So what are your key skills? Crushing plastic or arranging extrusions?

Posted on 7 December 2011 in Work (No comments yet - be the first!)

Because I worked at the BBC so long, and hadn't really considered trying to find a job since 2000, I'd dropped off the radar for most recruitment agents. Well except for one company which kept trying to persuade me to take very low paid developer jobs in Chester based on a CV I must have sent out in the summer of 1999 when I still lived up north, but a simple spam filter sorted them out.

So when I re-emerged back in the job market over last summer, I'd forgotten how variable some recruitment agencies could be. Some can be very good indeed. And some can verge on the useless. For weeks I was bombarded with emails offering me roles in web development, despite my CV clearly stating I hadn't done any professionally for over eight years. Then there was the emails I'd get offering me jobs teaching in secondary schools…

Most of them went in the giant "useless idiot" bin but I thought I'd share this one with you from Will.

I am currently updating my candidate database, to ensure that we are being as effective for you as we can be, in keeping you aware of roles and requirements that are as specific to your skill set as possible.

It’s fair to say that when you get sent stuff/ approached all the time, with information that isn’t of interest to you it can become frustrating.

Too right Will, and thanks for your consideration. I do get lots of stuff that's not of interest to me. And I throw most of them in the giant "useless idiot" bin. Not sure we've ever spoken before though, but who knows.

I was hoping that you may be able to answer a couple of questions to assist the process?

Sure. If it stops me getting stuff that's not of interest to me.

1 - Would your preference be Contract/Permanent work or Either and what are your rate/salary expectations?

Well I'm an either. I like the stability of permanent work but I like the flexibility of contract work, and the financial benefits it can bring.

2 - What is your strongest CAD package? & Is it your own licenced package?

Computer aided design eh? Well normally I get asked whether I can do agile, or have worked with Java developers or something.

So it's an unusual question but now I think of it, I think I had a CAD programme for my Atari ST about 20 years ago. If I recall it was GFA CAD. It came on the coverdisk of ST Format as I recall. So that one. And it was a free version. Can't remember if it was a demo or a full version.

Do you have much call for GFA CAD skills these days? Especially for someone who has their own copy? Cos if you do, I'm not much use as I gave the Atari ST away several years ago.

But I do have a GCSE in Graphical Communication. I got an A* and everything. My course work was to design the layout of a petrol stations and apparently I did quite well in it. Alas that was all done on paper, but some petrol companies sent me some very useful plans of their own petrol stations. I remember Q8 doing so, and I still have a detailed booklet on the history of Texaco that they sent me along with several plans.

I'm afraid it was all done on paper though, using 2H and 4H pencils, rules and things.

3 - What would your core skills be? i.e mechanisms, plastics, composites, extrusions, structural, special purpose equipment etc.

Well I'm more an agile technical product manager/business analyst, but as you can see, I do have some skills in petrol station layouts and that included designing some petrol station canopies, so I guess structural. And maybe extrusions I guess.

Also I'm good with plastics, especially when used to make bottles. I like crushing them before I put them in the recycling bin. It's unbelievably satisfying, don't you agree? In fact, I can do composites too. You know those yogurt pots which have a plastic container surrounded by a cardboard sleeve, well I'm pretty good at crushing them too.

4 - Are you currently looking for work? If so, would you consider working away from home or relocating?

Well my current role does end in January. Maybe it will get extended, but if it doesn't, I'm more than happy to dust off my drawing board for you. And perhaps I can find an open source CAD package for Linux too. But I think my 4H pencil has worn out so I might need a new one.

If you could attach your most up to date CV with your reply it would really help.

Well I'll need to edit it. For some reason I haven't included much on extrusions or special purpose equipment. To be honest, don't even know what special purpose equipment is either. But then I didn't know anything about petrol station design and that didn't stop me getting an A* in my GCSE. It was awarded by the NEAB, and I'm sure you'll agree that the Northern Examinations and Assessment Board knew what they were talking about on that one.

With the new year approaching many of our clients are asking for candidate availability for 2012 projects, so this information will be crucial in keeping you informed of current/relevant opportunities.

Well you're doing a grand job so far Will. Big back slaps all round…

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