Dumb It Down?
Ride with me for a second.
I grew up in Memphis, TN; very poor city and racially divided, during a time when a black male was lucky to see his 18th birthday. If the gangs and street life didn’t get you then teenage parenthood, drugs or poor education did. I was an average student. I had to work very hard just to graduate high school. College was no guarantee but I made it in.
I survived in the cold winters of Iowa and coming from Memphis that was a difficult adjustment all by itself. After being on academic review for 3 semesters, I worked harder than all my classmates to catch up and graduate on time. I had to overcome being locked out of classes and the cafeteria by the business office because of payment issues. And I worked a part-time job!
Since the importance of education had been drilled into me by my elder family members who didn’t get the chance to finish high school and go to college; along with experiences I had in the workplace, statistics and the media pointing out the fact that a person with a college degree earns more in a lifetime than a person without. I saw first-hand how people would be passed over and disqualified for employment or promotions. I earned my Master’s from a BIG Ten university.
Here’s what’s got me bothered. I’ve been told and I’ve had clients to ask me about this notion of “dumbing down” your education on their resume to get a job. I’ve had people tell me I should remove my Master’s Degree from my resume and I’ve had clients tell me that they have been told to remove their formal education from the resumes too. I suppose it’s to become a better fit for a possible job opportunity.
With all the media coverage and discussion regarding the talent and skill gap in this country, I am shocked that someone (recruiter, hiring manager, HR personnel, whomever) would utter these words. It’s an insult.
You want me to do this for some “primitive cave dweller” who may be uncomfortable with my level education. Or is this the organizational culture to hire less talented people so they are no threat to advance and maybe replace someone else? Is it a matter of cost? Or just plain ole hate?
It’s personal to me.
You want me to dumb it down? I can’t do it. Sorry! Too much blood, sweat, tears and student loan payments. How bout you go find a short pier and take a long walk?