'There is work out there'
With more and more people applying for jobs these days, the one thing that everyone needs is an effective CV. Peter Horgan met Orla Murphy of the Cork Job Club, an organisation which trains jobseekers and helps them produce the best CV possible
Located in the Penrose Wharf retail complex, the Cork Job Club has been in operation for a number of years. However, with the current labour market woes and a new Government initiative (Pathways to Work) being implemented, the demand for services that the Job Club provides is more important now than ever.
Funded by the Department of Social Protection, the Club seeks to train jobseekers in CV preparation, cover letter writing and interview techniques. The service is free to all those in receipt of social welfare payments, with people from all educational and career backgrounds currently using the services provided.
“I think an awful lot of people don’t know how to write a CV as we have never been taught how,” said Orla Murphy, Job Co-ordinator at the Cork Job Club.
“People traditionally didn’t need a CV in a lot of cases because they would have seen a job down the road and stayed in that job for 15 or 20 years; but now they find they’re not working there anymore.”
“It’s a whole new skill that we have to teach people; whereas before CVs were short, sharp and sweet — this is where I can be contacted and so on, now though, it has to be a lot more interesting, a lot more detailed and a lot more targeted to the job that you are going for.”
Orla is keen to emphasise the importance of having a good CV, and a cover letter, that entices the employer to consider one person in particular over the others applying. She is also positive about the current job situation, despite the negative feel in the job market.
“There is work out there, there is a lot of doom and gloom, but there is work there. It may not be the exact type of work you were used to before, the pay may not be the same but there is work there.”
“We’ve had some success over the last number of months in that Cork is becoming a big call centre capital and I think that’s where a lot of the work seems to be at the moment, for anyone who is customer orientated.”
However, it’s not all about getting the jobseekers out the door as quickly as possible. Positive mental health is a key concern and, for Orla, ensuring the right person gets the right job is a high priority.
“It’s not about just getting people working at any cost, it's about getting people working somewhere where they can be happy, because your mental health is a big factor.”
One aspect of that mental health awareness is highlighting the hobbies and interests of job applicants, a section Orla describes as “vastly under-used.”
“Having a hobby or interest is brilliant but people need to highlight them further. What type of books you are into, films you see, if you are involved in team sports, etc. That can generate a lot of interest in an interview beyond the work aspect.”
For more information, call the Job Club on 021-2392834, email email@example.com call into Cork Job Club, Unit 70A, Penrose Wharf, Penrose Quay, Cork.