Variations on an Overeducated Theme

Earlier there was a thread about someone with an M.A. in Criminal Justice. My situation is similar.

I have been blessed (or cursed) with generous family members who made it possible for me to offer myself in full-time voluntary human services work for the equivalent of at least a year. Because I am intellectually gifted (IQ 3SDs>mean/INTJ), it has always been easy for me to come into situations & improve them. I tested out of my last three years of college, winding up with a B.A. in liberal arts and lots of psychology credits; I can literally read a textbook in 4 hours and remember/apply the information forever. In 2008, I decided to make a career out of my love for human services, so I completed an online M.A. program.

Due to the terrible condition of my finances (the equivalent of a mortgage in revolving debt payments alone-- another story), I cannot afford to take an unpaid internship or volunteer regularly; my current work in education and music occupies both days and evenings, though irregularly.

Potential employers look at my resume and see a woman who has been substitute teaching and playing music for 4 years. I have tried to merge my voluntary service with the employment section of my resume, but it is still obvious I am what they would consider an inexperienced career changer. In the nine months since I first began submitting well-tailored applications, I have not been offered a single interview.

How can I make myself look more appealing on paper?

Had you considered using a skill based resume, in which you emphasize your capabilities rather than specific job experience? There are some definite disadvantages to this approach, as some employers may not be comfortable with it, but it might work for your situation. You can Google “skill based resume” for more information, or check out this article which gives a broad overview and sample.

Good luck in your job search.

I read this as Vacations on an Overeducated Theme…


I think that’s what’s being offered here. :wink: