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Rather splendid pig illustrating the concept of mucking in

"... must be willing to 'muck in' "

So far, I’ve applied for one job that I saw advertised in Daily Information (which often has quite interesting jobs). It’s a short-term post with an environmental consultancy and I think that I made a strong case for meeting the key requirements (including the ability to “muck in”, which gave me a good excuse to turn up one of my favourite pig photos).

Last week, I signed up with reed.co.uk.

Saw a job that I wanted to apply for almost immediately. Clicked the “Apply” button. Was told that I needed to upgrade my account. Error 404. Hrrmmmph.


Signed in.

“You have a CV Builder account. Upgrade your account to apply for jobs and get headhunted by recruiters.” Actually I was rather hoping to hang on to my head – it’s one of my best features. (You don’t think that they are a cover for the Pitt River Museum? It’s never been quite the same since they were made to give back their collection of shrunken heads.)

“We’ll try to use your CV to start creating your profile.”

“Upload your CV”

I upload my CV. It attempts to extract details. It fails.

I start to complete the form manually.

Nationality?  “UK Citizen” isn’t on the list, so I opt for the vaguer “British”. If Scotland achieves full independence, perhaps I will at last be able to say that I am English. I resolve to be kinder to Alex Salmond.

Most recent job title? Hmmm … my most recent paid job was counting votes for the Referendum, but that’s a bit like saying that you’re a programme seller for coronations. The other options are Special Enumerator or Volunteer. I currently have three voluntary jobs. Do they mean “paid employment” or “employment” in the more general sense?  I plump for the more general  sense and put  “Volunteer” with “Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre / Oxfordshire History Centre” as the employer, but give my employment status as “unemployed”, as I meet the legal definition* for this.

Highest academic qualification? My highest academic qualification isn’t on the list, so I could choose “none of these”, but that’s not true either. You should always have an “other” option for this type of data. In the interests of veracity, I leave it blank. It doesn’t seem to mind.

The rest is more straight-forward. I opt for IT and a number of other specialisms. I ignore the equal opportunities questions (don’t get me started).

“Welcome your reed.co.uk registration was successful.” Hallelujah.

There is a job recommendation. Even better. I check the details and decide to apply. I click the “Apply” button.

They ask for a covering letter and a copy of my CV. I customise my CV to highlight the skills and experience that the employer is looking for, write my covering letter and submit the application. I’m enjoying this.

To be continued …

*Unemployment : Unemployed people are without a job, have actively sought work in the last four weeks and are available to start work in the next two weeks or out of work, have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next two weeks. (Source : Office of National Statistics)