Really cool jobs you can apply for right now

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When a Swiss council advertised for a hermit last month, it was deluged with applications. It seems that thousands of people fancied the idea of living in a cave.

The job at the Verena Gorge, near the city of Solothurn, involves guarding the cavern, looking after a small garden and giving courses in meditation three times a week. It's become vacant after the retirement of 68-year-old Verena Dubacher, the first woman in 600 years to hold the position.

%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%Unfortunately, applications for the position closed last week. But there are plenty of other weird and wonderful jobs out there: we take a look at ten jobs you can apply for right now that offer something a little out of the ordinary.

Chocolate taster
Now, don't apply all at once, or you'll bring the website down - but Mondelez International is looking for chocolate tasters. Based in Reading, the successful food tasting panellists will sample up to ten different chocolate or confectionery samples during each two-hour tasting session. Candidates will have to undergo four screening sessions to gauge their tasting ability, for which they'll be given a "small non-financial incentive" - more chocolate, we're guessing.

Lion keeper
Edinburgh zoo is looking for a senior animal keeper to help look after its carnivore section. The successful candidate will be hanging out with Asiatic lions, jaguars, Sumatran tigers and other assorted creatures with big teeth. The nine-month maternity cover position involves weekend and occasional evening work. You'll need previous experience - and a strong nerve.

Computer games tester
Language Recruitment Services is looking for fluent foreign language speakers to test out computer football games in London. Successful candidates will need to play the games - at some length - and then translate or proofread the instructions and documentation. If you're football-mad and fluent enough in German, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian or Turkish, then this one could be for you.

Play games on a yacht
Sunsail is looking for kids' activity coordinators for its fleet of yachts, operating in the Mediterranean this summer. Looking after children between five and seventeen, coordinators play with the kids on land and at sea, and are responsible for their safety. They also organise parties, barbecues and treasure hunts and are expected to socialise with guests. The job runs from June to September - plenty of time to get a great tan.

MI5 always has room for a few more shifty-looking people in sunglasses and trench coats, and right now it's short of Mandarin speakers. As a Mandarin intelligence analyst, you'd be listening in to telephone calls and working with written documents intercepted under warrant. If all goes well, says MI5, you could soon progress to becoming a investigative officer within the team, piecing together intelligence to help protect national security. After that, it says, you could move on to operational work such as agent running.

The Royal Opera House, in London's Covent Garden, is currently offering a two-year apprenticeship in its props making department. It's looking for someone with carpentry or metal working skills to manufacture, repair and modify the stage props for its two performing companies. So if you think you could make Romeo's sword or the Swan Queen's crown, you could be in with a chance.

Theme park ride host
As the job ad says, "where else can you say that you're responsible for a rollercoaster?" Alton Towers is looking for ride hosts for this summer, to work on attractions such as the Smiler, Oblivion and Nemesis. You'll be looking after guests, maintaining safety and making sure the rides are kept clean. You'll get free tickets to all the company's attractions - which include Legoland, Madame Tussauds and Chessington World of Adventure as well as Alton Towers itself - along with discounts at hotels and elsewhere.

Aston Martin designer
Fancy designing Aston Martin's next luxury model? Some lucky person will soon be doing just that. Based at Gaydon, in Warwickshire, the senior designer will need to come up with sketches and Photoshop images before working with the company's 3D designers to develop these designs towards prototypes. The job also entails coming up with ideas for promoting the Aston Martin brand beyond the car sector itself.

Spirits buyer
A company called, appropriately, Hedonism Drinks is looking for a spirit buyer. Based in London, the job would also involve national and international travel to seek out interesting and unusual spirits. Sampling everything from English sloe gin to Japanese whisky, the lucky candidate is even promised a "very competitive" salary to boot. You'll need to be well-connected in the industry - and have "excellent whisky knowledge", it says.
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