Having experienced the joys of instant job hunt rejection as a result of the wonderful world of online applications and algorithm-based evaluations, I’m taking a new approach – blunt honesty.
It’s obvious in some cases that no human eye ever gazes upon my resume because of something I can’t control – I didn’t graduate from college. The maniacal microprocessors see that one certitude and immediately dismiss me. No human contact required.
There is an explanation. I attended college. I attended college for five years. I was young and idealistic, I attended college with this silly idea that I wanted to be educated. I took classes that interested me. I took classes in journalism, English, French, mass communication, psychology, sociology, urban studies, anthropology, philosophy and many more. I left college lacking only a few hours for a degree, but I left college with a well-rounded education.
I had another priority at the time – eating.
No employer ever asked me about my education. My work spoke for itself and I worked continually until last December.
In recent weeks, I’ve come to regret my decision. While I don’t think a degree would make me a better employee, I’d have a better chance of being actually employed.
Were anyone besides me reading this I’m sure I’d hear two suggestions: Go back to school, or lie.
Lying isn’t an option. I am not good at lying. At this point, if I were good at it I’d probably put it on my resume.
Going back to school is something I’ve thought about although it would simply be so that I could say I have a degree. That would be frustrating. There are some other issues, the pesky eating thing being one.
In truth, although I’ve been unemployed for 10 months, I have only recently begun looking for work on a regular basis. It’s still a little early to take a vow of poverty and become a college student.
I read an article the other day suggesting applying online for jobs is a complete waste of time. The author accurately described my experience of being dissed by artificial intelligence and suggested stalking (my word) the person responsible for hiring. The article recommended finding that person’s physical address and sending them an actual letter along with a resume. No email.
I’m going to consider that route.
I’m also incorporating a more personal appeal in my cover letters and resumes. I’m trying to explain the situation with my college education.
Maybe I still have a sliver of that youthful idealism, but perhaps my honesty will open some human eyes to my true potential.
Posted by Michael Main