Friday, December 01, 2006

Applying again ...

I'm anticipating another attack of the miseries since I'm having to fill in a job application again. I like the look of the job, but once you get down to filling the form in, then the problems start. This one wants to know the reason for leaving previous jobs Strangely, only one of them should I be putting: couldn't stand working in such a disorganised place with such a lack of teamwork. And, yes, it was an archaeological job and I lasted four months. But what to say instead? They also want to know the pay. I'm having to guess some, as the jobs were so long ago. I'm trying not to look closely at the more recent ones, otherwise I shall cry - one because I liked working there and the pay was OK (I left due to the illness), and the other one is the crucifyingly low amount of pay from archaeological freelance work.

Anyway, just putting the finishing touches. It's taken me hours, and I probably won't even get an interview. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd interview me with such a dodgy CV. Looks like I'm a fly-by-night, and as for leaving the last permanent job due to illness ... However, it's not now the last job, as I am working (on a very casual basis) and volunteering at the Small Museum, so that looks better, and proves I've recovered from the illness. Anyhow, I shan't be wasting postage, as I can submit via email :-)


At 4:37 pm GMT, Blogger wil said...

Good luck.

At 5:45 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

How about saying you went freelance because you wanted a wider variety/particular type of work and/or more flexibility of working hours for personal reasons? I don't do much job interviewing but I've seen both of those. You'll need to be prepared to expand on the 'wider variety/particular type of work' one at interview because they'll ask you - maybe you can say that freelance work allows you to specialise in your particular area of expertise because you can accept work in your field from any dig that encounters relevant material? Maybe you can say that you wanted experience working with a public-facing role and volunteering at the Small Museum gave you the opportunity to try that. Maybe you can say you wanted a mid-career break - I've certainly seen people leave jobs, go off to travel the world in the gap year they couldn't afford as a student, and then come back and apply for jobs in their old field again. They likely won't dare ask too many questions about what the 'personal reasons' were for fear of falling foul of the discrimination laws. This is a potential way round the illness issue - you can answer honestly if they ask you a direct question, but you don't volunteer it.
And if they can't check the pay (which they probably can't, if you can't remember it), you could do worse than quote something around the upper quartile of the normal going rate for the kind of job you're applying for.
Good luck.

At 8:41 pm GMT, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Thanks Wil :-)

Carla, I shall keep all your comments in mind, especially when I apply for another job. Unfortunately, I have sent off the application and put 'illness' on the reasons for leaving my last permanent job; next time I shall put 'personal reasons,' I think, especially if I don't make it to interview this time round.

I've been freelance for around 15 years, and personal reasons is also good one to quote there. I'm not worried about them checking the pay; I quoted the actual figures for the ones I could check paperwork. I've nearly always worked in the public sector which pays peanuts, as does the job I've applied for. I once earned the dizzy heights of £15,000, but the job was in London and my partner was in York ... What worries me is that was in the early 1990s and diggers barely get paid £15,000 for working in London now.

Anyway, great advice - thank you :-)

At 4:03 pm GMT, Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Good luck, Alex.

I agree with Carla, paint yur resume in pretty colours next time. I've to do that as well, to cover up the fact that I've studied too long, left one job after 5 months because the boss was a groper and stuff like that.

At 2:33 pm GMT, Blogger Carla said...

Glad it was useful - good luck!
Oh, by the way, another possibility that occurred to me re the illness issue, maybe you could say something along the lines of 'medical issues in the family'. They'll probably assume you were looking after a terminally ill relative (which is not uncommon for women of a certain age - a friend of mine has just stopped working to look after her mother who's dying of terminal cancer) and not ask any more questions. If they do ask direct questions you can answer honestly, and provided you stress that it was an acute physical illness that's now resolved they probably won't mind. It tends to be mental illnesses (especially depression or anything 'stress-related') and vague chronic illnesses (back pain) that alarm prospective employers.

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