So I’m sure many of you have been in my situation.
You go to apply for a job after having had one for many years. Forget the fact that the technology has changed incredibly since you last interviewed for a new position (Feel free to listen to my “anthem” as a reminder).
There is no human interaction anymore. People are constantly telling me, “you have to network.” Well, at this point I don’t know how many more people don’t know I’m looking for a job. One of the problems is, there are a number of folks in my circle who are in my boat so in a sense we’re competitors for the shrinking number of slots out there.
So I just applied for a job with a major news organization. You go through their online form, adding your resume and cover letter. Then you get to this (you’ll excuse me if it doesn’t reproduce exactly from the original):
- Gender, Race and Ethnicity
- Are you Hispanic or Latino?
- Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
American Indian or Alaska Native (not Hispanic or Latino) : A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Asian (not Hispanic or Latino): A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Black or African American (not Hispanic or Latino): A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (not Hispanic or Latino): A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
White (not Hispanic or Latino): A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
- Do you have (or previously had) a disability?
Prefer not to answer
Okay, look, I get that these questions are required by law. Equal opportunity and all But let’s be real. It seems there’s no right way to answer. If you’re honest, you might be discarded because you’re not the right demographic. If you lie and you’re called in for an interview — busted! And I’m of a mind that if you mark “prefer not to answer” (which was a part of the “gender” topic), your application is immediately discarded. Not to get too paranoid here, but the thing is, you’ll almost never know.
And what’s with that question about disability. “Previously had?” Yes, I previously was lame, but now I can walk. It was a miracle! Hallelujah!