Blaming me, blaming you

It is hardly conducive to finding a job to cast aspersions on everyone in society, says Guy Moreton.

Recently, I tuned in to a BBC Radio 5 Live morning programme, in which DJ Nicky Campbell's phone-in show centred on the current hot topic of the job market.

As I listened I became incensed with one of the callers who only rang up to have a rant about society for "turning its back on the jobless".

In particular, he poured a torrent of abuse on the poor people working in job centres and - you are not going to believe this - had a dig at recruiters.

He was particularly angry about the fact that he had popped into his local job centre to "find a job", only to be told by the assistant that they couldn't see him at that precise moment because they were off to have their lunch.

He was incandescent with rage that the job centre staff could not see him instantly and that the "idle paper pushers" at these government organisations didn't "give two hoots" about people like him and their problems.

He somehow neglected to mention the fact that he apparently dropped in on the "off chance" at lunchtime, and that he might not have been the only person there wanting to see someone so perhaps should have made an appointment beforehand.

In addition, he made no attempt to understand or appreciate the job centre assistant's situation.

We all know how tough it is out there at present, with large numbers of people losing their jobs, and we certainly appreciate how difficult and upsetting this is for them and how frustrated and helpless they must feel.

However, there are still plenty of positive things that can be done. Recession or not, the basics still apply and proper preparation and presentation are still important.

The successful candidates spend time and effort producing a good CV, research the market and talk to as many people as possible - recruiters, outplacement specialists, job centres, trade associations, former colleagues and contacts from the past - and remain businesslike in their approach, making efforts to make themselves as marketable and attractive as possible to potential employers.

What they don't do is waste their time and energy blaming everybody else for their problems.

- Guy Moreton is director of MorePeople.

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