Graduates have been advised to downgrade the curriculum vitae in the pursuit of employment.
Degrees, masters, and PhDs should be edited out in the search for what are called "survival jobs".
Some examples of letters of application have come to the attention of this column:
n "Dear Mr McDonald (or may I call you Ronald?), I am inquiring about any vacancies which may exist in your fast-food chain.
"You will notice from my resumé that I have extensive experience of working in various diners and burger bars in your own country, in the lovely state of Massachusetts. While I was there I took some evening classes at a technical college called MIT. But I didn't get a degree or a diploma or anything, honest. My time at MIT did come in handy for doing running repairs on deep-fat fryers and stuff. I also took some classes in advanced accountancy at a nearby place called Harvard. Again I got no qualifications but the little I learnt came in handy for operating cash registers."
n "Dear Sir/Madam, I feel I am eminently qualified for a job at your call centre because I am never off the phone. In fact, my mum says if I had spent less time on my mobile I might have got a good degree at Oxford. Which I didn't, of course. It was the same story at the Sorbonne where I hardly ever went to lectures and spent all my time talking French, Spanish, and Russian. Which will come in handy when I talk to call centre customers from foreign countries. I enclose a photocopy of my SVQ for typing at nearly 10 words a minute. Recuerde que tu llamada es importante para nosotos.."
Some graduates have resolutely resisted the advice to airbrush their hard-won academic achievements from job applications. One jobseeker writes: "I do not have a degree in business, marketing, accountancy, or economics. My subject was history. My special areas of study included the Machiavellian intrigues of medieval Italy and the South Sea Bubble economic exploitation and collapse of the stock market in early 18th-century England. I believe this area qualifies me eminently for the advertised post of analyst and advisor to the board of the Royal Bank of Scotland. PS: I can also make myself available for Saturday morning shifts behind the counter at your Byres Road branch."
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