Don’t look back in anger

Q: I’ve just been beaten in the final interview for a job in an agency that receives public funding. I got down to the last three, but I’m very disappointed because the woman who got it is just not up to the task. It’s a case of ‘jobs for the boys’, if you’ll excuse the gender confusion. I don’t work in that organisation at the moment, but it’s a high-profile position and her past performance is a matter of public record in my locality. I feel like giving the organisation a piece of my mind just to let them know that this was a ‘ready-up’ from the word go, and that it is no way to spend taxpayer’s money. Should I write or ring them to let them know that I see through what they’ve done? (AG, email).

A: You might well feel like giving them ‘both barrels’, as the saying goes, but we would urge you to stay your hand.

Is fada an bothar gan casadh. 

As a general rule, it doesn’t do our careers any good to be ‘messy’ after failing to land a job. While you might be a much more suitable candidate than the one who got the position, you must accept the verdict of the interview panel. You entered this process without guarantees, and even if it is a case of ‘jobs for the boys’, you will likely find that the interview panel will have covered its tracks, so to speak.

This is a time to count to ten, and maybe 10,000, if necessary. Take it on the chin. Resolve to get the next job that comes your way. Trust that not every position is a ‘ready-up’ – I have seen too many enlightened and brave appointments to believe that all agencies of that nature recruit under the ‘it’s not who you know’ model.

Should you write and ask for feedback? Personally, I’d say no – primarily because you are unlikely to have any regard for it, and waiting for it will only allow you to further nurse the grievance. Should you write and thank them for the opportunity? Perhaps. It might stand to you if the job, or a similar job, comes up again.

And if the winning candidate is as out of her depth as you suggest, a vacancy may arise sooner than you think.


LinkedIn job-searching tips

The social network LinkedIn has become a significant job-searching tool.

Here are five ways you can use it to your advantage if you’re on the prowl – of course, all of the tips are predicated on the understanding that you actually have a LinkedIn account. If you don’t, simply go to and create one. It’s easy to set up, and free.

  • Get recommendations. Ask people to endorse you or write a recommendation. LinkedIn have recently simplified this process so there’s no excuse not to have some.
  • Research companies. Get to know who’s hiring, what kind of people they hire, and general information about the company. You can do this by visiting a company’s page on
  • Set up email alerts. These will notify you of jobs in your chosen sector.
  • Make sure your Professional Summary at the top of your profile is succinct. People browsing may read no further than that summary, so make it impactful.
  • Set up a personal website or blog, and promote it through your LinkedIn account. Show employers that you are doing more than others in the job hunt.

Sli Nua Careers offer CV writing, interview training, mock interview and career direction services at their offices in Galway, Dublin and Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. They hold a free Online Interview Training Workshop every Wednesday evening (6.30-7.15pm). To register, visit