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How to approach a company for a job?

Let’s just imagine you are looking for a job. It’s the beginning of 2013, you are being made redundant, want a change of scenery or a better salary and are ready to move on. You live within 40-50 minutes from London by train and are quite frankly fed up with the commute. It may be a thousand other reasons why you ended up on the job market – and nobody enjoys being on a market trying to sell themselves!

It was early days of my recent job hunt when I realised it was no good applying for jobs that said ‘125 applications received so far’. Some online boards would reveal this information, some wouldn’t. Either way, if I came across the same job advertisement on multiple job sites, it’s highly likely it attracted loads of hopeful candidates. Not that I don’t think I could be good enough, no! But realistically the employer might have liked the application No. 34 and by the time they will hopefully get to mine the candidate No.  34 will already be hired.

I don’t appreciate the fact that the recruiters seem to adapt the role of someone between a gatekeeper and God. You may never know why the recruiter never called you back after you’ve sent your CV – the company might have never even had a chance to know about your existence because the recruiter had a quick glance/skim over the document and (even though they might not even be that interested in your industry!) decided you are no good.

A couple of weeks into my job hunt a good friend who’s been a recruitment consultant for over a decade told me that in the current market too many people are looking for a job and it is the employer’s market with loads of choice. By that point I’ve had enough of sending emails into what felt an empty space and decided to look for a job that wasn’t advertised by recruitment agencies. Perhaps not even advertised by the employer; now that’s a challenge!

Now that I’m settling in at my new job with a company that hasn’t even advertised it, I’d like to share some tips here. And maybe that career move is just around the corner for you too! Continue Reading »

Why is there hatred towards Eastern Europeans in Britain?

As the famous advert goes, ‘Can hate be good? Can hate be great? Can hate be something we don’t hate?’ I’m not so sure anymore. These two stories happened to me in the last half of a year, in both cases while travelling on South West Trains.

On the first occasion, I took a late night train from Guildford to get home. The carriage was rather empty, but at the very end of it I could hear a group of local youngsters ‘messing about’. Their mobiles were blasting with music tunes, the boys were joking around, and the girls were laughing as loud as they could. The ticket collector approached the group and asked politely to remove their feet from the seats and to keep the noise levels to a minimum; otherwise, he would have to ask them to leave the train. Oh dear, the man had his best intentions, but not the best ones for me.

So, the whole group moved down the carriage where I sat. Even though there was plenty of space for as far as you could see, they specifically chose to land onto the seats next to mine.

One boy, not older than 13, asked me a question which I didn’t catch.

‘Pardon me?’ – I asked. I shouldn’t have, I know that now because they heard my accent.

Continue Reading »