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Jobs NI - Helping you find the right jobs in Northern Ireland (NI)

 

Current State of the Job Market in Northern Ireland
Traditionally Northern Ireland had been an industrial economy focusing on areas such as shipbuilding and textiles. However the economy is evolving and emphasis is now on growing and developing sectors such as business and financial services, IT, renewables and tourism.

Northern Ireland has a growing number of software development centres and IT technical support centres and of the over 900 companies in Northern Ireland’s ICT sector, more than 100 are international companies including. Companies such as Oracle, CyperSource, the CME Group and Citi Group are all major recruiters in IT in Northern Ireland. 1

The financial services industry in Northern Ireland employs over 23,000 people in more than 1,200 firms with international financial services companies such as the Allstate Corporation now with offices in Belfast. Developing alongside the financial services industry is the Business service sector which employs around 13,000 people with companies such as HCL now based in Northern Ireland.

Making the most of its industrial history Northern Ireland is also developing its renewables sector with over 200 companies focusing mainly on wind turbines and marine energy.

Since the end of the troubles and with the continuing normalisation and the end of Northern Irish society tourism is regarded another sector with potential for growth and jobs. In 2004, tourism revenue rose 7% to £325m, or over 1% of the local economy, on the back of a rise of 4% in total visits to 2.1m in the previous year 2. Hotel and Catering jobs in Northern are thriving.

In recent years another sector that has grown is nursing and homecare services. The latest figures from DHSSPSNI show that use of the independent sector has continued to grow in a number of regions with the independent sector providing over 6.8 million hours of care in 2011. Companies such as The Priory Group, The Macklin Group and The Care Circle Group are all leading recruiters in the homecare/nursing care sector.

Northern Ireland’s biggest source of employment remains the public sector. As of December 2008 the public sector in Northern Ireland accounted for 30.8% of the total workforce. This is above the UK average which is 19.5%. Although the numbers employed in the public sector have fallen and may continue to fall due to the current economic climate. 5 However there are still many Public Sector jobs in Northern Ireland.

Many people looking for work in Northern Ireland end up looking for jobs in Belfast. Belfast has almost a third (28%) of the total employment in Northern Ireland and this figure rises to almost a half (46%) if you count the Belfast metropolitan area. Belfast City Council say that in the last decade close to 30,000 new jobs were created in Belfast and predict up to 21,000 will be created between 2006 and 2016.


Using NIJobs.com to find the right jobs in NI
NIJobs.com is Northern Ireland’s number one recruitment website for a reason. With over ten years’ experience of supporting local businesses and local job seekers we know more about jobs in NI than most. So whether it is Belfast jobs that interest you or jobs in Derry or if you are after a job in Tyrone, Fermanagh or Armagh then we can help.

When you are looking for a job in Northern Ireland and you have come to NIJobs.com then your first step should be to set up your own NiJobs.com account.

This will allow you to;

Set up a Job Alert and receive jobs matching your requirements via email – tell you what type of job you want and when we get one that matches you will get an email. It frees you from having to check the job listings and you have the reassurance that you won’t ever miss your perfect job.

Join NIjobs’ CV Database. The NiJobs.com CV Database is regularly searched by hundreds of Northern Irish recruiters all looking for the perfect candidate for their vacancy. Your next job could find you!

Create your own personalised My Jobs profile. Job hunting can take time and being organised is sometime half the battle. To help you manage and track your job search you can create your own My Jobs profile which allows you to monitor your progress.

And of course the quickest and easiest way to search for a job on NIJobs.com it to use our search box:

NIJobs.com - Search

We have thousands of jobs on NIJobs.com but you can find the perfect job for you by using the variety of filtering options to refine your job search.

There are two types of jobs advertising on NIJobs.com jobs advertised by employers themselves and jobs advertised by recruitment agencies on behalf of employers. Simply select your preferred recruiter type, the industry sector you want to work in and your preferred location.

Inserting a relevant key word(s) can help refine your search greatly. You should insert words or phrases that you would expect to see in the job title or job description. As you begin to type your keyword a prompt box will appear.

This prompt box lists relevant keywords, as taken from the job title and description. The more popular keywords will be positioned at the top of the list. It is up to you which keyword you wish to select. It is also possible to create your own keyword and search for relevant jobs.

REFINEMENT OPTIONS
Once you have completed your search on the homepage you will be presented with a list of jobs relevant to your search.

From this list you can either:

  • Click on the relevant job postings
  • Refine your search further by using the filtering options positioned on the left hand side

There are 7 refinement options.

  • Recruiter Type
    This allows you to search jobs posted by agency only or company only.
  • Category
    Similar to the homepage a category should be selected based on the type of job(s) you are most interested in viewing. For example; if you are looking for a job as a HR Manager you should select the 'HR' category. If you are looking for a job as a Credit Controller, you should select the 'Accountancy & Finance' category etc.
  • Locations
    Refine your search by the location you wish to work in.
  • Employment Type
    This allows you to choose whether you are more interested in permanent work or contract work or temporary.
  • Salary
    You can further refine your search by remuneration.
  • Tags
    Tags are similar to roles. They are terms or labels that best describe the job on offer. Similar to the above filtering options, tags are listed in order of popularity. Therefore the higher the tag the more jobs assigned.

    For example, let say you carry out a simple search on the homepage selecting category only; ‘IT'. From the below listings we can see that the tag ‘Software Developer’ (308) is positioned at the top of the list. This means that a total 308 jobs have been assigned the tag ‘Software Developer’, making it the most popular tag in this search.
  • NIJobs.com - Search Listings
    Note: It is possible to view all tags relevant to your search by selecting >> MORE

  • Refine by Keyword
    This search feature further refines your search. From the job listings presented to you, you can further refine your search by typing in relevant keywords.
NIJobs.com - Refine Keyword

Cancelling a refinement
It is possible to cancel any job refinement by selecting (undo) positioned under Results Refined By.

NIJobs.com - Refine Results



As well as providing you with useful job hunting tools NIJobs.com can also provide you with free expert advice and you will also find tips on CV writing, interview preparation, salary surveys.

If you would like an easy way to keep track of the latest job news from Northern Ireland or to find out which companies have big recruitment drives then we can help there too! Just Like NIJobs.com on facebook and follow @nijobscom on twitter and we’ll keep you up to date with all the developments in the NIJobs.com job market.


CV Writing
Your CV is probably your most important job hunting tool. It is crucial that your CV optimises your skills, qualifications and abilities and sells them to a prospective employer. Industry experts say that on average a recruiter will spend just 20 seconds looking at a CV so you need to be sure your CV packs an incredible punch.

Resume - Education

Every CV should start with a well written personal profile. A personal profile is a paragraph at the start of your CV which highlights your key skills, abilities and work history. If you are applying for a particular job then your profile should highlight the skills you possess that the prospective employer is seeking. It should be compelling enough to convince the employer to read the rest of your CV. A good personal profile will tell a recruiter exactly what you have to offer and why they should hire you.

There are some very basic rules that anyone writing a CV should follow. Perhaps the most important is to make sure that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Using a spellchecker is simply not enough. You should proof read your CV and ask a friend or family member to also read it through for you. In this tough job market a spelling mistake in a CV means your CV will end up in the bin and not in the 'must see' pile.

Resume - Education

Use a simple clear font. Ariel 10 for text, Ariel 12 bold for headings and use plain white paper. If you are sending a CV by post (rather than online) use good quality paper and if possible keep it to two A4 pages.

When it comes to CV writing one size does not fit all and to increase your chances of making it to the interview stage you must write a CV for EACH job you apply for. This may sound daunting but if you take the right approach it can be quite straightforward. Use the job description as your guide, methodically go through it and mark each required skill or competency specified by the recruiter. Then tailor your CV to reflect these specific skills.

If the recruiter specifies strong team leadership skills then sure to bring those to the fore in your CV by highlighting times you successfully lead a team. If he or she is looking for an experienced sales person then highlight the revenue you generated and the new business you acquired. Your aim is to convince the prospective employer that you are the candidate that meets every single one of their requirements.

Your CV should start with your current or most recent job and work backwards through your career. Each job should include your job title, the name of the company, the dates you were employed and a short line summarising your main responsibilities and your main achievements. Pay particular attention to your achievements in your jobs as in this job market as prospective employers are looking for people who can deliver results.

With space at a premium many job seekers wonder about the value of including hobbies and interests in a CV. At NIJobs.com we would always advise people to include them. Not only can it help give a recruiter a flavour of you as an individual but it can also have real value if your hobbies further highlight your skills e.g. youth club leader (responsibility, communication skills, leadership skills etc.) Don’t make up "interesting" hobbies to make yourself more dynamic you run the risk of being asked about them at interview! Also avoid CV clichés such as "going to the cinema" or "reading" which are far too generic to have any merit. More CV Writing Tips


The Interview
Well done. You’ve made it to the interview stage. Your CV did its job and convinced the prospective employer that you were somebody worth seeing.

There is only one way to do a good interview and that is to prepare, prepare, prepare.

employment history First start with the company itself. Go online check the company website; find out what you about the business in the newspapers and industry magazines. Doesn’t just focus on the company itself look at its position in the market for example who are its competitors and what similar products are in the market at the moment.

If possible also try to find out who will be interviewing you and then do your best to find out a little bit about them and their background. Again start online and talk to your network .The more information and context you can gather at this stage the better for you.

Interviews are not rocket science. A lot of questions can be prepared in advance such as "why did you apply for this job?" What is your biggest weakness?" "What can you bring to the role?" are standard.

However interviewing is evolving and the type of interview that is most popular with large companies and public sector bodies across Northern Ireland is the competency based interview.

The principle idea behind competency based interviews is that how you behaved or handled a situation in the past is the best indicator for how you perform in the future.

The good news for candidates is that this type of interview is actually the easiest to prepare for but conversely they are also the trickiest to "wing" so you really do need to do your homework.

The clues to the type of questions you will most likely be asked are all in the job description so part of your interview preparation should involve taking apart the job description line by line.

For example you may read something like "you should have the ability to work within a team, demonstrate initiative and customer focus and work to timescales with a flexible approach." This is a competency that the interviewers will focus on in the interview.

Many competency based interview questions open with expressions such as "Tell us about a time " or "Describe a situation where you... " So for example "Describe a situation where you successfully showed initiative" or "Tell us about a time you took a flexible approach to achieve a successful outcome"

You should prepare answers to cover each competency detailed in the job description and to avoid rambling and to make sure you make the most of this opportunity to impress use the mnemonic SAR to help prepare your answers.

Situation – set up your example, put it in context and highlight any difficulties that you faced.

Action – describe the action you took, highlight the skills you used and how the problem was solved.

Result - describe the outcome of your actions. You can make this more powerful if you can quantify the outcome. "And as a result new business increased by 10%" or "...as a result the team won a major customer service award."

Remember that the interviewer will want to hear what YOU did so don’t get side tracked into describing what the team did or about your managers decisions. Focus on yourself and your achievements.

Also when preparing your answers be sure to use some different examples and different scenarios otherwise you run the risk of giving the impression your experience is limited.

Once you have prepared your answers rehearse them - out loud. In the car, walking the dog, in the show it does matter where but vocalise your answers. It sounds odd but it really does work, it the simplest way to make sure your answers are fluent and clear on the day.

Most people will be nervous when it comes to doing an interview. They are stressful but good preparation should help offset your nerves but there is more you can do to make sure you beat those interview jitters as NIJobs.com’s career coach Niamh Shiells explains.

People always wonder about what to wear to an interview. In the vast majority of cases a smart suit will do the trick. With the rise of new media and IT companies this dress code may be waning but when in doubt always go smart. You won’t lose points for wearing a suit but you will do for wearing jeans or casual wear when it is not appropriate.

At the end of every interview candidates are asked if they have any questions. Many people make the mistake of seeing this as the throw away part of the whole interview process. It is not so fall into the tired old end of interview standard of asking questions about salary, office hours or training.

If you are shrewd – and have prepared for it – you can ask a question that reflect your enthusiasm for the role or reinforces your suitability e.g. "I read that you have recently expanded into X area, as this is something I have X skills or X experience in I am interested to find out if that is something you are developing"

It is worth nothing that being "good" at interviews is a skill you can learn; the better you prepare the more likely you are to get the job. You won’t get every job. (who does?) so view every interview as opportunity to learn and hone your interview skills.


First Day on the Job
Congratulations you got the job. Your CV convinced your new employer you were someone they had to see, you prepared well for the interview and performed convincingly with warmth and enthusiasm and now here you are getting ready for your first day in new job.

Resume - Education

You should consider the first day in a new job as the final stage of the job hunting process. Just like all the other stages - organising your job hunt, writing your CV, interview preparation and some forethought as well as a clear and consistent approach will ensure you make the right impression and get off to a strong start in your new role.

First of all talk to the HR manager or your line manager and find out about your hours. Try to arrive a few minutes early and leave a few minutes late. Make sure you are dressed appropriately for your workplace, if in doubt ask and if you can’t find out then err on the side of caution and go smart.

When meeting your co-workers be friendly and open. Although nobody will realistically expect to you remember everybody’s name straight away make an effort to remember the names of the people you will be working with directly as well as some of the more senior managers.

In the main your first day will be about meeting people, setting up passwords for computer access and general admin with personnel. When you are being introduced to new computers systems or initiated into new projects make sure to take lots of notes and ask lots of questions.

As soon as possible set up a meeting with your line manager and work together to establish some clear goals and targets for you to work towards. This will give you a framework upon which to build a work schedule which you can use to achieve these goals. Ask your manager for a scheduled meeting - one a week, once a month, once a quarter whatever is appropriate - to review your progress.

Project a positive, can do attitude and express your enthusiasm for your new job. Remain neutral about your previous role, in other words don’t be tempted to criticise your previous job, employer or colleagues. Your new colleague will immediately assume you will do the same to them! Try to avoid getting sucked into office politics and office gossip. Keep your thoughts to yourself until you can fully assess the personal dynamics within the company.

And finally don’t forget to smile.



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