Advice for awkward people

In my sophomore year, I worked on an art film with two friends, and it was a great experience. We smoked cigarettes, shot some footage, and talked for hours about critical theorists like Lacan, Butler, and Derrida (Foucault? More like, Fouc-ko am I right?). Unfortunately, I lack internship experience because I was unable to afford unpaid internships. Plus, I don’t want to do unpaid labor for the corporate system. I’m applying to jobs since I’m graduating in a few months, but the 369 positions I’ve applied to haven’t called me back for an interview. Do you think it’s because I discuss the movie project on my resume as “creating work that directly implicates Hollywood in the perpetuation of phallocentric thinking and the phallus itself?”

-- @ConfusedPenalStudies

Dear @CPS,

It’s important to remember that the Class of 2021 is graduating into an impossible economic situation. Make sure to cut yourself some slack. Personally, I’ve already applied to nearly 30 different positions, and I haven’t heard back from most, with the others sending me their “Thanks, but no thanks” emails.

While I don’t make reference to certain elements of my own penile education on my own resume (for I too have learned the way of penis theory), it may behoove you to leave it on yours. Ultimately, it will come down to what you look for in a position and what the employer is looking for. Would you want to work for an employer that doesn’t understand the fallacy of the rational man? Does the employer want someone who understands that?

If anyone tries to tell you “the right way” to construct a resume and cover letter, they’re likely selling you snake oil. Take, for example, a college’s career and professional development center which uses a computer algorithm to tell you the success of your resume on a color-coded scale. The right way to construct a resume for that algorithm might not be right for a different algorithm or a different human. Maybe someone will like your chutzpah. Maybe someone will see the word “phallus” and light your resume on fire.

Gainful employment is hard to come by these days. Credentialism and meritocratic thinking run rampant because 36 percent of Americans have completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher and roughly another third have completed some college. However, the last 10 years has seen the rate of labor force participation decrease by 3.1 percent for adults with Bachelor’s degrees and 5.1 percent for adults with some college.

Advice for awkward people