5 Reasons you should attend the Graduate Careers Fair

Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair is taking place on Wednesday 4th October 2017 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 🙂

4 things you didn’t know about this year’s Graduate Careers Fair

It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.

Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!


We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!

CV Advice to beat all other


Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.

Opportunities with NGOs


Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.

Introducing Start-Up City

Signposts at the gradireland Summer Fair

Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.

So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.

Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!


6 ways to make the most out of the Graduate Careers Fair

Careers fairs are an amazing opportunity for students, graduates and young professionals to get the ‘inside scoop’ of a company, find out the opportunities they have available as well as the disciplines that they are interested in hiring in.

Preparation is key when it comes to careers fair, so we have put together some helpful tips for the day of the fair:

Use the Jobs Wall

There will be several jobs walls within the hall at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair. These will have live graduate schemes and opportunities listed, use your phone and take a photo of any that you are interested in applying to – then go home, find the job, internship or graduate programme on gradireland.com and start applying!


Bring your CV

Many employers are happy to receive CVs at Careers Fairs. In addition, at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair we will be running a specialist CV Clinic, hosted by careers advisors from your University providing over 50 hours of specialist advice, at which you can have your CV reviewed. However, a word of caution – the CV clinic has a limited number of slots and gets booked up very quickly, so get there early to book your appointment and don’t expect the advisors to write your CV for you – they are there to review and advise but you’ll have to do the hard work first yourself!



Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions which might not be answered already in brochures or on their websites. Many exhibitors bring recent graduates now working in their business to their stands, so ask them what life is really like in that company.


Attend the Seminars

Make sure you attend one or more of the specialist careers seminars – they are designed to give you the edge when it comes to applications and interviews! From Assessment Centres to Interview advice there is a seminar to benefit everyone.


Download the gradireland Events App

The brand new gradireland events app is your personal assistant for the Graduate Careers Fair. You can create a profile, directly contact employers, personalise your seminar schedule and much more! Download it from the App Store or Google Play now.

More information about the event can be found at www.graduatecareersfair.com

Not in final year? Four things that you may get the answer to by attending the Graduate Careers Fair

It’s not unusual for students who are not yet in final year to be unsure about attending the Graduate Careers Fair. You lucky souls are still out there enjoying college life and may not have thought a lot about careers or the future.  Well here are a few of the questions that you may get an answer to by attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair:

Do I know what Career Path I would like to pursue?


This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest decision you will have to make before leaving college. There is so much to take into account, including the area you would like to work in, job prospects, the companies that are recruiting in your field, the locations of these companies and salary expectations. It is very difficult to find credible answers to these questions without speaking to the employers in person.

Over 120 employers are attending this year’s Graduate Career Fairfrom over 20 different sectors, with headquarters all around Ireland and Europe. This is the ultimate opportunity to meet these employers and ask them the essential questions you need to know, to get a better understanding of what it is you would like to do.

What do I need to get a job?


Putting together all the documents you need to land your dream job can be very daunting. Every employer has different criteria they look for when recruiting graduates, this requires tailoring your CV and cover Letter to each job you may apply to. CV Clinics are being held at the Graduate Career Fair with experts from Careers Services throughout Ireland. These experts will provide you with the advice you need to get that dream job! Keep in mind that many Graduate Programmes open for applications in September each year, meeting these CV Experts could put you ahead of the competition for next year’s applications.

Am I interested in doing an internship?


Internships are amazing opportunities to gain experience in a particular job or to find out about the culture of a particular company. Employers also take this essential experience into account when recruiting graduates, giving your CV an edge to get a job. Many of the employers attending the Graduate Careers Fair recruit students for internships and work placements. This is a great opportunity to network with these employers to see what internship opportunities they may have.

Am I thinking of doing a postgraduate course, in Ireland, the UK or beyond?


Finding the perfect postgraduate course to suit you is really important, whether in Ireland or the UK.  gradireland are hosting seminars  with industry experts at this year’s Graduate Careers Fair to discuss postgraduate studies. There is also a Further Study Zone on the day with more than twenty exhibitors, offering a wide range of postgraduate options and information.

The Graduate Careers Fairs has something for everyone, whether final year or first year. Register for free entry today at graduatecareersfair.com

Internships in non-profit organisations: An insider’s view

Alvina Lim, Communications Intern at Habitat for Humanity Ireland, provides an inside look at what an internship at a non-profit organisation can involve and how to make the most of the experience. 

Alvina Lim

Alvina Lim

Why Intern?

I knew it was not going to be easy to find a job once I returned to Dublin after spending a year working abroad, especially in the area of development. With many non-profit organisations feeling the pinch, employment opportunities in the sector were far from abundant and so I decided that the best way to get some hands-on experience, and my foot in the door, was to apply for an internship.

When Habitat for Humanity Ireland offered me a position as Communications Intern, I was thrilled. I was eager to get started and my internship commenced in May this year.

The organisation

Habitat for Humanity Ireland has been working to address the inadequate housing situation in Ireland and abroad for over a decade. Its work is based on the conviction that access to simple, decent housing provides a ‘hand-up’ for families to lift themselves out of poverty and create a brighter future for their children. Habitat Ireland is part of a global family that works in 80 countries around the world and together has served more than 600,000 families.

It is great to be part of a global organisation and to have access to a number of resources and support. The role is well structured and because the organisation has domestic programmes, I have been fortunate to get my hands dirty, volunteering onsite here in Dublin. Internships are steadily gaining popularity here in Ireland, and rightly so. Given a healthy learning environment and supervised role, the skills developed during an internship greatly improves a jobseeker’s CV and future employability.

Importance of Interning

I have been an intern at Habitat for Humanity Ireland for five months, working in the communications department. I have acquired and developed many new skills and have been entrusted with a range of responsibilities. The Irish office is small which means I have been exposed to most operational areas and as a result now have a far better understanding of the inner workings of a development organisation. Furthermore, my experience has not been limited to the office, having had the opportunity to attend seminars and other discussions.

Habitat for Humanity Ireland’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. It engages all sections of society in its work, from volunteers and donors to future homeowner families and local communities. Volunteers range from young professionals and school students to those who have retired. These volunteers work onsite here in Dublin, travel overseas to build alongside local communities and donate their time and specific skills to helping in the office. In this regard, I have witnessed the positive impact that voluntary work has on the volunteers themselves, as well as for the Habitat homeowner families.

The benefits

An internship is beneficial for both the host organisation and the intern. My experience at Habitat for Humanity Ireland has so far been challenging and rewarding. In a highly competitive employment market, where good grades do not seem to be quite enough anymore, the hands-on experience, as either an intern or a volunteer, is increasingly appealing for employers. I view this opportunity as a stepping stone on my career path and would highly recommend it to anyone considering this option.

For more information on interning at Habitat Ireland contact info@habitatireland.ie

Volunteer, donate or share by visiting www.habitatireland.ie, like on www.facebook.com/habitatireland or follow on http://www.twitter.com/habtiatireland.

For more information on how to get the most from your internship or work experience programme, click here 

Opportunity knocks: graduates creating their own jobs through social enterprise



Social enterprise is a sector that offers a wide range of versatile opportunities for graduates, particularly those who are dynamic and innovative with a social conscience and a head for business. The sector offers graduates unparalleled job satisfaction as they both make money and help their communities.

The social enterprise sector is rapidly expanding in Ireland; a Forfás report published last week has shown that the social enterprise sector has the capacity to create 25,000 extra jobs by 2020.

‘… the social enterprise sector, which currently employs between 25,000 and 33,000 people in approximately 1,400 social enterprises with a total income of approximately €1.4 billion, has the potential to double by 2020.’

What is a social enterprise?

The report defines a social enterprise as ‘an enterprise that trades for a social/societal purpose, where at least part of its income is earned from its trading activity, is separate from government, and where the surplus is primarily reinvested in the social objective’. The report also names the four main types of social enterprise in Ireland, see diagram below.


The success of social enterprises shows how all aspects of the community and society can contribute to Ireland’s economic revival, a fact that the government is also acknowledging by investing in the sector:

‘Social enterprise is a small but growing part of the enterprise base and ecosystem that has potential to bring further job gains and deliver economic potential. There is both a demonstrated need, and a market for, social enterprise in Ireland. With the appropriate enabling and promotional effort, there appears to be scope for increasing jobs in the sector.’

Due to the demand for social enterprises, it is unsurprising that there are many graduate opportunities within the sector. There are specific social enterprise postgraduate degrees, where students learn about both the commercial and social aspects of the sector. Graduates can go on to set up their own social enterprises, giving them a chance to work towards social issues they are concerned with while also making money. They put their university-learned skills into practice in order to help their communities, the economy or the environment, therefore job satisfaction is a huge perk to working in social enterprises, particularly if the graduates set up the businesses themselves. They provide jobs for the marginalised in society, and have the strong potential to become self-sustainable business models, according to the report:

‘The social enterprise sector in Ireland has the potential to develop enterprises that can be self-sustainable. Such sustainable, self-reliant business models are important to the survival and development of social enterprises and it is in the shifting of the sector towards the commercially oriented model that job creation potential is foreseen.’

Case study

Dunhill Rural Enterprises Ltd (DREL) was formed in 1999 in Dunhill, Co Waterford and is part of the ACTION project. It is a not for profit organisation, dedicated to developing entrepreneurial culture and sustainable rural regeneration. DREL is a member of a community network called Dunhill, Fenor, Boatstrang and Annestown (DFBA) Community Enterprises Ltd., whose mission statement is ‘to develop our community socially, economically and culturally by harnessing the talents of our people and the resources available’. The belief of this organisation is that jobs can be created and sustained at a micro-economic level. DREL assists entrepreneurs in establishing new businesses with a self-reliant business model. The profits made from the ACTION project are regenerated into improving the social enterprise and benefiting the community, rather than being given to the shareholders.

Getting involved in social enterprise is hugely beneficial to graduates, whether they see themselves working in the sector long-term or not. Social enterprises allow graduates to build up key skills such as leadership skills and entrepreneurship. Graduates who have worked in the sector automatically become more attractive candidates to employers, as they typically show resilience, innovation and initiative. Graduates can experience a sense of independence by creating their own jobs, rather than waiting for a job to come to them; therefore no matter how small the venture, involvement with social enterprise is always a worthwhile option for graduates.

Taking time out – is it career suicide?

road leading to mountains

Time out could lead somewhere in the long term.

I met a recruitment director from a high street bank recently and he had spent the first two years after university doing voluntary community work. He wasn’t all that old either, so clearly the fact that he had not gone straight into ‘serious’ employment after graduation didn’t arrest his upward career trajectory. In his view, it actually helped because by the time he was ready to commit to working in the commercial world, he was more focused on what he wanted and more eager to get there quickly.

I mention this because, at this time of the year, there will be many recent graduates contemplating a bit of ‘time out’ either as a response to not getting a job or because they are knackered after several years of unbroken study. Now it’s entirely up to you what you do with your life but I just wanted to say that, whatever your motive, if you did want to do something different for a year or two, something that may be related or unrelated to the career that you want to pursue, then it won’t necessarily hold you back.

The key issue, according to my high-flying recruitment director from a high street bank (and he should know), is that whatever you do, wherever you go, it all should have some sort of  ‘explainability’ built in. This means that when you find it’s the right time to apply for the job that you want to do, you can clearly explain the huge benefits to you as a person and a potential employee arising from the experience. In all his many recruitment interviews, he says that he never holds a period of time out against the applicant – as long as it was genuinely useful and can be explained as such.