back to article How not to apply for a new job: Apply for it on a job site

Gizza job*. I can do that. Go on, giz it. The time has come, I say, to apply for many things. A job as a shoemaker? Shipbuilder? Fabricant of sealing wax? Cabbages? Kings? Every now and again, a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment. I am no exception. Even long-term contractors, who experience the …

  1. A K Stiles
    Pint

    another beautiful bit of prose

    Perfectly capturing the joy/nightmare that is third party recruitment and HR services. <shudder>

    I may not be in the first thrills of this particular employment, but it sure as hell beats the circus of applying for new ones!

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: another beautiful bit of prose

      I'm sort of looking for a job at present and it certainly captured the dilemma I find myself in: I don't actually need a job, but it would be good to have the interest (and indeed the additional income) that would come from one.

      But only the right one. Despite the alleged shortage of IT sills, the job market does seem to work on the "beggars can't be choosers" principle. And I can't fathom the role of those "third party" recruiters at all. There are (at least) two that very obviously and constantly repost the same advertisements with the location and the business of the (presumably fictitious) potential employer randomly altered. Even those that post genuine jobs seem to have little understanding of the role on offer. One did volunteer that they knew the job spec was wrong but they were "legally obliged" to publish the text they had received from the employer's HR department even though it was rubbish. Another returned an abandoned call about 3 weeks later to talk to me about a job I hadn't applied for. And the versions of jobs that turn up on the aggregator sites are often curiously different to the jobs that the employer advertises on their own recruitment pages.

      Perhaps it is better merely to observe than to participate. Especially when it comes to all that Scrum bollocks.

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: another beautiful bit of prose

        Agreed.

        I think you just need to remind yourself that (A) a lot of these smaller "consultancies" post fictitious jobs, or repost others adverts simply to harvest CVs from people. Also, (B) the entire recruitment industry is mostly filled with people that couldn't hack it or make it in the industries that they recruit for; and (C) the entire recruitment industry is mostly filled with B & C - Ark type people that couldn't hack it or make it in ANY industry... hence why most of them have no clue about the actual jobs they are trying to fill.

        1. Naselus

          Re: another beautiful bit of prose

          " the entire recruitment industry is mostly filled with people that couldn't hack it or make it in the industries that they recruit for"

          I thought having anything to do with the industry you're actually recruiting for was strongly discouraged tbh. Every tech recruiter I know seems to have a 2:2 in English Lit from the University of Teeside.

        2. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: another beautiful bit of prose

          An update for the modern age. Those who can, do. Those who can't, recruit.

          1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

            Re: another beautiful bit of prose

            "An update for the modern age. Those who can, do. Those who can't, recruit."

            And those who can't do either, write.

            1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: another beautiful bit of prose

              And those who can't write, comment. Anyway, beer o'clock!

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: another beautiful bit of prose

      Perfectly capturing the joy/nightmare that is third party recruitment and HR services

      My eldest is currently in this horrid cycle, trying to secure his first paid employment post education.

      Thing is that he stopped at A-levels, so the few jobs he'd be interested in which require (probably for no good reason) degree level education won't even look at him, and most other jobs seem to be aimed at people with a bare minimum of 3 or 5 GCSEs and see his good A-level & BTec results as being "over qualified".

      In my 30-ish year employment history so far I have had precisely two jobs where I had no previous history with the employer. The first was a 13-month placement during my degree, so possibly doesn't count, and the second was the first of two teaching jobs, neither of which I was particularly good at. I know loads of other people who will admit to a similar employment history - if you know someone in the business you are in with a much better chance.

      Hasn't (yet) helped my son unfortunately - we know three people in the same or similar line of work to the one he wants to get in to (railways basically), but although they all say he's just the sort of person they would be looking for, the jobs simply aren't there at the moment, and apprenticeships have almost completely disappeared in the last year.

      I've had the exact opposite of my son's problem too. I once went for a summer job, data entry for a local employer digitising their paper records. At first they wouldn't consider me as "overqualified" (with my degree in electronics) but somehow I managed to persuade them to let me take a typing test, which I passed with - I was told - one of the best scores seen that week for both speed and accuracy. They still wouldn't take me though as I didn't have an actual qualification in typing.

      M.

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: another beautiful bit of prose

        So "actual qualification" isn't, well, actual qualification. I am not surprised.

        Friend of mine applied for a rather lowly job in Germany. Bloody brilliant guy but hadn't finished his studies. He wasn't even considered. Applied in the US and right from the start made *four* times as much as that shitty position he was after would have gotten him. He actually had the choice between two very well-known places.

        P.S.: tell your son some random guy on the internet wishes him luck!

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: another beautiful bit of prose

        @Martin an gof

        we know three people in the same or similar line of work to the one he wants to get in to (railways basically),

        Depending on where you are located, is there a Heritage Railway anywhere nearby? They did get a big income hit this year, but some did get some grants which have enabled them to keep from folding and fund essential work. They are crying out for new/younger blood, and they may be amenable to getting him onboard as an apprentice. Do his training and then hopefully in a better position for when something comes along - and, Heritage Railways have a lot of connections with the Mainline and also employ the same subcontracting firms - again, he'll be best placed to find out about what is going on/get himself known.

        Good luck

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: another beautiful bit of prose

          is there a Heritage Railway anywhere nearby?

          There are a couple not too far away, certainly now that he's driving and I don't have to take him, but they are both relatively small operations and not in a position to be offering any kind of formal training. He has done voluntary work with one of them, though not recently.

          Thanks for the ideas though.

          M.

      3. Dabooka Silver badge

        Re: another beautiful bit of prose

        See this a lot.

        Alas he's in limbo, the A Level / BTEC hybrid as you say sees him Schrodingered into being both under and over qualified. Apprenticeship is the obvious way to go although even in railways there's plenty around depending where you live. A shoe in for a L3, we'd snap his hands off with that past educational record.

        Otherwise he's looking at a HN route, which depending on the field he wants could see him in railways anyway but he'd be self funding / learner loan (apps is far better for this reason).

        Good luck.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: another beautiful bit of prose

          Apprenticeship is the obvious way to go although even in railways there's plenty around depending where you live

          Where's best then? We thought we'd be in a reasonable position in South Wales, what with all the work being carried out for TfW. Ultimately he'd love to be a driver, but he's not 21 yet so can't even look at those training posts. He'd be happy to start in a station or a depot and is a good practical worker with experience with screwdrivers, saws and spanners while helping build our house. Apprenticeships there have been none in the last year. A couple came up a few weeks back leading to HNC or more but we've heard nothing so far...

          ...even thought of relocating to live with granny in Derby, but there doesn't seem to be much around there either, which is something of a surprise!

          A shoe in for a L3, we'd snap his hands off with that past educational record.

          I can get his hands if you can tell me where to send them!

          Oh, and thanks for the confidence boost, I'll pass it on :-)

          M.

          1. Red Ted Silver badge
            Go

            Re: another beautiful bit of prose

            I know the Ffestiniog has had a series of apprenticeships in the last couple of years, but with the last year, I don’t quite know if there are doing that this year.

            I also spotted that EMR in Nottingham and Derby are taking apprentices at the moment.

            He has my sympathy. When I started work you could still get in to technician roles with a BTEC, but it seems that everyone is expected to have degree these days, even if it is in “underwater basket weaving”!

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: another beautiful bit of prose

              He would love to work for Ffestiniog - we've done that trip several times - but the only opportunities right now all seem to be catering.

              As for EMR, I dunno about "at the moment" - the only opportunities with EMR we could find were back in January & February and heavily oversubscribed due to (essentially) a year off. There is nothing showing right now on the website and even their "pre-apprenticeship" scheme which usually takes on three times a year says **Under current Covid-19 guidelines it is not possible to run this programme so applications are closed.

              We'll keep looking!

              M.

              1. Red Ted Silver badge

                Re: another beautiful bit of prose

                Ah, I'd failed to spot that footnote in the EMR page, apologies.

                With the year the heritage railways have just had, he'll be very lucky to get anything paid there.

                As Fruit and Nutcase says, if he can put up with it, just getting any job on the railway would get him in and then to move about frequently until he's old enough to apply for the driver training programs. However it does require him to put up with a series of rubbish jobs for a while before he gets to where he wants to be.

          2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: another beautiful bit of prose

            When I was last doing a daily commute, about 5 years ago, there was a young lad at the ticket office at the small South West Trains (now Southwestern Railway) station that I used. One day he mentioned that it will be his last week - as he is going to be starting driver training at the Bournemouth depot.

            Worth checking the entry requirements for drivers at the different TOCs - as they could be different.

          3. Anomalous Cowturd
            Go

            Re: another beautiful bit of prose

            @Martin re: Ultimately he'd love to be a driver...

            My nephew was taken on a couple of years ago, as a conductor, even though he had originally applied for training to be a driver.

            He started his driver training this year. ;o)

            Getting a foot in the door is the hardest part. Perseverance pays dividends, and about £30k a year starting salary.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: another beautiful bit of prose

              He looked at conductor roles as he'd be quite open to do that for a few years, but those, too (or at least the ones we found), are only available for those aged 21+. In the meantime he's sort of in limbo...

              M.

      4. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: another beautiful bit of prose

        This is rather too late for 2021 (the programme has already closed), but has your son considered the Tyne and Wear metro?

        They have an apprentice scheme but also because part of the route is on shared Network Rail track their driver training is a pathway to the main line (and they have a high turnover as a consequence).

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: another beautiful bit of prose

          It'd be a very long way to go (from South Wales) and find lodgings - I have a cousin in Billingham/Middlesborough but that's about the closest. Worth keeping an eye on though. Thanks for the suggestion!

          We have also found that some postings will not consider you unless you already live within an hour of the depot and it's no good saying "I'll find lodgings".

          M.

    3. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: another beautiful bit of prose

      Regarding the circular clusterflip of recruitment sites: Long ago, classified ads would be full of "WE'VE GOT THE LEADS" ads touting the sale of "sales leads" to unsuspecting punters. The idea was that you would buy lists of prospects and sell them on.

      When Dame Esther and the staff at "That's Life!" tried to find out exactly who you could sell them to, they were told "Take out classified ads touting 'We've got the leads!'".

      In other words, it was a mugs game, or an example of the Bad Fish Chain.

      Just repeating other sites ads is something like a 21st century version of this. They also throw in clickbait to take you to "online courses", and in fact one agency I won't name seems to have that as its main objective.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: third party recruitment and HR services

      3rd? More like 56225th :(

      And by the time you get to [really] apply, each having taken their slice, you're offered a 'how about an unpaid role?" rate.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: another beautiful bit of prose

      This is the worrying thing about applying for jobs these days.

      Once upon a time, you would post your CV (and/or application form), and after the people involved in recruiting for the vacancy had finished, your CV would (presumably/hopefully) be shredded and disposed of.

      Nowadays, applying for a job involves goodness knows how many third parties, recruitment agencies, other third party data processors acting for the third party online application website, and...

      So all your details, including a whole heap of juicy stuff potentially useful for identity theft, ends up in goodness knows how many AWS (or other) databases, located who knows where in the world, and all processed via various websites probably full of who knows what sorts of decaying code and security vulnerabilities, laden with all sorts of "analytics" spyware and all kinds of then flavour-of-the-month crufty external JavaScript libraries. And then someone using the system will just send the applications that are of interest to their home email address (by unencrypted email) for more detailed perusal, because using all these complicated systems is "too hard". «sigh»

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: another beautiful bit of prose

        I agree completely, where before recuitment agencies you could deal with a employer directly and know that they were legally bound to secure your personal information now you have to give up your identity without any legal protections whatsoever.

        Worse is that where before you could talk to the bloke who needed the role filled and who knew exactly what skills were actually required for the job now you have to deal with atleast a double buffer of non-techincal HR and a third party recruitment agent who was employed primarily for their sales skills rather than technical expertise.

        It would be nice if there was a way out of this mess via say a trusted institute of computer experts for employers to recruit from directly but in the UK the closest we have is the British Computer Society and IMHO they are just yet another group looking to cash in on computing without actually providing any benefit to anyone but themsleves.

  2. imanidiot Silver badge

    LinkedOut.

    Last time I looked LinkedIn just became Facebook V2 for useless HR goblins and "creative" types to share their bollocks during working hours, with a thin veneer of "work related" so they don't get told off. In other words completely useless for anyone that can actually do something.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Unhappy

      Re: LinkedOut.

      Weirdly, it started to go downhill after Microsoft bought it. They really did seem to want to Facebook-ify it.

      And I'm being serious - about a year (or so) after MS bought it they changed the notifications so that there are (or it feels like there are) about a hundred different types of notifications that you need to turn off separately.

      Another astonishingly successful acquisition, just like Danger, or Nokia. Sigh.

      1. Ochib

        Re: LinkedOut.

        Or Skype

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: astonishingly successful acquisition

        Except amazing they spent about $11 Billion simply getting factories that needed to be closed, people needing made redundant and ZERO IP or the name.

        Was Elop really an MS Trojan or a double agent?

        The Nokia Phone division was on a dead-end path from about 2004 when then implemented internal competition and scrapped S80 / Crystal etc, everything except S60. QT, Megoo, WinPhone all too late.

        Was Zune bought in?

        Was Visio the last useful buy-in?

      3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        That's when I got out.

        I had been pressured into getting a LinkedIn profile by a company who employed me before 2010, I never liked it, but I did what I was told like a good little drone.

        When I left the company, I kept the profile for a while. When Borkzilla borged it, that was the tipping point and I closed my account.

        Never regretted it.

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: LinkedOut.

      Agreed. LinkedIn really is just a cesspit of industry buzzword-bullshit bingo posts.

      1. WonkoTheSane
        FAIL

        Re: LinkedOut.

        Agreed. That's why it was the first thing added to my spam filter when work switched to Office365.

        These days, the only thing that filter catches is my employer's marketing droids asking me to spam their drivel to my (non-existant) Linkedin contacts. Do I LOOK like a botnet? (Don't answer that!)

    3. Edwin
      Trollface

      Re: LinkedOut.

      I'll be the dissenting voice then :)

      I quite like LinkedIn, but must confess that I'm more of a Dabbsian generalist than a hardcore specialist.

      The term 'Facebook for suits' is perhaps pretty apt, but I wouldn't go so far as the OP who is - presumably - engaging in a bit of commentardism on the boss' dime as well.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: LinkedOut.

        My sister works in a corner shop, and loves her job. She uses LinkedIn as another social media outlet. On that basis alone I refuse to go anywhere near it.

      2. captain veg

        Re: LinkedOut.

        Linkedwhat?

        -A.

    4. Caver_Dave Silver badge

      Re: LinkedOut.

      I only use it for professional stuff.

      And I'm only on there because of an incident many years ago.

      A friend, in the business, wrote a job add specifically with me in mind. I applied, but heard nothing back, despite my CV being harvested for the job spec. My mate was on holiday, so I called the (small) company owner to find out what was going on. He said that as he could find no trace of me on any social media, then he couldn't find anything about me and had binned the CV. I did point out to him that a CV was the was to find out about a prospective employee!

      My mate was disgusted and left a few weeks after, and has been very happy in the new job ever since.

      At another company I saw one department head in operation going through a pile of CV's that had been gathered by HR. He took the pile and put the top 4 in the bin and the 5th on another pile and continued through the first file. He then did the same on the second file, etc. until he had only 5 or so left. He would then actually read those. He said he preferred to have lucky engineers than good ones!

      I know that my CV had gone to the company a number of times over the previous 10 years, so at least this proved it wasn't personal. That boss was a real dick!

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: LinkedOut.

        So, the lucky ones ended in the bin based on that behaviour

    5. Spamfast
      FAIL

      Re: LinkedOut.

      The Daily Mash has LinkedIn covered here.

      Also, despite having turned off all public access to my profile, how come recruiters can still find me on there?

      Think this has now spurred me on to delete my account...

      Thanks all.

  3. CuChulainn

    We've Got To Follow Procedure

    The company I worked for used to advertise widely when there were vacancies.

    The problem was that they had already decided who was going to get the job - the Next-In-Line Golden Bollox who was already employed by them and was working his way up the ladder in the required way (i.e. getting married to someone else who worked there, attending the same after-work events as more senior managers, that sort of thing). In later years, the 'he' became 'he/she', of course.

    The poor sods who'd applied for outside then went through a charade of 'selection centres' and interviews for something they had no chance of getting. If they were lucky (and quite good), they'd perhaps get offered a much lesser job, often one created especially for them, and they'd join the list of Next-In-Line Golden Bollox. If they stuck around long enough, it was then a repeat of the previous stages when their turn came.

    I had long suspected something like this, but only became fully aware of it when I ended up as part of the recruitment process in later years and had to actually do it.

    I asked why we were advertising when we already knew who the next celebrity was, and was told 'we have to follow the correct procedures'.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: We've Got To Follow Procedure

      I remember applying for a job, going through the phone screen, getting an interview, sitting there and the guy telling me it's ringfenced to be internal-only but he can at least give me feedback on ho wi would've done in the interview had it been anything more than a tickbox exercise

      damn right i made him refund my bus fare

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Re: We've Got To Follow Procedure

      I ran into this with the DK ministry of the environment some time in the 90es.

      It was a quite specific set of requirements (I doubt they could have 10 qualified applicants), I met about 90% and didn’t get an interview.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "not to have to buy your own tools for the job."

    Back in the days of developing or supporting database applications on Unix servers this wasn't necessary - the tools were all there. In other situations buying/having the tools can be your USP:

    Early in 2000 I was slumming on Windows whilst minding a new Y2K Unix box that was capable of looking after itself. My client received a new contract. It required this new, shiny XML stuff of which they'd no experience - and neither had I. As a freelance I could make instant decisions that would have taken them weeks about buying both training and the requisite tools for the job if they were prepared to give me a contract for their new contract. They did so I did and then they had a similar contract and another... They eventually caught up but it was a good investment on my part.

  5. big_D Silver badge

    Red Queen

    The Red Queen's race for the digital age.

  6. Dr_N Silver badge
    Go

    Pôle Emploi

    Head off down to the Pôle Emploi, Mr Dabbs!

    They'll ask you to provide a CV, then ask you to manually type it into their system too.

    Then you'll start getting sms from various prospective employers and private colleges offering courses in 'IT'.

    Good luck!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pôle Emploi

      Ah yes, and if your particular skill set is, say, "Project Manager" you will be automatically sent all job postings which contain either the word "Project" or the word "Manager', their filter engines being incapable of processing complete phrases.

  7. Franco Silver badge

    Been dealing with this myself lately. My contract ended in January and wasn't extended, I was working on a desktop refresh program that had be ended due to the lockdown. Between lockdown and now the IR35 change there are slim pickings out there for true contractors (idiots who refer to contractors as tax dodgers, please take this as a pre-emptive FUCK OFF) and whilst I am seeing a few short term gigs for getting PCs built and on desks I am far too qualified for these roles as I'm usually the one creating the image that goes on them, not deploying them and so recruiters tend to ignore or politely decline my applications.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Have A Pint As I can Only Upvote You Once

      (idiots who refer to contractors as tax dodgers, please take this as a pre-emptive FUCK OFF)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have A Pint As I can Only Upvote You Once

        In my experience, I have never considered contractors tax dodgers.

        Mercenary maybe....

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Have A Pint As I can Only Upvote You Once

          Soldiers of fortune.

          I love IT when a plan comes together.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Have A Pint As I can Only Upvote You Once

        agreed

        are the job sites "taking over" like "big tech" ? I've had similar experiences looking for new contract gigs.

        The book "What Color is your Parachute?" [it's about the job hunting process] suggested (a while back) that you do a bit of research and at least find the hiring manager's name, THEN send your resume and a tailored cover letter to him DIRECTLY.

        But I think the "Job Site" circle jerk described in the article is an attempt to somehow prevent us from doing the thing that is most likely to get an interview, and INSTEAD justify the existence of a bunch of HR [censored term].

        We normally want to:

        * Bypass HR

        * Communicate with the hiring manager ASAP

        * Cut down on B.S. (from THEIR perspective) by quickly presenting yourself in a way that impresses that particular manager.

        Instead, you're reduced to:

        * HR friendly boiler plates

        * HR friendly "your education goes first" resumes (as if pedigrees make you a better employee)

        * Focus on HR "requirements" instead of "being someone who gets the job done" [which is what the HIRING MANAGER wants]

        * Being circle-jerked around to enter your e-mail address (and phone number) to as MANY lists as possible

        This is frustrating for both the HIRING MANAGER _AND_ YOU.

        So Thanks, Dabbsy, good article!

  8. JimmyPage
    FAIL

    Totally useless since recruiters learned about "keywords"

    I lost count of the number of "project manager" jobs - certainly on LinkedIn - that were simply sucker bait for MLM type nonsense/

    "Earn up to £100,000 from home as a project manager" being an example.

    I actually posted about it on Linked in. Ironically.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've started, so I'll finish...

    I loved the Walrus and the Carpenter allusions:

    "The time has come," the Walrus said, / "To talk of many things: / Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax— / Of cabbages—and kings— / And why the sea is boiling hot— / And whether pigs have wings."

    But given the runaround you describe later, I feel you forgot:

    "It seems a shame," the Walrus said, / "To play them such a trick. / After we've brought them out so far, / And made them trot so quick!" / The Carpenter said nothing but / "The butter's spread too thick!"

    Oh well, at least (thanks to the various COVIDs floating around) trotting home won't take too long...

    1. TimMaher Silver badge
      Windows

      “But answer came there none”

      “And that was scarcely odd because they’d eaten every one.”

      As I remember it.

      Bloody recruitment cannibals.

  10. Howard Sway

    How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

    This is just another use case in the rapidly increasing pollution of the web by sites looking to monopolise web searches by returning results for any possible combination of remotely relevant keywords, even though the page you will be lead to is almost the exact same information free and utterly useless waste of time for you, but probably earns the site a micropenny of ad revenue.

    Of course they've all been inspired down this road by Amazon who first cottoned on to the possibilities of generating pages on the fly for any and all imaginable search combinations, but it feels like the search engines haven't been able to or don't want to defeat this destructive crap.

    There is a real need for some sort of blocking mechanism for all these operations that have identikit sites on swathes of similar sounding urls, as I'm finding that I use search less and less and have to navigate by links on websites that are actually decent websites.

    It all makes me long for the days when search engine abuse meant a bunch of META tags in a page.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

      Its worse than that. The bastards install a load balancer and then use it to route googlebot et al to one site and the rest of the world to a different pile of shit.

      On the other hand, you have websense et al who totally waste the concept of a single-use-URL by scanning them before letting the actual user reach them.

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

      I remember the days when a search would return one or, at the most a few, pages of results. If you were very lucky you actually achieved a Googlewhack, a single result, I did manage it once but only thanks to a misspelt word so it probably doesn't count.

    3. Andy A
      FAIL

      Re: How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

      eBay did exactly the same as Amazon. Hence you could search for something naughty and get as top of the pile "Buy Child P**n Now! Lowest prices guaranteed!"

      A bit later they managed to put a filter in place, but you still get results claiming "Lowest prices guaranteed" for things which can not, or should not, be sold.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

        I did a google search on my real name a few weeks ago. Eight of the top twenty hits were companies offering to sell me to myself, all at the lowest prices possible. One bragged about being the only outfit selling GENUINE US MADE jakes! WOW! I must get me one!

        The other dozen hits were offering re-packaged publically available info to anyone interested in tracking me down, for a price. Page three, four and five were more of the same, at which point I gave up.

        Curiously, none of them were professionally published papers which I wrote or participated in over the years, all of which are available online. In fact, near as I can tell none of it could actually be traced to me at all ... and my real name isn't exactly common.

        Google search is useless. Absofucking useless.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

          What's needed is a search engine that scrapes Google but binning anything on the top 5 pages or so.

    4. jake Silver badge

      Re: How not to find anything on the web : look for it with a search engine

      Indeed. All the major search engines are polluted to the point of uselessness.

      More to the point, so is any data that the advertising set could possibly "leverage" (yes, I know, I hate it too). And even worse, depending on your perspective, most of the so-called "personal data" that the world-wide multi-billion dollar advertising companies have is so stale it's fucking useless. Eventually someone is going to notice, and then where will the alphagookids (et alia) be?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a real need for some sort of blocking mechanism for all these operations

      to which google and the rest of the 'ecosystem' participants say: oh not, there isn't! And if you, little man, don't like this perfect, beautiful system, you're free to create an alternative one! :(

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Old farts

    I'm an old fart (above 50) so the possibility of me getting something worthwhile is next to nothing.

    Had a good run at it, looking forward to bowing out of IT within the next 3 years. Hopefully less.

    1. rafff

      Re: Old farts

      At 75+ I'm a bit fartier than you, and still at it. It keeps me out of mischief for a couple of hours a day, and the bank balance topped up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Old farts

        This is interesting. What work do you do that requires a few hours per day ?. I would be interested in just that type of work - where it is ad hoc and working from home. Thanks if you can say.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Old farts

          I seem to have found myself such a PT gig as the result of 2 days casual work back in Jan, so using that as as a supplementary regular contract to my main ones.

          Friday so celebrating with a pint at home later this evening, as pubs shut down last Friday in Alberta.

        2. Mike_R
          Happy

          Re: Old farts

          Working from home, half days, for a gov department running VMS servers.

          Anyone under 50 hears VMS : response "Huh Wha?"

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Old farts

      I was in my 50s when I moved into freelance for a decade or so.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Old farts

        I went full-time freelance in '88, became a licensed contractor in '91. I'm about Dr. S's age.

  12. Nifty Silver badge

    With LinkedIn and Indeed being so easy to use directly by HR depts, there's almost no need for agencies nowadays.

    Once a company stops appearing as themselves and moves all-agency, you can be sure they don't want you to look up their Indeed or Glassdoor reviews.

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Except agencies have a list of contacts they can easily email.

    2. JimmyPage
      Thumb Up

      Indeed

      With LinkedIn and Indeed being so easy to use directly by HR depts, there's almost no need for agencies nowadays.

      Just finishing my first month having been contacted via my CV on LinkedIn directly. Registered with a shed load of agencies who managed between them the square root of fuck all. Turns out the CEO of my new gig doesn't trust them either. They have become yet another example of a layer that wants to extract wealth without adding value (see also: mobile phone resellers).

  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

    Nope. Not me.

    I got out in 2009, following certain things that happened on the other side of the pond. I spent three years trying to get back in, following web training and writing hundreds of applications (on paper), nothing came of it. In the third year I told my wife that I was starting to feel like it would be easier to find customers than an employer. She agreed. So it started.

    Now, I have been self-employed since 2012, and it's working out fine. COVID has actually improved my work status since I have customers and no longer need to slog the traffic jams on Luxembourg highways. Of course, it helps that I have FTTH, working over a 12mbps line would not be so easy.

    So no, I have no reason at this point in time to want to have an employer, and I don't think that's going to change any time soon. I do want to be able to take my wife to the restaurant again, though. Can't wait for things to get back to some sort of normal.

    1. CuChulainn

      Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

      I'm with you on that.

      When I lost my job I vowed never to work for anyone ever again. The bureaucracy would have eventually killed me.

      Admittedly, I did so (on tech support) for a short time to earn some pennies while I was re-training for another career, but since 2004 I have been self-employed and it's never been better.

      COVID did affect me, but I got through it.

      1. RuffianXion

        Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

        "COVID did affect me, but I got through it"

        You speak as if COVID is over - it's not, not by a long chalk. We still have to pay for it yet...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

          Not just pay for it, but also get a booster yearly(ish) for the foreseeable future. It's not over yet, not by a long shot.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

      Me neither! I have been retired a couple of years now. After the last 'proper' gig I had running a project when I finished I did a few of the agency rabbit holes including a couple where agencies tried to tell me I was being head hunter but they didn't even have a clue of what I could do.

      I got sick of it and finally spent my last four years working doing something I really like, carpentry! It paid a bit less but I was virtually my own boss and got to be creative.

      As far back as I can remember ( and that's a long way) agencies have been useless at providing anyone with a job they were applying for and usually try to get you to go for totally unsuitable positions that they actually have on the books.

      1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

        Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

        I have been a freelancer since 1993. I'm starting to get the hang of it.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

          I have been mostly a Freelance contractor over the last 21 years, good times & bad with occasional toes in the dark side of the permy brigade.

          The contracting gigs have been the most fulfilling side of my entire working life, working with some top global companies, the permy roles were only taken out of of a desire not to starve & keep a roof over my head.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

            I turned down a client wanting me to go permie as development manager. I don't think they realised how close I was to their mandatory retirement age and in any case one reason for being freelance is to continue in tech roles instead of following a career path into management.

            Having said that it was the development manager they hired who finally persuaded me that retirement would be better than working with his complete lack of understanding of development or management. Thank goodness!

      2. gotes

        Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

        agencies have been useless at providing anyone with a job they were applying for and usually try to get you to go for totally unsuitable positions that they actually have on the books

        To a recruiter, the perfect job for you is whatever they have available.

        1. J. Cook Silver badge

          Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

          GODS YES THIS.

          While I have a peg on the hat rack for the rune-encrusted Deep Sea Diving Helmet that is SQL Admin, I don't know enough about it to be a proper DBA. (I.E., I can stunt admin, but don't want to do it day in day out)

          one recruiter had me interview with a company for, you guessed it, a DBA position that I was absolutely not comfortable taking, and only barely qualified for. I told the guy I was interviewing this, and we ended up getting along pretty well even though it was a waste of his and my time.

          I still get emails every now again from that recruiter for short-run gigs doing things I've not done in 10+ years (like swapping desktops as part of a brute squad) or stuff that's not worth the time or pay to even consider.

          It also didn't help that I found out that my boss (aka El Turkey) was looking to hire people through the very same recruiter. Yeah. screw that noise.

    3. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: "a freelancer feels the urge to seek solace in full-time employment"

      "Of course, it helps that I have FTTH, working over a 12mbps line would not be so easy."

      I work over dial-up fairly often. It's not all that bad ... consider that 98.5% of everything you do as a consultant is plain ol' text.

      That stat, like all online stats, was pulled out of my posterior. Beer?

  14. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Pint

    Good luck

    Quote

    "Oh, and to be able to command some other flunky to fix said IT equipment whenever it goes wrong, with a mere flick of a call-log."

    If its anything like the festering heap of stupidity I attend on a full time basis, having the merest inking of IT knowledge will result in you becoming the flunky to repair all IT problems (including the boss's new phone when he cant work out where the on button is)

    Oh and you can dream on about pensions and sick pay too (SSP anyone? nope ? thought not)

    In any case for those out there looking to change jobs via a web based recruitment agency type thing... remember to re-write your profile for each job you apply to, with emphasis on your skills and adding 5 yrs experience in whatever buzzword tech thats just been released works wonders in getting an interview

    Beer because at least its the weekend...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good luck

      "remember to re-write your profile for each job"

      Makes no difference. they'll send it to some other job, rewrite it or both.

    2. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Re: Good luck

      Hey hey hey, what do you mean sick pay and pensions.... heavens IR35 means its a 'proper job' and therefore you have to pay 'proper tax' so of course you must get 'proper benefits'?? No? Oh, does that mean IR35 is just a government scheme to rip the arse out of people? Thats a surprise, I guess the answer is to gift one or more of our MPs and their family some shares and land a prime contract for an inflated price :) :) No corruption in the west, none of this despicable bribery you hear about in the rest of the world. Equally no double standards either, MPs naturally dont claim for travel to their normal place of work in Westminster because its a 5 year job where they do as they are told...oops, wrong again? I am surprised at my lack of good perception.

  15. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    The time has come, I say, to apply for many things. A job as a shoemaker? Shipbuilder? Fabricant of sealing wax? Cabbages? Kings?

    Mastic Asphalt Spreader?

    1. Dave 15 Silver badge

      Oh dear

      You had the same careers teacher as I did. Isnt it shit looking back over your life and realising that being a Mastic Asphalt Spreader would have been more fun, healthier, more rewarding and all round better than the dead end job we ended up with. Told we cant earn more than a Tesco checkout operator because there is a bonehead in accounts that reckons he can get 25 Indian software engineers for the same rate as a Tesco checkout operator, a bonehead in management that says you have to waste half your day traveling because you need to be part of the team (like the Indians in Bangalore, the Chinese in Bejing or the Romanians who are all working on the project, or the Americans who are supplying the architecture drawings with their 2 weeks post graduation experience), or the HR wally who thinks you shouldnt swear loudly when some IT bozo forces yet another downgrade from Microshit on your already fucked up laptop buggering all those nicely setup programs... arghhh... yup, Masic Asphalt Spreading was an unfortunate miss on my career ladder

  16. Handy Andy
    Thumb Up

    'the call of the tame'

    .

    made me laugh

    signed another 20+ years contracting old fart

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    Not even exagerated

    I would find this humorous if it weren't perfectly true.

    Who the hell designs these processes?

    1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Not even exagerated

      Who the hell designs these processes?

      What makes you think these processes undergo any kind of design at all? Or testing, for that matter?

  18. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Worst

    The worst thing is the number of places that take a perfectly functional CV and then insist on rewriting it into their own forms, make an absolute hash of it and then require you to spend hours redoing all the mistakes... guess what, those jobs are best avoided.

    I also despair of universities and schools (at least in the UK), cant take a CV, you have to fill in the form that is all about your teaching experience and has zero space for anything else - guess what, they scream of a shortage of IT, Science and Maths teachers in the UK then do their absolute best to ensure they never ever recruit anyone new into the jobs that are there.

    No, there are very few examples of good recruiting in the world, vanishingly small. Compounded now by the bone headed stupidity of it only being work from home until Covid is over ... no, I an NOT going back in to an office to catch my coworkers kids snotty beak or the hacking cough from the other commuter crammed into the revolting and over crowded train after spending near an hour driving through the traffic jams to the over priced car park (with potholes big enough to swallow entire lorries) so I can catch the train (which will mean standing 20+ minutes in the rain on the open platform - unless it is its usual habitual 15 minutes late) to stand for over an hour before wandering the streets to find an overcrowded bus heading in the direction of the office where the coffee will be stewed, the tea cheap and undrinkable, the toilets stained and smelly knowing that in 8 hours I do the whole lot in reverse meaning I spend 14 hours out of my home, miss the daylight, miss my kids and am too tired and grumpy to appreciate my wife. All of this to do a job I have PROVEN that I can do in my home.

  19. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    You’re doing it wrong

    All you need to do is the update CV, make it searchable and let the recruitment consultants do all the leg work, all you gotta do is sit back and wait for the phonecalls

    Its a sellers market out there, just make sure you’re getting the correct remuneration for a highly sought after skillset

    Become a house, and inflate

  20. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Just before Xmas I applied for a job, from a listing of local govt type things I signed up for ages ago. Long story short I got it. Got told that start of February, or was it the end of January? Now in the middle of April they will allow me to start this job I am much needed for, lots needing doing.

    The problem? Working from home council bureaucrats. Mind you they have made me sign on to the council employee website including my bank details so I can get paid (Yay!). The email explaining all this had a line about online training I could do tomorrow (ie today Saturday) with login details. Except they don’t work. ‘Tomorrow’ means ‘another working day after we have set up your account’.

    What’s the job? technical but not technically computer related. I shall be a school science technician. One of the jobs needing doing is to get the Physics practical equipment up and running again. Mulimeter and soldering iron skills? Got, lead me to them. What have the kids done to break them? That horror awaits.

  21. Bogbody

    2009 and all that

    Back in the wonderfull days of 2009 having been made redundant from a job of xx years standing (at least 10 years too long but thats a whole different story) - I found myself trying, along wirh many others, to find a new job.

    Disaster Area would be the best description.

    Jobs that were paying £15 per hour were now minimum wage.

    I was considered too old and over qualified at 50 something...

    Job Center wanted me to apply for jobs that were based many miles from home at £11,000/year.

    I had to show records of phone calls/letters/replys, there were pages and pages of them.

    Allways there was the threat of withdrawing the job seekers allowance !!!!

    I gave up with the JC after 3 months, got a bit of work but that fell through then got in with an agency.

    A few months work at minimum wage close to home eventualy led to a permie position elsewhete through a different agency.

    All in all 2 years of stress and financial embarasment that took a number of years to get over.

  22. Grunchy

    Smacks of Cringely

    You should watch out you'll go blind, like Cringely.

    Do you know he still has people griping about his kickstarter campaign for raspberry pi minecraft servers??

  23. Instinct46

    LinkedIn

    Best thing for jobs is LinkedIn. You always get jobs thrown at you, the trick is getting them to stop...

  24. SuperGeek

    Magic Roundabout

    Applying for jobs is sometimes like navigating the Magic Roundabout. You forget which roundabout you started on, and what was that exit I needed again? Second? Nope, I'm back on the first roundabout!

    When all that is needed is a simple junction.....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hah ha!

    I registered with LinkedIn when it started and I was unemployed. I never used it, never applied for a single role there, never gave them my CV, forgot about it.

    Years later my 13 year old nephew emailed me to say, "Hah ha! You're on LinkedIn!"

    Really rubbed it in. He'd wanted to be a social influencer, a male model or a professional games player and I'd mocked him, but look who got the last laugh.

  26. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    What time????

    Last week I had a telephone "preliminary discussion" with one recruiter, and as soon as they said "hours from 8am..." I interupted and said "no thanks, bye". and hung up.

    Until my savings run out, it's nice to be able to tell antisocial bar-stewards where to stuff it. I'm waaaaaayyyy past forcing myself out of bed at 6am just to fit some other person's demented body clock.

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