What I Find Ironic About Penn State University Hiring

•June 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

For over a year, I’ve applied for numerous positions with Penn State University, and I’ve never even so much as had an interview. What I have noticed about their hiring practices is that when it comes to professional positions (i.e. jobs that require a college degree), they only hire alumni; when it comes to jobs such as housekeeping, food service, facilities, etc., they’re willing to hire non-alumni. Since I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from universities other than Penn State, I guess I have zero chance of being interviewed, much less hired. 

What I find so horribly ironic is that I am a college-educated woman without a criminal history, and the Human Resources department ad hiring managers at Penn State University feel I’m not even deserving of an interview or a job because my diplomas were not conferred by PSU; yet these are the same people that hired and retained that pedobear Jerry Sandusky. Nice, huh? 

At this point, I’m going to stop applying for jobs at PSU. Not only is it an exercise in futility, but with the Sandusky trial  going on, and finding out that the administration knew what he was up to and turned a blind eye, as far as I’m concerned, Penn State is damaged beyond repair. I wouldn’t want to have them listed on my resume as an employer, and I’m relieved my college diplomas aren’t from that awful place either. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education needs to seriously consider revoking PSU’s accreditation. Maybe if those arrogant Human Resource and hiring managers at PSU had a taste of unemployment, they’ll be a little more humble when they have to look for a job and find that doors to employment are being shut in their faces. 

Companies That Refuse to Hire Me

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In the past 15 months, I have completed in excess of 2,000 applications. I have been called for exactly 4 job interviews and received 0 job offers. I have Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in English, and an Associate’s degree in Psychology, and years of employment experience, yet I can’t find work. Here is a list of the companies I have applied to. The companies marked with an asterisk are the ones I have at least received an interview with prior to being rejected. I hope that representatives from these companies will respond as to why they refuse to offer employment to someone who is highly educated and has a solid work history. Here’s the list: 

Adams Keegan ATS

AETEA Information Technology

Aetna

Aims Community College

Albright College

AllianceBernstein

Alvernia University

Amazon

Amerigroup

Association of American Medical Colleges

Atos

Avalanche Studios

Barnes Foundation

Berks and Beyond Employment 

Bloomberg

Boise State University

Boston University

Bronx Community College

* Brown Mackie College 

Brown University

Cabrini College

Camden Community College 

Capital Blue Cross

Capstone Search Group

CA Technologies

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA

CBS Corporation

Cigna 

City of Philadelphia

City University of New York

Clarity Consultants

Clark Associates

CNN

College Board

Comcast

Community College of Aurora

Community College of Philadelphia 

Conde Nast

Cone Communications

Cornell University

CPS Professionals 

Creative Circle

CyberCoders

Deloitte Services LP

Drexel University

DSCI

DuPont

Eastern Alliance Insurance Company

Eastern Insurance Holdings 

East Penn Manufacturing

Education Management Corporation

* Educational Testing Services (ETS)

EliteMed Recruiting

Facebook

Fordham University

Frankel Staffing Partners

Franklin and Marshall College

Gage Personnel

GlaxoSmithKline

Global Fund for Women

Google

Hallmark 

Harrisburg Area Community College 

Harvard University 

Hearst Magazines

Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey

inVentiv Communications

K12

Kennebec Valley Community College

Kiva

KPMG

Kutztown University

Latham and Watkins 

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Lehigh University

Lionbridge

Longwood Gardens

Louisiana Community and Technical College System

Louisiana State University System

Macmillan

McGraw Hill

Medgar Evers College 

MetricStream

Microsoft

Millersville University

Modis

Montgomery County Community College

MorganStanley Smith Barney

National Football League

NBC Universal

New York Times 

Northampton Community College

Nunez Community College 

* Office Team

Open Systems Tech

Oprah Magazine

Pearson

Pennsylvania State University

PeopleShare 

Pioneer Data Systems

Polaris Project

Professionals Incorporated

QVC

Random House

Reading Public Library

Real Pharma

Real Staffing

Robert Half International

SEIU

Shire Pharmaceuticals

Spherion Staffing Services

St. Joseph’s University

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals

* Teach for America

TeamWork Online

Temple University

The Judge Group

The Washington Post

Thomson Reuters

Tides Foundation

Time Warner

Title Alliance, LTP

TNTP

Truestone

Tunnell Consulting

Turner Broadcasting 

UnitedHealth Group 

University of California, Berkeley

University of Iowa

University of Maryland University College

University of Michigan

University of Pennsylvania

University of South Carolina

University of Wisconsin Colleges

Vanguard

Vlllanova University 

Walker Books Ltd. 

Water.org

West Chester University

Widener University

WIPRO

Are Human Resource Staffers the Devil Incarnate?

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In March of 2011, I found out that my full-time, grant-funded job at a community college was being eliminated because of a reduction in funding from the state (Thank you, Governor Tom Corbett). Since that time, I estimate I have submitted over two thousand online and print applications for employment, yet I can count on one hand the number of job interviews I have had. I have yet to receive any job offers. I’ve read a lot of articles about employers not wanting to hire the long-term unemployed because the perception is that someone who has been out of work for 3 months is somehow damaged goods and is therefore unemployable. Conversely, someone who is currently working is more likely to be hired. Seriously?

The idea that my resume is being tossed in the trash because I lost my job nearly a year ago through no fault of my own is despicable, and anyone who engages in this practice should be fired from their cushy HR job so they can have a taste of what it feels like to be at the mercy of others. 

IMO, there are certain kinds of people that I deem the lowest forms of human life: child molesters, bigots, mass murderers, etc. I’m adding Human Resource staff to that list because what they are doing to the long-term unemployed is pretty devastating. 

   

An Unpleasant (but not surprising) Birthday Present

•June 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

On Tuesday, I drove ten (yes, 10) hours to interview for a job that I felt I had a better than average chance of being hired for – a high school recruiter for Brown Mackie College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I drove at my own expense (actually, I had to borrow the money for gasoline from a relative because my unemployment benefits are half of my salary when I was working full-time). I thought the interview went well, but earlier this morning, I received the perfunctory rejection e-mail, which happened to fall on my birthday. Not exactly the way one wants to celebrate a birthday. It’s bad enough being unemployed and going progressively broke, but to be constantly rejected by employers for God only knows why is soul-crushing. I spend the majority of each day completing online applications only to be rejected. I’m trying not to take the rejections personally, but I’m not sure how else to take them. I just can’t believe that a Master’s degree in English isn’t enough to receive a job offer, smh. I’m at a loss as to what to do next. Should I keep trying to find work or just give up? 

    

Job Applications

•April 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Job Applications

Here is the start of my massive job application pile. These are applications I have printed out for adjunct teaching positions at community colleges in Alabama and Georgia. 48 states and who knows how many territories I have to print out. I’ll update with new photos as the pile becomes exponentially larger.

The Search Continues…..

•April 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

My search for a job, any job (one that pays more than minimum wage, and one that pays more than my unemployment compensation benefits) continues….I’ve been applying for all types of jobs, not just writing, editing, copyediting jobs, and I’m still hearing crickets in response. Now I’m going to try a new approach – I’m going to apply for adjunct teaching jobs at the community college level. My goal is to become a college professor, but many 4 year colleges and universities want their professors to have a Ph.D. (which is my next step in 2013), and years of classroom collegiate teaching experience. At the adjunct level in community colleges, they’re more willing to hire someone with a M.A. and less experience, so I’ve decided to alter my job search approach.

Last Friday, I went to my local CareerLink Office and printed out a list of every community college in the United States and the U.S. territories (I never realized how many community colleges were out there). I also began printing out job applications from community colleges by state. Right now, I have applications from Alabama and Georgia printed out. If I can figure out how to add a photo to this blog, I’ll take a picture of the massive pile of applications I have. Thank goodness CareerLink has free printing for job searches, or I’d go even broker than I already am trying to buy toner cartridges, smh. I’m still going to apply for other jobs, but I’m not sure if I’ll get any calls.

One of the most frustrating aspects of being unemployed is trying to figure out what these Human Resource reps and hiring managers want. It;s as if they have some unknown algorithm that weeds out applicants before they even have a chance to be seen or heard. What I really find frustrating is that when I first started my undergraduate academic career in 2005, every time I applied for a job and had what I thought was a successful interview, I would be denied the job because of my lack of a Bachelor’s degree. Now, I have a Bachelor’s degree and I’m two weeks away from my Master’s degree, even landing an interview is an impossibility. I’m trying to stay optimistic, but it’s getting harder ad harder to do so, as I feel as if I’m running out of options. I was even thinking of changing my last name on my resume, just to see if having a different surname would open some doors. What does it take to find a job? I’m seriously thinking a posting a “rogues list” of companies that I have sent my resume to and have either received a rejection or no response. In the past week alone, I’ve submitted over 100 resumes online, and not a single phone call.  I’m so stressed over this, I’m physically sick most days.

Is there an end in sight?

Welcome!

•April 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to my blog!

I’m new at blogging, so please forgive me while I’m in process….I’m learning as I go along, but I hope to have everything up to par within a few days. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie, and I’m a single mom of two teens. I have two college degrees (an A.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in English), and I’m 19 days away from receiving my M.A. in English. While I’m proud of my educational achievements, there’s one major problem: I cannot find a job to save my life.

Until last summer, I had a full-time, grant-funded job at a community college that I absolutely loved. I was paid well, the benefits were great, and working as an advisor to college-bound high school seniors was a truly rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the grant for the department I worked in was not renewed, and I was laid off at the end of June 2011. I was notified three months earlier that my job would be ending, and upon receiving this news, I immediately began searching for a new job. I knew the economy was in bad shape and that finding another job would be challenging, but I had no idea that the search for another job would be so daunting and demoralizing.

Since March of last year, I have sent out in excess of 1,500 (that’s right  - over one thousand, five hundred) resumes. Some resumes I sent via U.S. Mail; some I distributed at various career fairs; but the overwhelming majority of my resume submissions have been via online applications. In the past 13 months of my apparently futile career search, out of all of the resumes I have submitted, I’ve had exactly 4  job interviews, and 0 job offers.

I have worked and re-worked my resume to highlight my education, experience, and strengths. I attended a career search “boot camp” at my undergraduate alma mater where I learned interviewing skills and had my resume reviewed and critiqued by career experts. When I attend job fairs and job interviews, I wear business professional attire; I conduct research on the companies I’m interviewing with so I can ask intelligent questions during the interviews, yet I can’t seem to secure a job offer.

The majority of jobs I apply for online are met with an automated response in my inbox stating “thank you for applying, but we’ve decided to go with another candidate” or something to that effect, usually within a few days or a few weeks. In some cases, I don’t receive any response (i.e. a rejection), for a few months; in other cases, I don’t receive any response whatsoever. I keep wracking my brain trying to figure out what it takes to receive a job offer, but I’m at a total loss. I know I’m not the only one struggling to find work, but it’s little consolation when you can’t pay your bills.

For the past month, Philly.com has an ongoing series describing the plight of Generation Y college graduates who are either unable to find work or are woefully underemployed. I completely relate to their sense of frustration: You go to college, work hard to earn a degree, because having a college degree is the most direct route to achieving the American Dream of a having well-paying career, owning a home, having a family, having a LIFE. I went to college and graduate school for the same reasons. Once upon a time, a person could graduate from high school and find a decent paying job without a college degree. Today, a college degree is necessary for a decent paying occupation, unless you want to work for minimum wage in a fast-food restaurant or retail store. As much as I feel for the unemployed, college educated members of Gen Y, they should know that long-term unemployed Gen X’ers have it even worse. It’s one thing to be an unemployed 23 year old, living in your own bedroom, rent free, at mom and dad’s house. Try being unemployed, over 40, and a single parent. That’s my life right now. I spend hours a day updating cover letters and sending out resumes just to be rejected time and time again. I’ve applied for jobs in all different fields that I have experience in (writing, editing, education, human resources, health insurance, management), yet all I receive are rejection e-mails. Searching for a job has become such a demoralizing process it’s hard to stay optimistic, but I’ll keep trying.

The purpose of this blog is to hopefully bring awareness to the plight of the long-term unemployed. I also hope that somewhere, someone who works in Human Resources at any organization that’s hiring will also understand that the people who submit resumes and applications for  employment are not just pieces of paper or characters on a screen. They  - we – are real people, who really want to work. We want to have the opportunity to provide for our families and pay our bills. Why won’t you hire us?