Finding a job in Ireland as a non native English speaker – How Internships can help

For those coming to Ireland to learn English and to find a job, internships can be a useful way to to help you in your job search. Ireland currently has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe at 5.1%. ?While there are plenty of jobs, if you would like to find a more desirable job, having work experience and references from Ireland can help you in your search.



Given Ireland?s low unemployment rate relative to other EU countries, Ireland attracts a lot of people coming here to find a job, which means increased competition. Given employers have a wide pool of people to choose from they will give preference to those who:

  1. Can demonstrate they have a high level of English ideally through work experience
  2. Have work experience in Ireland
  3. Can provide at least 2 references (people based in Ireland)


Your CV

When you are writing your CV it?s important you keep the 3 points above in mind. As a non native English speaker employers will have concerns over your level of English. It?s important you clearly demonstrate you have a high level of English. This can be done ideally by including work experience in an English speaking country or by listing your English exam results. Also, if you have any experience working or volunteering in Ireland, make sure you include this on your CV. Finally, generally you don?t put your references on your CV. You usually write ?References available upon request?. You provide your references after you have had a successful interview.

One point to note. From speaking to a number of Italians, references are not so important or used in Italy. In Ireland they are very important. Often you will not get a job unless you can provide a reference. And a reference from someone in Italy is generally not accepted, particularly for entry level positions.


How Internships can help

Internships can provide you with 3 critical things to add to your CV which will greatly improve your chances of finding a job in Ireland:

  1. Being able to demonstrate you have a high level of English by working in a role requiring English
  2. Work experience & experience working in Ireland
  3. A reference

You can find internships on our website or on LinkedIn or indeed. There are also plenty of volunteering opportunities in ireland which can also help you find a job.


Real Life Examples

SQL Developer
A Spanish friend took up a role working with a startup in Dublin, working as a Ruby developer. The role was unpaid and she worked for a number of weeks with the company. She really wanted to have experience working with Ruby and enjoyed the role. The person she worked with was very pleased with her performance and gave her a very good reference. She was able to find a job shortly after leaving as a SQL developer.

Customer Service
An Italian friend worked for 2 weeks part time in a lawyer?s office. The work was very mundane, opening letters and typing figures into excel. It was also unpaid. She was able to add the experience to her CV and was given the chance to attend an interview. She was offered the job subject to a reference. The lawyer she worked for was very pleased with her work and gave her a very good reference.


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