Networking and Job Hunting in NYC

Quite possibly the most valuable thing you can do when looking for a job here in New York is networking. We Irish are a bunch that tend to look out for each other and have quite an established network of connections here. Whether it be Irish-American or born-and-bred Irish, there are several organizations and a plethora of events to help you get yourself out there and start conversations that will get you on your way to securing a job in NYC!

You cant afford to be shy when networking in NYC – you have to really put yourself out there. Walk up to strangers, introduce yourself. Strike up conversations. Be politely direct and tailor the conversation around looking for work and in the particular industry/role you need.

The following list of organizations/events won’t do the work for you – they are merely a starting point for you to get in contact with people that more than likely have been in your position at some stage in their career and may be able to point you in the right direction. Or they just might know someone who knows someone. Its good practice to bring a copy of your resume, just in case and be prepared to get swap contact details.

Digital Irish

Digital Irish quickly recognized the difficulty of J1 Graduates getting their career started and finding employment in the city. It aims to shortlist a network of highly qualified, motivated Irish graduates and notify them, via email blasts, of great companies that are currently hiring in the USA. Typical positions in which recent graduates find employment include; sales, business development, social media management, marketing, finance / accounting, and IT.

While they will facilitate making introductions to companies, everything else will be your sole responsibility. They do not charge a fee, this is a voluntary service to help you find work.

Digital Irish also host regular networking sessions and quick-pitch events where startups present to the community and ask for support and feedback. This is a good opportunity to show up and mingle with other professionals in New York, mainly from Irish backgrounds and strike up conversations about jobs, advice and connections. Keep updated on upcoming events by following on social media pages and joining the mailing list.

Irish International Business Network (IIBN)

IIBN is another network of Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals.  The objective of IIBN is to facilitate greater communication and connectivity between successful Irish business people all over the world with a view to identifying and exploiting new business opportunities.

Keep up to date with their events here by checking out their website.

IIBN also operates a number of mentor programs across each of its chapters.  The purpose of these is to harness potential, enhance skills, develop leadership, provide knowledge, guidance and connections.

Irish Business Organization (IBO)

The IBO is a not-for-profit, non-denominational organization which seeks to promote, foster and advance the business interests of Irish and Irish American business people in the tri-state area and beyond.

The IBO provides a unique forum for Irish and Irish-American business people via its regular networking meetings and other events and initiatives. Their mission is to Network, Communicate and Reciprocate!

Keep up to date with their events by checking out their website and searching for the IBO Young Professionals group.

It’s vital you get at least a temporary US cell phone number whilst job hunting in the states. You can’t rely on recruiters / potential employers to just correspond through email. Most will call you without prior warning or at least want to conduct a phone interview at some stage. And if you don’t have a phone. or there’s any obstacle like this, they’ll move on. So go into any American cell phone provider and purchase a top-up/burner cell and add the cell number to your resume.

Once that is taken care of you can start applying through different websites and forums. Some I recommend include:

  3. Criaglist
  4. LinkedIn (Quick tip: Update your location to ‘New York’ on LinkedIn so recruiters will find you based on location)


Remember, job applications are great but building connections is better. Reach out to that Facebook friend in New York you haven’t spoken to in years, send an email to that former colleague just moved to New York you barely knew. They might know someone or their company might be hiring. Believe me, you never know where it leads to.

About the author:

James Cumiskey is Business Development Manager for KEMP Technologies based in their New York headquarters. Coming from Ireland, he has been through the J1 process before and found his employment through networking and interviewing on the ground here in the city. Find him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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