Another Glitch in the Reinvention Process

overqualified

Image credit: CareerAddict.com

So there’s another job I didn’t get…Billboard Lighting Inspector. Apparently I wasn’t able to properly convey my ability to perform the duties of the position, which to the best of my knowledge entailed driving, locating the billboard and then discerning whether the lights that illuminate it at night are, in fact, working. I have to assume one makes that determination based on whether or not you can read the message on said billboard – if so, then the lights are probably working. If not, well…

Okay, remember your ‘Tony Robbins’ training. Stay positive. Maybe they were looking for someone with previous experience. You know, hoping to avoid all that costly training. That must be the reason why I was snubbed for the wood stacking job at the lumberyard, too. No doubt it would have taken me months to master the subtleties of the position, like being able to differentiate between a two-by-four and, say, a sheet of plywood. Or how to walk and carry something at the same time.

But I’ll never know, because employers don’t even give us job seekers the courtesy of a rejection letter any more. The “Thanks, we think you’re a loser, but best of luck” note that in the past provided at least some closure. Now there’s just this cyber-purgatory into which your information disappears and nothing returns.

For instance, the folks at Nestle were hiring “associates” to stock shelves in party stores (at least I wouldn’t be competing with all those unemployed rocket scientists). As requested, I sent my resume and filled out an application wherein I was asked to painstakingly re-enter all the information already listed on my resume. But in the end, both documents appear to have been utterly ignored, as I received no response. The Hertz Corporation was looking for a transporter – no, you weren’t required to kick the shit out of 17 ninja assassins while launching the vehicle from the top of a collapsing parking ramp onto a moving train, just shuttle cars back and forth from the airport. Again, nothing. The only requirement was a driver’s license, for Christ’s sake! Jeffrey Dahmer could have landed that job, but somehow my credentials came up short. So go to hell, Tony.

Welcome to the conundrum of the over-qualified. It seems to be propagated by that human resources dogma that says I won’t make a good employee because I’ll leave skid marks out of the parking lot just as soon as a job in my field opens up. Well, I’ve got news for the HR department – there are no jobs in my field. I’m applying because I need this job. And so I find myself in a curious position, trying to reverse-engineer my resume. Gone are the overstated work details and illusory verbiage meant to make me sound like Bill Gates – instead, I’m busily deflating my previous media and marketing experience so that I won’t be rejected out of hand for that lawn-mowing gig.

After a couple of months the Billboard Lighting Inspector position posted again, so I sent the bastards another resume. I heard somewhere that persistence is a virtue when it comes to job hunting, at least so long as no one feels the need to file a restraining order. But this time I asked them, as nicely as possible, how many bad hires it will take before they realize that good help really is hard to find, even if it’s just looking for burned-out lightbulbs.

Again, nothing.

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16 thoughts on “Another Glitch in the Reinvention Process

  1. Gah, it’s a rotten job market.
    We’ve been back in Indy for three years now and my husband has job-hunted twice. When he finishes his degree, I bet he’ll job hunt again. My son has been out of college for over a year and while he’s able to find employment, it’s never in his field of study.
    The guy who mows our grass time to time (specifically, the bush hogger part) used to be an exec in some industrial company, but he got laid off and started mowing to cushion his savings in the interim. Well the interim never ended and he’s been mowing 6 years now.
    My FIL also laid off, decided to take retirement early.
    It’s a nightmare.

    When I was in high school, I helped my mother sort applicant resumes for her business. I was instructed that BA and BS and anything higher went in the toss pile. “They’ll never stay long,” she said. Higher education means you could never enjoy dealing with lights and firewood, just ask the MBA who mows our lawn.

    • As if just being ‘old’ isn’t enough of an employment challenge, right? I’m getting a little freelance writing work (VERY little), but in the mean time everything from vacations to retirement plans are being put on hold. Just doing my best to hang in there and not hole up on top of a clock tower with a high-powered weapon.

      • Getting good copy jobs is tough. I get excited if I get a decent one! Most of them aren’t worth the time — like technical writing. Not.my.thing. Takes too long for too little money.

        I’ll just keep hopin you find somethin!

  2. I think I only had one “real” job (when I was working in my area of focus) that I didn’t hear about or was recommended for because I knew someone. I can’t imagine the frustration of sending out a resume into the black hole of the interwebs and then just waiting… for nothing.

  3. It’s too bad you weren’t required to move to Texas. The oil patch has had it a little rough recently, but I keep seeing signs saying “Now Hiring” all over the place. it’s not a boom town, but at least people can find work. It may not be work in your field, though. I don’t know about that. Still, I feel for you. It has to be frustrating, nerve-wracking, and all those other unhappy things.

    “Overqualified” is one of those terms that drives me crazy. I understand the employers’ perspective, but still — if I were hiring again (been there, done that, decided to forego it) I’d never dismiss a well-trained or well-educated person out of hand. That’s just silly.

  4. Yes, it can be very frustrating. Maybe some small businesses, disgruntled writers, or community education groups have need for a good blogger! I took a community ed class on blogging when I started- it was somewhat helpful, but I’m still learning (on the fly, as I go). Your blog also serves a good purpose for you (and your readers) as an active demonstration of what you can do, attitude, sense of humor… all that kinda stuff. Keep up the good work! Good image up top, by the way!

  5. And God forbid if you’re over 50 in a field of mostly 20 and 30 somethings – you have to be too expensive, or have obsolete skills, or be unable to learn something new – right?

    Good luck with the search.

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  8. The juxtaposition of a long stream of excruciatingly beige occupations with such an uncanny wit suggests a tragic childhood Orwellian in scope. I forgive you for not waving back at that one group therapy session.

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