The Job Hunt again..

I wrote quite a tirade in February about my job hunt and thought I’d write an update on what’s being going on for the past few months.

Well to be honest nothing much has changed. I was right about the agency that said they could match me to their client list. I just knew it would be a fruitless visit.
We parted with him saying again that he would keep me in mind.. Oh well I hope he hit his target of how many CVs he can get registered for that month!

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Unemployment thoughts and annoyances

The current unemployment figures for the UK is 2.67 million according to figures published this week.

There is something about this figure that bother me.

Older unemployed people who do not sign on are not included in this figure despite the fact that they are job seekers. I know because I’m one of them.
I was made redundant 19 months ago. I was entitled to 6 months unemployment and that was it. I can’t claim any benefits despite paying tax and National Insurance all my working life. The main reason is that my husband earns over £12k a year. We are fortunate that we now have paid off the mortgage and my redundancy money shores up our income. I, along with many other older unemployed, have decided not to go through the indignity of signing on every two weeks for no income and to be condescended to by the oiks in the (no) Job Centre.

I was asked to attend an interview at the Job Centre to discuss my job search when my Job Seekers was coming to an end. The young lady suggested that I might want to look for work other than management and team leading. I asked what the hell she thinks I’d been doing for the previous 6 months. I showed her my list of sites I look at to search for jobs, a list of jobs I’d applied for and a list of the rejections. She suggested that I update my CV and tailor it for each job… well duh…. I’m sure she thought she was speaking to some school leaver instead of a reasonably educated woman who could do her job with one hand tied behind her back!
It was after this interview that I decided that I was not going to sign on any more. I have full NICs so there is no need to.

So what have I been doing since…

Well  until last October I religiously looked EVERY day for jobs, I have bookmarked, Jobsite, Direct Gov, Reed, Total Jobs,  JobsWales, LinkedIn, NHS to check each day and I have a bookmark of 30 others that I checked every few days.
If I found a suitable job I wrote a cover letter, made sure my CV covered everything in the advert and updated the hidden key words on my CV.  Most of time I didn’t hear any more but occasionally I’d get an interview.  The last one was in September 2011 and after missing out on that one – literally – they had one more interview after mine and I had been the one at the top until then, but the last one had more recent experience. This knocked me back somewhat and I couldn’t get motivated after that.

So, I decided to have a break from the job search – I still had the daily emails from several sites and I still looked at those but didn’t actively look online. It was a relief at first, no more feeling undervalued, useless or demoralised. However the feeling didn’t last long. I really am bored and miss having my own income.  It makes spending difficult as everything from Christmas to holidays has to come out of meagre savings. Not to mention the need to interact with ‘real’ people and put my skills to good use.

Well a couple of weeks ago I decided to hit the trail again, CV updated and reread, LinkedIn updated and feel invigorated for the task ahead. It’s not going to be easy as I now have to explain away the gap of the past 19 months. The first thing an agency or company asks is ‘What have you done recently?’ Mmm well entering competitions and taking photos doesn’t quite cut it, does it???

I find it difficult to get past agencies. You apply for a job that is below your skill level and still get turned down. For example recently I applied for an admin job. Nothing in the advert put me off and I have the skills to do the job. Within an hour of applying I had a rejection email saying I didn’t meet the current criteria for the job. Incensed I called the agency to speak to the consultant who sent the email. As usual – whenever you call an agency – the consultant was out of the office. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Can I speak to ***
Agency: She’s not in the office.
Me: Oh, well she’s just sent a rejection email to me so who was responsible for looking at my application.
Agency: You’ll have to speak to ***
Me: Yes but you said she’s not there, so when can I speak to her?
Agency: I don’t know and we don’t discuss rejections anyway..
Me: What…?? So NO one can tell me why my CV that fits EVERYTHING in your advert doesn’t fit your criteria?
Agency: NO
Me: What’s your managers name? Are they in the office?
Agency: we can’t give out that information.
Me: **&&%%++$$ I’ll find out for myself. bye..

I called back after looking finding the name on LinkedIn. Spoke to the senior consultant who told me that I lacked experience in Admin work.. what the hell does he think a Team Leader and Team Manager does then!!! No wonder people give up!!

The latest is a trip to Cardiff on Monday to meet a chap who called me yesterday from an agency that have set up their office recently. He said he saw my CV online and thinks he will be able to match me to his client base. I don’t think there’ll be a job at the end of it, it’ll be a case of go to the office to register and go through my CV so they can make up their monthly figures (gosh I’m so cynical… but hey ho!).

So if you’re reading this (and got this far Thanks!) and know of anyone that wants a People Manager in South East Wales or Bristol just pop a comment below.. Oh and did I say I’m open to most types of job?? Admin, retail, it by me..

All that panicking for nothing!

I really don’t know what I’ve done recently to get my CV noticed. I was called yesterday by an agency who saw my CV online and want to put me forward for a Team Leader job in Bristol. This one sounds good, it’s only looking after 3 full-time and 1 part-time bods. They are looking for someone to look at processes and I must admit that is my forte.  I’m going to Bristol tomorrow for a registration meeting with the agency so I’m keeping fingers crossed.

The one I wrote about last week has now fallen through. I had a call and email from the agency to say that my CV looked too project/process led and didn’t say enough about coaching. At least that’s valuable feedback for a change. I’ve updated my CV on the back of it to make sure I mention in more detail my coaching skills. I’ve also added that I wrote and delivered training.

Yet another agency called early this afternoon again after seeing my CV online. They were representing the same company as the one last week so were unable to progress any further with them. They are going to keep my CV in mind though.

It amazes me that I’ve taken my foot off the job hunting pedal recently only to be called 4 times in a week by agencies. I’ve only been looking when the fancy takes me, which isn’t often! It’s certainly not the 3+ hours every day like I used to.

Do I apply or not?

I was sent an email early today with a link to a job vacancy for a Team Manager in a Call Centre in Cardiff. The centre is already outsourced and although I could do the job – I certainly have the required skills – I can’t help feeling that I would be letting myself in for a whole heap of stress if I got it.

If you don’t know what outsourcing is, basically: Company A pays Company B to provide a service, e.g. Customer service. The employees work for Company B but Company A calls the shots. If Company B doesn’t meet the contracted KPIs they pay fines to Company A.

I worked for a bank that outsourced the IT department and it was horrific. It was very stressful and probably the worst 4+ years of my working life. I don’t mind change – it’s needed to move a business forward, but kneejerk reactions to issues is not the answer.

BUT – If I got the job I would be going in with that experience and IF they are getting the same type of issues then I would be better placed than many to provide answers. However do I really need that stress in my life? I really hate being out of work but don’t want to end up suffering from depression again. MMM it’s quite a dilema.

At this point in time I have given the agency the go ahead to put me forward for the job. Making the decision bought me to tears earlier..but as hubby says if I get it and don’t like it I can resign. We have managed on his pay for the past year so would manage again. ( I do miss earning a fair wedge though!)

If the company accept my application the interview will be on Tuesday.  Still got that sinking feeling deep down though. I’m hoping a friend is online on the weekend so I can discuss it with someone who’s been there too!

Reasons that Job Hunting is a pain!

I’ve been following an active post on LinkedIn about recruitment agencies. Issues about them not giving feedback and following up applications.

Whilst I sympathise that they have lots of applicants for vacancies there is no excuse to overlook the CV of someone they say sounds just the ticket on the phone!
Another thing that gets my goat is the ‘non-existent’ jobs. You know the ones..earn £6-£80 hour doing surveys… I’ve been doing surveys for ages, you generally get filtered out and you CANNOT earn a living from completing them.
There’s also the ‘Customer Service’ people needed over 100 to start now.. you read the advert only to discover that it is marketing and the same company ALL the time.
Then of course there are the totally blatant lies on the phone. FOr example, one agency rung me saying I was ideal for a vacancy with a bank in Bristol. He told me which bank and all I had to do was tweak my CV a bit for him to pass it to the bank.
After the call I looked up the bank website and their careers pages. The vacancy for the job ran out in November and he called me in February. I called the bank and spoke to their recruitment manager who said the job was filled in November and was no longer valid. He also said it was NEVER advertised by an agency. So the recruitment consultant was lying..