So, you have decided to relocate to Ireland in order to further your career? Good on you! The Emerald Isle is home to a number of different thriving industries, and well as a diverse selection of cities in which to base yourself and forge a great work/life balance.

Finding work is a must as a US national, however, as you’ll be unable to stay in the country longer than ninety days without gainful employment. This guide will help guide you toward your dream job, and a new beginning in one of Europe’s most historical and thriving cities.

Getting a work visa

If you are hoping to work in Ireland and you don’t have any kind of European ancestry that qualifies you as an EU citizen, you’ll need to apply for a work permit. These come under four main criteria, the details of which you’ll find on our guide to Visas for Working and Living in Ireland, but you’ll also find information on the Irish Citizen’s Information website; you can apply for a work permit before you leave the USA by pointing your browser at the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service website.

Jobs in Ireland

Thriving sectors

Information Technology is a huge growth industry in Dublin, which is rapidly becoming a Silicon Valley to rival San Francisco – so much so that the area has been dubbed Silicon Docks. A huge number of tech giants now have a HQ in Dublin, including Apple, Google and Facebook.

Big pharma also has a substantial presence in Ireland, so if your educational and work experience background is science-based you will have a great chance of finding an enviable new job.  Over half the exports of the country stem from the pharmaceutical industry so this field of work shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. This also tees into the manufacturing side of the industry, which continues to go from strength to strength.

Engineering and construction are also booming industries in Ireland. Whilst many construction site jobs will be taken by Irish nationals or EU citizens, you may have a great deal of joy if you can bring additional value to the country with a background in architecture or engineering.

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Seasonal work

There is rarely a shortage of seasonal work on offer in Ireland. As a country with a great deal of rural interests you may find work on a farm, for example, and the tourist industry is always looking for extra pairs of hands during the summer. Qualifying for such work as a US national will be your biggest challenge – the terms of your work permit will almost always be reliant on a considerably higher salary than anything that a temporary or seasonal vacancy will be able to offer you.

Best cities for finding work

Work is plentiful in Ireland at the moment, with the county enjoying a he upswing in fortunes following the great economic crash of 2008. As always, however, you’ll find more options available to you if you look to find work in a major city.

Dublin is one of Europe’s great cities, and as we have established, the technology industry is going from strength to strength in the Irish capital. You’ll also find that salaries are much higher in this territory, though this is countered by the high cost of living – if you are going to seek a new life in Dublin, you should ensure that you have a sufficiently high salary to sustain an enjoyable lifestyle.

If you like the idea of a major city but are put off by the expense of Dublin, why not looking into Cork or Limerick as alternative locations? The salaries on offer in the cities are comparable to those that you’ll find in Dublin but you won’t face the same expense when it comes to renting an apartment and feeding your family. You may not find quite as many major tech jobs in these territories, but there is no shortage of work overall.

Tips for job hunting in Ireland

Presenting your CV/resume

Brevity is your friend when preparing your resume for a job in the Irish market – keep it down to two pages at most, focusing on facts and data – you can expand on why you are interested in a role in a cover letter. However, Irish recruiters do like to see hobbies and interests listed on a CV, so be sure to add these to the footer of your resume. There is no need to add a photograph.

Expatriate groups

You’ll find plenty of fellow expats in the major cities or Ireland, especially Dublin and Cork, thanks to the substantial growth of several multinational industries in the country. Have a look online on sites such as meetup after you land and you’ll be surprised at how many friendly accents you’ll be able to track down.


Career Zoo is the biggest networking event in Ireland, while the Dublin Chamber of Commerce hold similar events – as do the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


Job interviews in Ireland will not differ drastically in format from those in the US, though you may have to be prepared to explain the differences in your qualifications.

If you have any Irish friends or family it may be worth picking their brains to uncover any cultural quirks that may differ from what you are used to, and be aware that passion and politeness go a long way in Ireland. Don’t just reel off why you feel that your experience and qualifications make you ideal for a job – demonstrate just what you can offer, and how you will benefit your employer, by smiling and speaking with fervor about why you would relish this opportunity.

Also be aware that many jobs in Ireland will involve a minimum of two interviews; an initial meeting to establish core competence and chemistry, and a second, deeper meeting with senior figures within a company to really dig into what you can offer. There may be a third step, in which you need to meet with the Human Resources department of your potential employer.

Useful websites and job portals

Online job portals are essential tools in the arsenal of any jobseeker. Here are some of the finest available to anybody looking for work in Ireland.