Sunday, 18 September 2011

Feedback wanted

Perhaps my regular readers would care to check out my new website, Getting a job. I've put a link to it on the right as well. Let me know (politely, please) what I've missed out or got wrong, or whether it's a complete waste of time. You can comment through the contact form on the site or here.


  1. Hey Historian, good work!!
    It gives sound advice without sounding patronising and that all jobseekers are 'thick'. I have added a comment to the blog already.
    Will be reading this one with great interest.

  2. I second what Ruthy has just written! The site gives common sense advice. But as they say "common sense aint so common". Esp at many a W2W provider and sadly JCP!

  3. Any independent and non exploitative help finding suitable employment has to be welcomed.

    However, as a jobseeker under DWP attack I feel a greater need for an opportunity to cooperate, plan and communicate directly with others. Blogs might inform but a fully featured forum offers better and more democratic exchange of opinion. It would also offer a better base for collective organisation, consensus finding and mounting a coordinated defence.

    We have no shortage of people telling us what we should do, I think it's about time we started doing the telling.

    Anyone have any experience of setting up a forum? Are we perhaps too poor or even worse, too isolated and demoralised?

    Not meant as criticism, just my own thoughts on what is required.

  4. The sort of forum you suggest would not come free. And it would still have to be run by an individual or group. There are several real, rather than virtual, groups active around the country, and I think such groups offer more realistic hope of the action you want. In my experience forums tend to get hijacked by extremists unless they are very carefully moderated.

  5. The trouble with what you call "real" groups, for all their hard work are that they are few and far between. The vast majority of us are isolated and have no direct communication.

    Hijacked by extremists! I think the extremism is all coming one way at the moment, and it's coming from the far right. If you think you will change things by "moderate" appeals for justice I think you will be very disappointed. The idea that we need some more "moderate" (perhaps better educated ?) elite to guide us might be offencive if it were not so all pervasive.

    This severe attack on the poorest and most vulnerable members of society is the most extreme attack on an isolated and alienated minority I have ever experienced in this country in my lifetime. Any effective defence against it will need to match it in kind. Extremism like moderation is relative. Unlike moderation though, it could be effective in actualy changing things.

  6. "forums tend to get hijacked by extremists" - do you have any particular forum in mind, historian? :-)

  7. "extremists" - who? The DWP? Isn't leaving a human being with no income to survive on for 26 weeks "extreme"?

  8. Surplus Labour, I'm not disagreeing with you, just highlighting the difficulties. Are you a member of a political party? And don't just rubbish all political parties, there'll be at least one which represents your views. Politics actually changes things. Waiting for someone to set up and manage a forum on which you can organise with like-minded people could be a long wait. And perhaps "extremists" was the wrong choice of word. I didn't mean extreme in their views so much as in the vehemence and tedium of their expression. I can think of several forums, WPN, which have nothing to do with the current subject, but which had to be closed down because the people who wanted a sensible discussion were driven away by the ranters. The only way of preventing that is by pro-active moderation (in the technical sense of that word) and that's time-consuming and expensive.

  9. No I am not a member or indeed a supporter of any political party. Why shouldn't I rubbish them all? They are all rubbish. How could there possibly a political party that shared my view that we need to abolish all political parties? They would be like all the rest, self serving hypocrites.

    If you wish to pass down platitudes from your elevated vantage point and keep the moderate lid on justified rage on behalf of the state, (whoever temporarily and nominally governs it) you are doing our enemies a great favour. Perhaps you might get a supplier contract for your get a job initiative next bidding round.

    Can you point out a single gain the working class have ever achieved by being moderate? These bastards will give us nothing, that should be obvious. If we want anything we need to demand and take it.

    We are abandoned by the mainstream, ignored by the so called alternatives. Militant self defence is what is needed, not bourgeois liberal advice about being moderate.

  10. I've published the above because I think it proves a point about how easily discussion can slide into abuse. So it stops right there.

  11. Yes my experience of participating in Forums is a bad one. I was bullied for over three year by people who had nothing better to do with their time.

    The webmaster had a rough ride and now under a new format he has managed to gradually disappear from The Boards. I observe but still no longer participate. The bully and her cronies remain there under different names.

    I agree the direct physical contact with similarly minded people is a far better way.

  12. The problem with forums is the type of obsessive individual they can attract. One only has to see what has happened to Republic's site:

    It used to have a vibrant forum on which I contributed from time to time. It was corrupted and eventually destoyed by royalists who would post often abusive and extremist views. A complete absence of effective moderation played its part of course.

    As a result, the Republic site is but a shadow of its former self in my opinion!

  13. Just to bring the general thread of comments back on subject - A couple of suggestions:

    C.V. - There is no magic formula or layout, nor is there a hard and fast set of guidelines to follow. I don't have a personal statement in mine, preferring to use the covering letter to provide that. Of my hobbies and interests, only the ones that may be relevant to the vacancy get listed. Going to the pub and watching TV/sport is NEVER mentioned (even at an interview).

    Internet - Many local papers have a job section online, so you don't have to buy the paper (although often the hard copy is easier to flick through). Larger companies often post vacancies via their own web site, some even allow for email alerts when one is advertised.

    Spec letters - I was on the receiving end of this particular antic employed by a local "job club". Unless you researched the (potential) employer and actually had the skills required to do a job, you're wasting time and money. As soon as the letters landed on my desk, they went in to the bin with barely a glance at the top page. The only purpose these 'spec letters' serve is to keep the JCP off your back and pad out the job search diary/log.


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".