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Dear Friends,

I can't seem to get a job, and I just don't understand why. I'm intelligent, highly qualified, relatively young and have nice hair. And yet, since 2006, I've been unable to procure full-time work.

I know, that's a long time.

Some close to me have suggested that my resume is primarily responsible for my inability to land the job I'm seeking. They insist that I must document for my potential employer the entirety of my work history, from my time as an intern out of college to the present day, as well as requested transcripts proving educational claims. After all, they say, this is what's done these days.

However, I have insisted -- and will continue to insist -- that employers only need to see on paper what I have been doing for the past year. Nothing more.

Why? Because all that should matter is my word. (What ever happened to a man's word being as good as his bond, anyway?) All that should matter is the way I present myself, what I say and how I say it -- that personal interaction. That should be the grounds for whether or not I am hired by an employer. What's on paper? That's fool's gold. It's not real.

It's not an accurate representation of who I am.

What's real is me talking about myself in the present. What's real is me, here, right now, saying who I am and what I will be. What's real is the spoken word, not some document that claims whether or not I was a Summa Cum Laude at BYU or a graduate of Harvard's business school. I don't need to show a transcript. Hell, I can just tell people that. I do tell people that. And I don't need to get FBI clearances, as I've been asked to do. I can tell people, straight up, that I've never committed a felony, never abused a child, never embezzled or laundered money. Why go through all that bureaucracy?

And I definitely shouldn't need to produce any letters from past employers to prove that I worked for this company or that company, or to demonstrate that I was a good worker. My past employers don't need to be involved in this. I can just tell you, matter of fact where I worked and how I was the best employee anyone could ever dream of.

You don't need documents for that.

You have my word.

Some in my family understand where I'm coming from, they get how I feel about transcripts and paper trails and how they can so easily misrepresent someone. And they also sympathize with my view that the only thing which should matter is what I say.

Despite this, though, they still think I'm being stupid. How do you expect to get an interview without at least a little bit of documentation? they say.

But they don't get the principle of the matter: my employer -- those people -- don't need to see more documentation when I can just communicate with them verbally, as humans have done since the dawn of time.

And yet, I'm having a hard time getting work, I'm having a hard time getting people to trust me, to like me, and ultimately, to hire me, just because of paper.

And so I'm writing to you, friends, hoping you might have some advice, hoping you might help me figure out a way to get a job without succumbing to society's pressure to ante up with all the documents.

Your help would be truly appreciated.


David Harris-Gershon

Author's Note:

To the kind person who, genuinely concerned about my unemployment, sent me some job listings via email, you are so sweet.

And I can't stop laughing. I know, I'm horrible

Your Email has been sent.
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