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July, 31, 2013

Application Proliferator Extraordinare

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Name: Kate Thomas
Member of: Student Panellist
Joined: Feb 2009
Kate's Full Profile

“Oh I’m so sorry, there’s been a mistake. I’m a graduate…Yes, you understand my position now. Thank you anyway. How kind, goodbye.”  If I’m not more careful I may actually get offered a job one of these days. I’m a recent graduate. Good University, good degree, good work experience, committee position in a reputable society and a few palatable and relatable hobbies. The perfect well rounded candidate.

Not a candidate for employment though. Obviously.  But superb at application forms. I’ve done covering letters, application questionnaires, psychometric tests, phone interviews and an assessment centre. Brilliant experience for my chosen career: ‘Application Proliferator’. I’m thinking of adding extraordinaire to the end but you don’t want to play fast and loose with a word like that. It’s like when letting agents describe themselves as property ‘experts’ but are surprised you’d like to know why the toilet doesn’t flush.  Plus I haven’t yet had a competitive task interview or a trial day in the office. Absolutely necessary experiences for a professional, self-employed Application Proliferator Extraordinaire.

Application Extraordinaires

Photo by Allan Henderson

I’d say I occupy an intermediate level in the profession. I know all the best job sites, how to quickly turn out a covering letter and am specialised in interview outfits. I also have an extensive network of other graduates employed in the same profession. I regularly organise networking events to discuss our application procedures and relative successes. I do this during the week as the drinks are 2-4-1 and I have coupons for dominoes blanketed at the bottom of my closet each week.

Miserable Unemployed Kids

Photo by TheeErin

Job adverts no longer seem linked to any existing companies where we may actually find ourselves working. But they offer a glittering array of form filling-in opportunities. What do they want to hear? Why have they not provided a start date? Why does an assistant HR administrator need 3 years’ experience? Ah, questions that have dogged mankind for centuries. The joy is in the finding of a beautifully crafted job advert. The burst of excitement as you think, ‘wow, that sounds great’. Not in an accessible to mortals kind of way. Great like peace, hope and the hanging gardens of Babylon. They sound great don’t they? Then you set about filling in the application form. You proof read it a couple of times. Visit their ‘about us’ section a couple of times. Then you send it in!

Time for a cup of tea. You’ve had a hard day. Then it’s time to visit your application support processor manager. Update them on progress and take your meager £56.80. Well, I am self-employed and that’s always poorly paid at the start.

Application Proliferator

Photo by Robert S. Donovan

I am so diligent in my job hunting and applying that I don’t know what I’d do if I actually got offered a position. Any position. Who would fill in all the forms? Take the ‘psychologically sound, evidence based, highly reputable and trustworthy’ heart-mind-&-soul tests? Who could you email telling the position went to an internal candidate? (Which always makes me think one their deranged alternative personalities got it, probably at hallucinatory knife-point)

No I think I’d have to turn it down. In my current position my colleagues are some of the best educated people in the country, with myriad talents and interests. They’re available and reliable and fun and have a real sense of community. Yes, we are the generation of self-employed graduate Application Proliferators, so hold the jobs, peerrrrlease!

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