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I am currently looking for a new job as a qualified accountant and being a very early 50something I am realistic enough to accept that it is going to be a long hard slog for me to get past the folks who cannot see past my age. As a result of that I have been flinging my CV out far and wide to any agency which might just conceivably be able to help me. Crown is one of them. I had an interview last week with my local branch and straight away I knew this was going to be a mistake. The lady concerned was very pleasant, had the little card with her name and the word Consultant etc on it and everything was very professional. The offices were very pleasant and everybody was very helpful; BUT. When it came to register and fill in their form I realised straight away that it was extremely unlikely that they would be able to do much for me. Recruitment consultancy registration forms tell you a lot about the agency themselves if you know how to read them properly. The first thing to look for is the amount of space and detail they ask for about your schooling. If you are in the 16 to 25 age bracket looking for your first or second job that information is quite important and relevant; if you are a well experienced professional in your 30s or 40s it is not. Similarly if you are given a tick list of mundane jobs and asked to describe whether or not you are any use at filing, typing, switchboard and so on, you know you have come to the wrong place. The sort of forms which I am used to filling in gives a number of spaces for each of your previous employers and asks you to write out in your own words your duties, responsibilities, number of staff managed, who you reported to etc. They want to assess your ability to perform the sorts of jobs they have to offer. Likewise the Crown form wants to assess your ability to do the sorts of jobs they have to offer. Any saving graces? Well, yes, Crown did have a couple of them. The consultant I saw was honest enough to admit that jobs at my level were few and far between as far as their books were concerned and was gracious enough to recommend a couple of their competitors who could help me more. Also, I did get the impression that they might be able to help me if I need temping work in the future.