How to beat the job loss blues and get ready for your next act

Mr. Job Seeker, Show Me Your Résumé… and SAT Scores

As if looking for a job weren’t harrowing enough in this anemic job market, some U.S. companies are now asking 40 and 50 year old job seekers to see their SAT scores along with their résumés—tests they took in high school. Read More

Is this for people who didn't

Is this for people who didn't go to college? If so I can understand but if not than whats the point? Just something else stupid employers are trying to pull, like asking for your facebook account.

Age discrimination a factor -- but not the only one

The fact that they're asking "40- and 50-year-old candidates" for SAT scores just reeks of ageism here. Most likely they would turn down candidates who, if they took the test at all, took the old version where 1600 was the perfect score (Bill Gates, born 1955, got a 1590 -- do the math, he's 58, probably took it around 1971, '72 when he was 16 or 17). It's technically illegal to use age as your reason for firing someone, but anything, or nothing at all, can be given for not hiring them in the first place -- after all, not everyone gets a callback. A resume that has anything from before, oh, I don't know, 2005? (even that's pushing it) is going to get rejected on account of the person is too old. Which is odd, because you can't get the job of President until you're 35, but that's too old for pretty much everything else?

Employers are really being dicks in this economy, but they're not the only ones. Congress is helping them, and academia isn't doing anything to solve the problem, not by continuing to graduate experts of economically worthless bullshit like "History of Norse Weaponry" and "Sociology of John Hughes Movies." Much as I enjoy a good romp watching Pretty in Pink, how does this translate to the job market? The era of "learn what you love" is a moot point when 99% of this stuff can be found online. People need practical skills, not intellectual theories and Plato quotes cultivating the habit of gazing at your navel every time you tie your shoes. What needs to be done is a radical shift in the way we treat education that would force these intellectual specialists to swallow the bitter pill of their own practical irrelevance, and go edit Wikipedia with their vast amounts of trivial knowledge.

That said, I see no connection between scores on a standardized test and performance in a job. Really, how does looking at Venn diagrams (and trying not to snicker because they look like drawings of butts -- these are, after all, teenagers taking these tests) measure your competence as an HTML programmer, a nurse, or, heck, even a burger chef? Just because I know that McDonald's:Ronald::Target:Bullseye (both are mascots for major corporations that employ vast numbers of low-paid hourly and part-time workers) doesn't mean jack shit in terms of how I'd fare on the actual job. I could get the question wrong and be a great employee. Or I could get a perfect score and be a total dick. Why these idiots continue to push this bullshit -- and why we don't all riot in the streets already about it -- is beyond me.

Oh, that's right, I forgot: got a paper due on Monday, about relational dynamics and gender conflict between Claire and Bender... but right now Fallon's on and he's making jokes about bananas.

America is officially over. We're here, we're unemployed, we're broke, we're stupid -- get used to it. Because nobody's going to do anything about it, and probably nobody can.

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Dwain Schenck is a communications executive, published author and former award-winning TV reporter.


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