It’s a hectic time here in gradireland, and this week the first two of our range of titles for 2016 have been sent off to the printers. Along with the 2016 Finance Sector Guide, we are very happy to send our 304 page, bigger and better, gradireland and postgradireland directory to print.
To help you guide you through the various sections, whether it be job hunting tips, career sector advice or postgraduate study help, we are delighted to introduce ‘gradman’, your perfect guide to the 2016 gradireland/postgradireland directory. Keep an eye out for it on your campus from mid-September!
We’ve a host of other titles off to print over the coming weeks, packed with careers and postgrad information. If you’ve missed any of our current publications, download them here.
‘Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply 2015’ is the tenth in a series of reports produced by SOLAS on behalf of the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). The purpose of the report is to provide an overview of the skills profile of the population.
The main findings of the report point to the fact that there are over one million qualification holders, or a third of the population, who have studied in one of the following areas:
- (SSBL) Social science, business & law (including commerce)
- Business management
Further to this, another 320,000 persons have post-secondary qualifications, with engineering/construction, such as craft awards, accounting for a third.
Areas of opportunity
Science: Highly-skilled professionals such as actuaries, statisticians and teachers are particularly in demand in this field.
Engineering and construction: The difference between those with post-secondary qualifications and those with third level qualifications is much smaller in these areas, with the report revealing employment rates almost as high for those with qualifications such as apprenticeships, as for graduates.
SSBL: The career paths in this sector, according to report are very much determined by the level to which the candidate has studied. However, there are many business related occupations which have been identified as experiencing shortages and growth prospects are positive for the financial and professional services sectors.
Health/welfare: There are high levels of employment for graduates with the right qualifications in this field. Employment opportunities in the health sector are mostly in government funded organisations; although there have been limited opportunities in recent years due to restricted healthcare budgets, demand for these skills are expected to be sustained and most likely to increase.
Education: Third level graduates are very much in demand for certain posts in this area and there is a higher than average proportion of recent university graduates employed overseas in the education sector. However at home, employment opportunities depend very much on government policy and funding according to the report. Demand for educational professionals is also affected by the size of the school going age population; “these factors will impact on the demand for teachers in the coming years,” says the report.
Arts/humanities: Graduates in these fields are most likely to continue their studies, specialising in a particular area, according to the report. The report also says that arts/humanities graduates may be more flexible in meeting labour market needs “but they may also be susceptible to having to accept lower skilled employment as many arts/humanities courses do not have a vocational element.”
Services: Tourism and hospitality is a sector highlighted by the report as one which presents significant opportunities to graduates. The report adds that while graduates in this area do find employment opportunities, it is a sector particularly affected by the economic climate.
The report comes only a short time after its companion research, the National Skills Bulletin, was released. Read our article on the Bulletin here. For more on sector based advice from graduates, visit our sector hubs.
New National Skills Bulletin 2015 shows continued improvement in the Irish labour market and identifies job sectors in demandPosted: July 17, 2015
The report shows that, with the economic recovery strengthening, shortages are intensifying in some of the well-known areas that we have blogged about previously (ICT, engineering, sales/customer care, logistics, health, business and finance); and gaps are also emerging in new areas such as hospitality and construction. It therefore follows that these are key areas for graduates to target for employment.
Where are the skills shortages?
- Professionals/graduate positions including:
- ICT (software developers, cloud, databases/big data, testing, security, technical support, networking and infrastructure)
- Engineering (production, process, quality, validation, product design/development, electronic, electrical, mechanical and chemical)
- Science (biochemistry, biotechnology, pharma co-vigilance, product development)
- Business & finance (risk, compliance, accounting, business intelligence, data analytics)
- Health (doctors, nurses, radiographers, niche area specialists including prosthetists and radiation therapists, and managers)
- Construction (surveyors)
- Clerical (multilingual credit control/debt control and supply chain)
- Sales (technical sales, multilingual customer support, online sales and marketing)
- Skilled trades (chefs, tool making, welding (TIG, MIG), butchers/de-boners, steel-erector).
More detailed information on all of these sectors can be found on the gradireland Sector Pages at http://gradireland.com/career-sectors; and you can browse and investigate specific job descriptions and career paths at http://gradireland.com/careers-advice/job-descriptions.
The National Skills Bulletin 2015 is available to download from the EGFSN website,
www.skillsireland.ie/Expert-Group-on-Future-Skill-Group/Publications/2015/National Skills Bulletin 2015.html
We’re hard at work all summer here in gradireland, producing another suite of publications for the 2015/16 academic year. As always, we’ve been collaborating with students, academics, postgraduate study providers and employers to ensure our products continue to deliver comprehensive careers advice, insider tips and employer insights for students, graduates and job-seekers.
In September 2015, our flagship publication, the gradireland Directory, will be released on campuses throughout Ireland. The ‘must have’ aide for job-seekers, graduates and postgrad students; we’re focusing on providing you with all the information, practical tips and advice that you’ll need. Above is the cover for the 2016 edition, and we’ll be releasing other sneak previews of our forthcoming titles in the near future. In the meantime you can download all the current editions here.
Confident communication skills help us to make and maintain good connections. They are essential for securing a job and vital traits once you are employed. Each year the gradireland Graduate Salary & Recruitment Trends Survey reveals communication to be one of the core areas of concern for employers when it comes to graduate recruits. In an interview situation, nerves and stress can be a factor, no matter whether it is your first interview or your fifth. But you have the capability to communicate confidently, you just need to know how to and when. To enhance your communication skills during an interview, EMPLOY the following tips;
- Eye contact. It is important to smile and to make eye contact with your interviewer/interviewers as you meet them and throughout the interview process. This creates a non-verbal connection between you and them, it inspires their trust in you and conveys your confidence and people skills.
- Modulate your voice. We can all develop the habit of speaking in the same tone. By modulating or changing our voice we keep people’s interest. It gives the impression that we are interested in and enthusiastic about what we have to say. People want to work with interested and interesting people. There are a number of skills you can use to achieve this variety. The first way is to raise the pitch (height and depth) of your voice when making a new point. Think of it like telling a story, some parts require more emphasis, and a different pitch, than others.
- P Don’t be afraid to pause before answering a question, or during an answer. It will give you a chance to gather your thoughts, take a breath if needed, stay or regain calm and allow your interviewer to absorb what you have said. By practising pause, pre-interview, it can help you to identify filler words to avoid, such as “Eh…. Um…. Like”, and filter them out of your vocabulary! Don’t worry about creating tumbleweed moments; a pause will feel much longer to you than to your listener. Pausing can stop panic in its tracks and communicates confidence and that you are comfortable with taking the time to think before responding.
- L Being an engaged listener is an essential communication skill. Taking the time to comprehend and be interested in what is being said ensures that you can take in what is being asked. Listening intently keeps you focused, calm and in the present, enabling you to think more clearly and to express yourself more effectively.
- Open Your Mouth. When you get nervous, your jaw becomes susceptible to tension, which means we may not open our mouth freely, resulting in our words sounding mumbled. Alleviate this tension by yawning, massaging the hinges of your jaw and stretching your face. Just make sure you do it pre-interview! Sometimes it’s just a matter of focus; remembering to loosen up and articulate yourself properly. As you practise for interviews, exaggerate your articulation by “over” opening your mouth. It may feel over the top, but this is just to get your speech moving and out of your mouth and it won’t sound or look nearly as strange as it might feel! An Open Posture is a confident posture. It features chin parallel with the floor, shoulders unraised and back, arms and legs uncrossed and top it off with a firm handshake. Before your interview, find a private space to practise a power posture by standing with your feet more than hip width apart and your hands on your hips, or raised in the air, creating a V shape.
- Your attire. Bare in mind, as you dress to impress, that you will express yourself best when you are comfortable. Have a dress rehearsal as you practise your interview to ensure that you can move, sit, breathe and speak easily. Every little helps in interview situations so give yourself the best possible chance.
Emma Coogan helps people to express themselves clearly, with confidence and charisma. She runs the Emma Coogan School of Speech and Drama. Visit her on Facebook or keep up to date with Emma on Twitter. For some videos on confidence techniques that work, have a look here .
Maybe you’re just starting out in your career, maybe you have just changed job or maybe you have just returned to the workplace; whichever it is, remaining focused, motivated and effective is of course central to obtaining your career ambitions. But it’s a reality that it is also very easy to lose focus, and become easily distracted and less productive, so here’s some helpful tips to keeping your workplace edge sharp this summer.
Remember the good stuff
Like the fact that you have a job. Remember the many applications, the increasing pressure and the lack of money that accompanied college life or spending time unemployed. If you’re not walking into your workplace with the same spring in your step, try to remember what made you want to apply for the job in the first place, remember the sense of achievement when you got it and the accomplishments you have made in the work you do. Your work is important, you need to remember that and use it to keep motivated.
Take care of yourself
Work is important, sure, but not as important as you. Spending hours hunched like a contortionist over a keyboard is not going to do anyone any favours, least of all yourself. Spend some time away from the desk, it helps clear the mind, problem solve and reminds you of the wider world. Get some exercise too, whether it’s during your commute to work or something you do after work. And remember to eat well, not just whatever is most convenient. Bringing your own lunch to the office saves a fortune and you’re probably going to be eating healthier too. Also, remember to talk to your colleagues. We are all busy but it’s far more rewarding to share your workplace life with others, where possible and reasonable of course, and it can also remind you that there are people around you who should be willing to help if you’re feeling snowed under. Of course, it helps with your motivation if the people around you are motivated and enthusiastic too. Also, if you have a problem at work, and if you thiink you’re dealing with something, or somebody, that you shouldn’t have to then it’s important you address it right away with your manager or colleagues. Nobody should dread going to work.
Maybe you’re stuck in a rut and your job has just become ‘easy’. It’s important that you challenge yourself. That could be as simple as writing a list of tasks every day and trying to get through them, or else it could mean a chat with your manager and you seeking more responsibilities within the company. Whatever it is, it’s important to seek new challenges. Neither you, or the company, will gain anything long term by you standing still. Another way to motivate yourself in your career is by setting some goals which are linked to personal ambitions, such as travel. Always keep your goals realistic and ultimately attainable, even if it’s going to take months or even years. Focus on small changes which you can make to your lifestyle which can put you closer to what you want to achieve. If you can transfer this to your work then you’re going be far more rewarded and productive in what you do.
Visit here for information from gradireland on what you can do to make a winning start to to your career.
Interview dressing is the holy grail of outfit choosing; what you wear really does matter. Workwear in general can be tricky, but the time to hit the nail on the head is when you are trying to get the job in the first place.
Your image reflects your competency and overall professionalism, a harsh truth perhaps, but true it is. Approach this task with as much precision and thought as you would your interview answers, and you can dress for interview success.
This is not the time to stand out for the wrong reasons. If it’s a corporate job you’re going for, remember that the corporate world has a particular style that should be broadly adhered to; even if you are interviewing around the outskirts of this industry.
Be memorable for what you say, not for what you wear.
The way to show your personality through your outfit is to accessorise with style. The way to show your style through your personality is to let your colleagues get to know you…over time. A luxury not provided by interview alone.
Many people ask me why workwear is so important, since they may not be client-facing, or the prevailing culture in their office is cool and casual. My answer is the same every time. Your clients don’t give you a promotion. Your colleagues do. So dress like you mean business. With this in mind it’s time to hit the shops. The key time for workwear purchases is August, as the Autumn/Winter stock arrives – right now we are in Spring/Summer limbo; the trickiest season to address in the office.
For the Summer months consider pencil skirts or tailored trousers with silk tops, or shift dresses and cropped blazers.
Capsule workwear wardrobes are your best bet; separates are more cost-effective than dresses as they allow for more combinations of outfits.
However, for interview (which can be at short notice), choose a dress. I break my own rule here as your ‘interview dress’ is your ‘uniform’- once time and thought has gone into choosing it, it’s done. Not something to have to worry about the night before.
If you are in a second interview position, then go for separates. You will have a better idea of the vibe of the workplace and can choose this outfit armed with more information. A dress has a smaller margin of error in terms of tucking, co-ordinating fabrics and texture and considering lengths and exposure.
Below you will see some options in the shops right now. Pencil cut or shift are the way to go – with a cap sleeve, or a light blazer / tailored jacket worn over. Avoid a skater or flared style, they appear girlie, not professional and are best left to the weekends. Fabric should be on the heavy side, even in Summer (this doesn’t necessarily mean dark) and texture or print are fine, as long as, like we said earlier, they don’t distract from the pearls of wisdom you are imparting!
Shoes are very important. Firstly, heels are almost always essential; the height is in your hands. Never go for a platform, always a pointed or round toe. At this time of year you can’t go wrong with a nude pointed or round-toed court. In Winter, a block-colour in suede has the same effect. Just note that the only patent shoe you should buy for work is black or nude, colours can look cheap and tacky.
Bring a bag large enough to carry documents (an extra copy of your CV, hard copies of references etc.) but small enough to sit on your arm or shoulder and not prove too cumbersome when meeting your interview panel. Your accessories let you show some of your own personal style – statement necklaces with a high or round neck add interest and focus, whereas a bangle or cuff can look great with a three-quarter-length sleeve. Choose a dainty piece if wearing silk or another light fabric.
Laura Jordan is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Design. She works as a fashion stylist and image consultant, specialising in corporate style and workwear wardrobes through her popular ‘StyleWorks’ seminars.
When you have your interview wardrobe selected, make sure to stop by gradireland.com for interview advice and tips!