. The politician: you ask a question and the interviewee either answers a different question or doesn't answer the question at all

4. Be honest: don't get caught out by pretending you know about something you don't

5. Be Prepared: some questions will be asked in most interviews, make sure that you've thought about them and have an answer in your head.

6. Don't completely undersell yourself: the Irish have a tendency to play down their skills

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