Despite living in extraordinary and challenging times, many of us still enjoyed the age-old tradition of April Fool's Day earlier this month sharing the laughter of falling for pranks and elaborate set-ups.  


The most popular theory to explain how it came about points to the move from the Julian calendar whose year began on March 25. As this fell in Holy Week, new year festivals were celebrated instead on the first day of April. The adoption of the Gregorian calendar moved New Year to January 1 – so those who could be tricked into believing April 1 was still a celebration day earned themselves the title April Fool.  


Another theory insists the annual tomfoolery is linked to the arrival of spring, a time when nature can often fool us into a false sense of security with its fickle weather. 

Fast-forward to today and one-fifth of people admit to having played a joke in their workplace, with a surprising 52% even having had the brass neck to punk their boss. 

Whatever the truth of its origins, April 1 is known to have tricked even the most cautious – however, not all pranks are strictly for laughs, especially when it comes to employment. 


A Nottingham student recently warned others to be extra careful when applying for jobs abroad after she thought she’d secured a teaching role for a year that turned out to be a scam. 


Patrycja Boryka, a 21-year-old documentary journalism student at Nottingham Trent University, only realised the job offer was a trick after giving up her accommodation and paying for a flight. 


Action Fraud, which is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, advises job seekers to check an advertisement is genuine by looking for the website of the company using online search engines.  


You should also make telephone checks with the potential employers using information identified from your searches rather than any that’s been provided in the original vacancy post or through subsequent emails. 


While employers often quite legitimately ask for identification documents for their HR team, such as utility bills and bank account details, before hiring, it’s highly recommended you don’t provide these at the application stage but wait until you’re confident the job is genuine and you’ve been through the interview process. 


The good news is there are dream jobs advertised by recruiters that appear to have been taken straight out of the prank players’ handbook but are 100% genuine. 

These include a role for ocean lovers who like to dress up: the ‘mermaid’. An American innovation, these professional party people appear at corporate events, birthday parties and even teach swimming lessons for children. 


Staying in the water, many of the UK’s fun parks hire slide testers to check all aspects of safety and make sure these attractions are as fast and fun as they can be.  

Professional pusher: fact or fiction? Fact!  


Yes, it’s true. Some cities in Japan make sure slow-paced commuters reach their work on time by employing people to push them on to trains. We’re not sure this would work in the UK any time soon. 


For those whose natural inclination at work is to take it easy – really easy – NASA has been known to pay volunteers to take part in their bed rest research, all to gain medical and social interaction data for future missions to Mars and beyond.  

Although the participants stay firmly on the ground rather than rocketing off into space, there’s no time for boredom, with gourmet food, a TV, computer and video game console all set up bedside for everyone.  


If you’d like to land dream jobs such as these, make sure you cater your CV specifically for the position: there are not many companies who hire mermaids to bed test for space flights, after all. 


This means adding all of the important details that show how your natural skills, knowledge and experience make you the best candidate. 


Above all, however, show your passion by describing how much you would welcome the opportunity for an interview and the chance to explain what the job would mean to you. This is a sure-fire way to get your resume to the peak of the pile. 


Finally, if you really want to land a brand-new role check out x1jobs for all the best and entirely genuine vacancies.