The job search can seem to be a tough and never-ending process but our Student Ambassador Manami Shinto from Japan says the best thing is to keep trying and to not lose faith…

The job market in Ireland was already competitive before Covid-19 hit. Now with Covid, the job market is even more competitive and there are fewer vacancies out there since people are losing their jobs rather than finding jobs. However, all hope is not lost, and the lucky few should be able to find an opportunity out there. Here are a few tips on job hunting and boosting your CV as an international student. 

LinkedIn is your best friend. 

Make sure to fully utilise your LinkedIn! There are so many job listings there including Graduate Programmes and Internship opportunities. It always helps to be able to research the company that you’re applying to on LinkedIn – as well as connecting with alumni, current employees and recruiters of that company to make connections and get some insider insights. Having referrals or having a connection with someone that works in the company already is a great way to boost your odds of getting a job. If you were chosen to take part in a virtual assessment centre or video interview, make sure to connect with the people that you talked to so that you can maybe get some feedback on your shortcomings or what you can improve on (if you didn’t get the part). 

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Speaking another language will boost your opportunities of finding a job 

If you speak another in-demand language such as Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish, French, etc, you’re more likely to find a job. Speaking from experience, I got two job offers related to Japanese but because I’m unable to speak Japanese, I had to turn down the offers and haven’t found any other opportunities since. If you choose to take the language path, you should be prepared to end up with a job that is completely unrelated to your educational background.  

Do virtual internship programmes

There are websites that offer free virtual internship programmes, where companies provide tasks that a person must complete in order to receive a certificate of completion. I have used a website called Forage/InsideSherpa and received certificates from Accenture and GE. However, this does not mean that you can claim to have worked for these companies. The companies only provide tasks that replicate the work done in their companies in a case study form to provide insight into the jobs.

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If you can’t find paid jobs then do free jobs to gain experience and boost your CV! There are many volunteering opportunities in Ireland and your college’s international office or student union can even help you to find one. Applying to be an Education in Ireland Ambassador is also a great way to boost your CV and to make connections with other international students in different areas of Ireland.

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Take part in virtual career fairs. 

There are many virtual career fairs taking place ever since Covid-19 began. GradIreland hosts some of the major career fairs and they have some interesting features to enable students, graduates and recruiters to virtually meet and have a chat. The most fascinating feature that I saw in the recent virtual GradIreland career fair was the meeting table where there are meeting tables/rooms with four seats so the recruiter or the company representative can talk with up to three different students at a time. So not only do you get to connect and talk with someone from the company, but you can connect and talk to two other students at the same time, which is definitely a great networking opportunity even if the chat is only for 10 minutes. 

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This year has been extremely tough for everyone, but only the resilient will win. Don’t lose hope and keep trying – good luck! 

Manami is pursuing a Bachelor of Business(Hons) in Human Resources Management at the Institute of Technology Carlow.