5 Reasons you should attend the Graduate Careers Fair

Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair is taking place on Wednesday 5th October 2016 in the RDS Simmonscourt. This event is your opportunity to meet leading employers, course providers, careers advisors and find out all the opportunities available to you!


Still not convinced? We have put together five reasons why you should attend Ireland’s largest graduate careers event!

It’s Ireland’s Official and Best* Graduate Careers Fair


Whether you are job hunting, want to find out more about further study or simply career curious about all the opportunities available to you, the Graduate Careers Fair has everything you need. Also did we mention that the Graduate Careers Fair *won best exhibition in the national Event Industry Awards 2016?

Face to face interaction with leading employers


This is your chance to make a great first impression with over 120 of Ireland’s top employers, who are all actively recruiting students, graduates and young professionals in a whole range of disciplines. Make a list of the exhibitors you would like to speak to, bring along your CV and get networking; this is your time to shine!

A killer seminar schedule


This year we have really outdone ourselves when it comes to our seminar schedule. Whether it’s advice about writing the perfect CV or cover letter, employability skills or top interview tips and hints, we have something for you! Check out the full list of seminars on our website.

CV Clinic


So you have had a list of employers that you may be interested in applying to put together. Now you have to create the perfect CV and cover letter to show off all your experience and skills. The Graduate Careers Fair will host a CV clinic, providing more than 50 hours of expert advice from career professionals – but make sure to get there early to secure your spot as the CV clinic fills up really quickly!

Your one stop shop for job hunting and advice


In final year? Be smart with your time- meet all the key people, find invaluable information and discover all the different opportunities available to you all in one day under one roof! Best of all – it’s completely free to attend by registering at graduatecareersfair.com

See you there🙂

Emotional Intelligence – the power behind enhanced performance

Attracting and retaining the best talent requires a different angle. Millennial graduates are looking to get as much out of an organisation in terms of development as the company gets out of them in terms of endeavour. And yet, clearly, graduates are by no means the finished product. Their biggest drawbacks lie in their ability to manage relationships in the workplace with maturity. This dichotomy has been cracked by some organisations in the way they manage their training. Zappos, Facebook and Google have all invested in significant initiatives to improve emotional intelligence in their employees. Organisations like Xerox, Opentext and UPS have focused on training their employees in performance under pressure. In doing so, these companies have become the envy of many in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.


Emotional Intelligence

A person’s Emotional intelligence (EI) and the resulting Emotional Quotient (EQ) has been widely proven to be the best measure of future success in the workplace. An employee’s EQ tells employers whether they can work collaboratively, the depth of their communication skills, their leadership potential, and even how well they’ll be able to learn from their mistakes. And yet, if we value it so highly, what are we doing to develop it in our graduates and in our workplace teams?

Last year I was lucky enough to spend a CPD week with The Navy Seals at their training base in San Diego. Their command Psychologist Ryan Maid explained to me how important EQ was for a really high level of performance as a Navy Seal. They admitted that they had made mistakes in the past. Previously, their selection process had only ever allowed for recruits to drop themselves out based on the extremely arduous training and selection process. In their own words, this sometimes produced guys who could simply take a beating better than the next guy. So they introduced EQ training in respect of challenging interactions. How else could they prepare their recruits in the best way possible and as part of a team?

EI Image

Performance Under Pressure 

The most powerful thing I learned, when visiting the elite rugby environment in New Zealand, was that focusing your attention on the things within your control and not the things that are outside of your control is one of the greatest things you can do for your own performance. Knowing the difference is key. A really powerful example of this came from one of the All Blacks players during the 2011 world cup. In that tournament, captain Richie McCaw played the knock out stage games with what later turned out to be a broken bone in his foot. McCaw had hurt his foot in the group stages but in the lead up to the tournament, he had devoted a huge amount of time to the concept of focus of attention as a foundation for his physical training. So after he heard the crack in that group stage match, he decided not to have it x rayed until after the tournament had ended. In all likelihood, any x ray would reveal a break. He had resolved that he could get through the knock out stages anyway. So why shift his attention onto the reasons why he could not.

What McCaw and his team mates had done was become self-aware of their thoughts and when they drifted into the negative. They did this with the help of a performance psychology technique. They became able to recognise these thoughts as being negative or Red Head, to accept them and consequently they were able to simply choose to move their focus back to the present, to a calmer more accessible Blue Head state by focusing on what they could control. I was lucky enough to see some of my colleagues from Gazing Performance in action when I visited those teams, and was blown away by the emphasis the coaches were placing on this concept, on their insistence that it was the “soft skills which delivered the hard skills”.

Over the course of the past year, I have seen first-hand just how valuable these soft skills of EQ and Performance Under Pressure actually are and how they can be adapted into programs for relationship management, for sales, for management, for leadership. Like many things in life, these are skills that can be acquired. As a new graduate or as part of a team, these are the skills that will separate the best performers from the rest and the best talent will inevitably gravitate to where they can get the best training.



Conor McCarthy is the Irish Partner with Gazing Performance Systems, a company best known for their Performance under Pressure work with The All Blacks prior to the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Gazing now work with graduates and teams of people in businesses all over the world to help them perform better under pressure. Conor has a BComm and a Masters in Applied Psychology (Coaching). In his work as a training and development consultant for Gazing, he has visited several elite performance environments. In this article, he explains the evidence base in support of employee training for performance under pressure training and emotional intelligence along with his experiences of watching these skills being developed at both the navy seals training base in California and in the elite rugby environments in New Zealand.

Twitter: @ConorMcCarthy


Tips for effective email marketing

Guest Blog by  gradireland Email Guru Katie Burns

There are lots of ways to advertise your graduate programme but email marketing is a force to be reckoned with! Here at gradireland we’re email enthusiasts who take pride in delivering the best graduate opportunities and advice to our engaged audience of students and graduates throughout the year.

Our email database is always growing as the magical word of gradirelands service spreads further and further throughout Colleges and Universities in Ireland. This means our dedicated email marketing team is always up to date on the latest and greatest trends in the email marketing world.  We work with our clients to ensure they’re getting the most out of the powerful information tool that is targeted emails. That being said, there are so many ways to communicate your message it can be hard to know if your email is the best it possibly can be.

We’re here to help! Here are five tips to ensure your targeted email is engaging your audience:

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Amplify your employer brand with social media

Employer branding has become a core element for organisations to attract the most talented graduates to your workplace. Your potential graduate candidates, Millennials and Gen Z, are digital natives spending up to 5.4 hours a day browsing different social media channels. This means that social media is one of the most effective tool to catch the attention of graduates.


Social media gives you the flexibility to allow prospective candidates to take a look inside your organisation, get an insight into its culture and values, to determine if it is the right organisation for them. In order to successfully implement social media to your employer branding campaign, it’s important to develop a social media strategy to complement your already existing employer branding campaign. We have put together some tips to consider;

Know your audience

Determining your target audience is very important when it comes to social media. In order to produce relevant content, you must be able to identify your audience’s demographics, interests and needs.  A lot of this information can be found by examining your existing social media audience on Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics as well as researching the Millennial or Gen Z audience. This information can be used to enhance your social media presence by producing relevant content that will attract your desired target market. Hubspot have introduced a really effective tool for identifying your companies specific target audiences, buyer personas. A free Hubspot guide to buyer personas is available here.

Generation z

Develop a different strategy for each platform

Social media platforms differ significantly in relation to audience and tone of voice. For example; the tone of voice and overall purpose of LinkedIn is much more professional and formal than that of Facebook. By knowing your audience and combining this with your overall employer branding objectives, you can develop effective strategies on each platform to reach your target market. A good example of a company that uses social media to attract talent is Version 1. In 2014 Version 1 introduced a Breaking Bad themed social media campaign to attract graduate talent. The campaign was based around a play on the television series titled ‘Breaking Grads’, with accompanying themed artwork. The campaign became a huge talking point among the target audience with its nod to popular culture at the time, while also giving students a taste of the Version 1 company culture.

Measure and adjust


Congratulations, you have launched you social media strategy! But now, you have to measure its effectiveness. To do this, you must outline the business objectives you would like to achieve through social media. These objectives could include an increase in candidate leads, more applicants or brand awareness to name just a few. Once these are identified, revert to your analytical tools to see if the social media strategy has met your desired objectives, if it has, great, if not don’t panic, just adjust and try again!

Social media is an amazing tool for employer brand amplification. This, combined with a comprehensive employer branding campaign, could put your organisation ahead of the competition for attracting graduate talent.

To find out more about ways in which social media can amplify your employer marketing campaign, contact our expert marketing team on 01-6451500.

gradireland nominated for Best Exhibition in the Event Industry Awards 2016

Last month, the gradireland team created a submission to enter the Graduate Careers Fair, which took place on 7th October 2015, as Best Exhibition in the Event Industry Awards. We are proud to announce that that we have be successful in getting shortlisted for Best Exhibition for the awards which will take place on Friday 15th July in the Burlington Hotel, Ballsbridge.


The Event Industry Awards celebrates excellence and showcases the very highest standards in Ireland’s event industry. The EIAs encourage teams and individuals to constantly raise the bar, to innovate and maintain their commitment to achieving excellence. It is the only awards programme to accolade this excellence and a superb opportunity for the Industry to come together and celebrate their achievements.


The Graduate Careers Fair took place on Wednesday 7th October in the RDS Simmonscourt Dublin and was our biggest fair to date. Throughout the course of the day, the gradireland team welcomed over 7,000 students and graduates to meet more than 130 of Ireland’s top graduate recruiters and further study providers.

The event was featured in both local and national media outlets throughout Ireland including The Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Journal.ie and Meath Chronicle, to name just a few. The event was also covered on RTE television and radio and on TV3 news.


Our team spent over a month collating information for the awards submission and were delighted to find out that our submission had been shortlisted. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us over the past year, in particular all of the students and employers who attended last year’s Graduate Careers Fair.

The full list of shortlists for the Event Industry Awards is available here. To find out more about the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair contact us here.

Full gallery of imagery from the Graduate Careers Fair which was held on the 7th October 2015 in the RDS Dublin is available here.

US Grad Visa Success Stories and How You Can Write Your Own

Into its seventh year, USIT’s USA Grad Visa continues to be an exciting and often life changing opportunity for graduates in Ireland. Most recent graduates face uncertain times once they have finished their degrees, with a jobs market that’s increasingly competitive, coupled with rising accommodation costs and, of course, the attraction of travelling, living and working abroad.

Plenty of grads, as a result, look at their options post college as being career focused or travel focused but seldom both. That’s where a Grad Visa to the US comes in, with US companies more than receptive to pooling employees from Irish and therefore international backgrounds. Heading towards the US presents Irish grads with an incredible opportunity to both travel and add some heavyweight experience to your CV!

USIT have placed thousands of Irish graduates in the likes of New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco over the seven years and with less than 300 positions available for the rest of 2016, all indications are that this will sell out yet again.


USIT have had success stories from all areas of third level study, just like these students who have all flourished in the US in recent months:

Andrew Morrissey left Ireland for New York in May 2015, armed with a Politics & Geography degree from UCD. Having had some exposure to the American way of life and working culture with members of his family working within the US market, Andrew saw a Grad Visa as a ‘rite of passage’ following his studies. After a couple of false starts, Andrew landed an internship with BerlinRosen, a political PR firm in Manhattan and has described the experience as ‘the greatest working experience I’ve ever had’. You can read more about Andrew’s story here.


Alan McGeever, graduated from GMIT in 2014 with a degree in Hospitality Management and with the US, world leading in his industry he decided the US Grad Visa was a no-brainer. After initially locating in San Francisco, an early trip to San Diego had Alan, head over heels for the city so he packed up and headed to SD to look for a suitable role. Taking full advantage of the huge Irish presence in San Diego, Alan landed a role with an Irish-owned research and sales company and ended up travelling throughout the US working with the American Military, researching soldier’s experiences and backgrounds. 8 months in, Alan has seen plenty of the US, including taking in a Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas. Read more here.


Rachel Lynch graduated from the University of Limerick with a degree in History in 2015. Having spent time in Boston in 2010 on a study abroad programme she knew her stay in the US was not finished. Leveraging her degree, Rachel landed a role at History San Jose, allowing her to continue her passion for the past. Her biggest tips in going on a Grad Visa to the States is to do your research before you go and understand the cost of getting yourself set up. Once that’s taken care Rachel got to experience all this…

Will you be the next graduate to relocate to the land of opportunity after college? USIT’s One-Year US Grad Visa Program is still accepting applications until the end of 2016 and there are now less than 300 places remaining with no guarantees as to the future of the Program.

Interested in finding out more? Drop USIT’s Program Manager Melanie.Young@usit.ie a line and find out the right option for you! Alternatively you can ring USIT directly on (01) 602 1747.

USIT logo

Your next steps after the gradireland Summer Fair

Last week saw thousands of students and recent graduates flock to the gradireland Summer Fair in the RDS to meet with graduate employers, further study providers and start-ups. It was a great event with lots of advice on hand, both for those who know exactly where they want to go and for those who need a little bit of direction!


Of course the burning question for everyone who attended the fair is what do you do next, particularly for those of you in job hunting mode? You took the first step at the fair by meeting different employers and (hopefully!) impressing them with your skills and enthusiasm. It can be difficult to figure out how, and when, to follow up with these contacts but that’s where we come in! Follow our tips below and you’ll be on your way to your ideal graduate job in no time.

Shortlist employers

The likelihood is that you spoke with a myriad of different organisations at the Summer Fair, but some organisations and opportunities will appeal to you more than others. As always, it’s important that you consider what fits best with the career path you’d like to pursue. This will help you to focus on which organisations you definitely want to follow up with and which just had the really great free stuff!


Once you have reviewed the organisations you talked to at the event and selected those you want to follow up with, write down the details and at least one follow up action for each employer. This could be writing a short introductory email and sending along your CV, or it could be that you need to research the organisation more before you make any speculative contact.

Contacting employers

The good news is that employers are used to being ‘followed up’ by students and graduates after events such as the Summer Fair – in fact, in most cases, they actually expect it. The important thing here is to follow up in an appropriate manner and to stand out from the other messages they will be receiving. The fair was last week so it’s about now that you should be getting in touch, if you haven’t already.

If you have a personal contact (e.g. sarah@perfectemployer.com rather than hr@facelessfactory.com), use it. It’s important to remember though that this person is likely to receive many emails from people just like you, in addition to their day-to-day emails! Be polite, be friendly, but keep it business-like. Imagine how many people he/she talked to that day, so your email will probably serve as a second introduction to yourself. Don’t presume the employer remembers any specifics about what was discussed, and use this opportunity to suggest, briefly, why their organisation is where you want to work.

An introduction like this is fine; “Thanks for taking the time to talk at the gradireland Summer Fair in the RDS last week, it was really interesting and made me realise that I’m really interested in a career with (name of employer). As I mentioned on the day, my degree focused on elements which I believe would make me suited for this role, such as….”


As with any job though, make sure you tailor your email for each employer. Don’t spam every email address you got with the same letter, it’s a recipe for disaster! It doesn’t matter if you’ve already given the employer your CV at the fair, send it on again, highlighting where and why you believe it makes you a good candidate for an available position.

End your correspondence with a suggestion of future contact, such as; “If it suits, I’ll give you a call next week to discuss?” Remember, be eager, but if you don’t hear back, wait, try to contain your frustration and remember that if you have a good CV for the role, have done your research properly and there is a role available, the recruiter will be likely be in touch, whether you are ultimately successful or not.

Using social media

Social media affords an easy way of building a professional relationship with employers. But be careful, on two fronts. Firstly, as we have written about before, make sure your social media presence is something that you would be happy for employers to see, and that includes all platforms, not just LinkedIn. Also, LinkedIn is great for research, but don’t try and connect with potential employers in advance of an interview or just after writing to them; it’s not good etiquette and will likely seem far too forward.

No matter the format you use for getting in touch, remember the basics; manners. Thank people for their time, be grateful for their advice and always be respectful. If you do this, invest in your research and be creatively persistent in your approach, your careers fair ‘follow up’ could be very successful indeed.

Remember you can also research employers on the gradireland website for even more information on what different employers are like.


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