Statement of interest can be a trump card

By Mary O’Brien-Killeen, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers

Mary O'Brien-Killeen
Mary O’Brien, Career Coach, Claremorris. Tel: 094 95 42965.

Q: Yesterday I attended for interview for a marketing role and felt I did well. I’m a new graduate and it was my first job interview. This morning, I got an email from the employer thanking me for coming along. She asked me to email her back confirming that I am still interested in the position. I am definitely interested, but found this to be an unusual question. Surely the fact that I turned up for the interview shows that I am interested. How should I reply? (LD, email).

A: I have to confess this is the first time I have heard of something like – as you say, it might be taken as read that you are keen on the position.

The more I think about it, the more I think this is not just an innocent enquiry from the employer. The reply provides them with two opportunities to check you out:

  1. How well do you write? Can you communicate in an effective and persuasive fashion – if they’re going to hire you for a marketing role, they will need to know that you can turn engagements into prospects through quality communication. Pepper your reply with five spelling errors, for example, and I’d say you can kiss your chances goodbye;
  2. Are you keen? Are you really, really, keen? Is your attitude good? The reply is an opportunity for you to reiterate your desire to get the job – and, indeed, your enthusiasm to build on your education in a role of this nature. Graduates need to display attitude – a willingness to learn – and your reply can give them comfort in this area too.

Where will the jobs be?

Q: I am at a crossroads – I don’t really know what way to turn with my career. I worked in construction for years, and enjoyed it, but it has been a tough few years. I’d love a fresh start, but I don’t know where to turn. More to the point, how do I find out what kinds of careers will offer jobs in the future?

A: First off, you need to look at working in areas that suit your behavioural characteristics, your personality type and your skills – psychometric testing can help in this regard.

To cut to the kernel of your question, a good resource to tap into is the National Skills Bulletin, published annually, and available for viewing on the Skills Ireland website (

You should read that report in full as it may trigger some ideas for you. Skill shortages are identified in the following areas:

ICT (software developers (web, mobile, cloud, IT project management and business analysis, testing and troubleshooting), databases/big data, specific product knowledge, IT security, technical support, networking and infrastructure;

  • Engineering (production and process engineering; quality and validation; product development and design (chemicals, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, ICT, food and medical devices); energy; telecommunications; project management and production planning;
  • Science (R&D, science & business; science & sales);
  • Business & finance (accountants (financial, tax, compliance, solvency and rationalisation); quantitative analysts (e.g. financial analysts, statisticians, economists, actuaries, risk analysts); management consultants;
  • Health (doctors (GPs and non-consultant hospital doctors), nurses (intensive care, theatre, oncology, paediatrics, geriatric care), radiographers (CT, MRI), sonographers;
  • Sales (technical sales (B2B and B2C), multilingual customer support, online sales and marketing);
  • Craft (tool making, welding (TIG, MIG));
  • Transport (multilingual supply chain and logistics managers, HGV and forklift drivers);
  • Clerical (multilingual credit control/debt collection, supply chain & logistics).

I hope that proves to be a good starting point for you.

Mary O’Brien-Killeen is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

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