Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Sinead O'Hara from Civil and Public Service Jobs to give some advice for people considering this job:


Sinead O'Hara

Higher Executive Officer

Civil and Public Service Jobs

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  Sinead O'Hara

First, I would say that the person should give some thought to what Department they may be assigned to. If, for example, one has a particular interest in environmental issues, then obviously this Department is ideal for them.

The Departments in the Civil Service cover so many aspects of life, and economic and social activity that I think there is choice for everyone. I would also encourage people to think about why they are considering the job - do they see long-term career prospects in it, or maybe they see it as a means to make a contribution.

At the end of the day, service to the public is what a career in the Civil Service is about.


Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Last Day for Accepting CAO Round One offers

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Last Day for Accepting CAO Round One offers

Monday, August 24, 2015 

Last Day for Accepting CAO Round One offers

Over 35,000 CAO applicants have accepted a Round One offer (at Friday August 21), representing 67 per cent of the 52,028 students who received a Round One offer.

Applicants have until 5:15pm this Monday 24th August to record their acceptance, and CAO advises applicants to take note of this important date.

The CAO office has received a large number of queries from applicants since the release of Round One offers, with the most common query surrounding order of preference.

Is it possible to receive an offer of one of my lower preferences in Round Two?

“We have received a large number of emails from applicants wondering if they will receive a lower preference offer in Round Two” said Eileen Keleghan, CAO communications officer. “If you have received an offer of a place in Round One you will not receive a lower preference course. You may receive a higher preference offer if deemed eligible in a later round, but not a lower preference.

Can I still receive a higher offer in Round Two?

Another common query relates to the impact of accepting an offer in this round will have on receiving an offer in a later round. “If you receive an offer of a course in this round, and you choose to accept this offer, this will not prevent you from receiving a subsequent offer of a course higher up on your list if you are deemed eligible. “If you receive your first preference course you will not receive any subsequent offers, so you should treat this offer as the last offer you will receive from that list” she added.

Available Places

For applicants who wish to apply for Available Places courses, more information is available on the CAO website including a video guide to the process. “Applicants can apply for one or more of the 200 courses advertised as Available Places on our website. Previously published points can be ignored, but minimum entry requirements must be met and an application does not guarantee an offer. This facility is open to new and existing applicants.

“If you still wish to be considered for courses on your existing application you must place the Available Places course below these courses on your order of preference list. “Alternatively, if you wish to prioritise an Available Places course you must place this at the top of your list, and above any offers already received. Accepting a Round One offer will not prevent you from receiving an Available Places offer in a later round providing you have listed the available place course above your offer, and if you are deemed eligible by the institution.

For more information on the CAO offer and acceptance process see CAO handbook and visit the Student Resources section of the website.

The CareersPortal Team