This is a generic observation, but possibly overdue: don’t spend your college years writing ‘controversial,’ ‘edgy,’ and/or ‘in your face’ articles and then publish them to the Internet under your own name. Use a pseudonym, you daft idjits; because ten years from now you’re probably not going to have the same opinions, but everybody will know that you wrote them… including that potential employer who gets to pick between six or so equally qualified candidates, and if you keep this up you’re going to be lucky if you get that far in the interview process.
And now, some likely responses to that:
- That’s not fair! Maybe. So?
- You’re stifling my freedom of speech! Kid, Terry Pratchett once noted in passing that free speech includes free listening, too. Translation: if you’re writing something designed to offend, don’t start crying when people get offended. Including the people that might give you a job later.
- That’s discrimination! …Yes, that’s a fair way of putting it, I suppose.
- …I said, “that’s discrimination!” Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that this required further response. OK, what’s your point?
- Discrimination is illegal! Depending on your location, it may be. Good luck proving it, buddy. Collectively you might be able to see a pattern of employers not hiring you because you were an idjit on the Internet; individually it will come down to reading the minds of whoever reviewed and winnowed the slush pile of resumes. Can you read minds? No? …Of course not. If you could then you wouldn’t be worried about getting a job.
- I will not be silenced! Laudable. I hope that this righteous indignation will help sustain you ten years from now, when you’ve realized that you’d prefer a spouse and kids and a consistent diet to being a self-empowered, free-thinking individual who fearlessly rebels against everything that pisses off your undergrad professors.
- Ten years from now all of my opinions will be mainstream so it won’t matter at all! …Wow. Deja vu. That’s Latin for “Everybody thinks that they’re not just going through a phase” and “Nobody ever seems to consider that there’s a reason why each generation of college students revolt against the exact same things.”
- You’re just saying this because you’re a conservative! No, I’m just saying this because I’m – by your standards – an old conservative. Which is to say, I’m a guy in his forties who got really lucky that all that stupid stuff that I said in college isn’t a permanent part of the historical record.
- It’s too late! Nah, not really. Just make sure that your last article that you write for your college paper is a tearful repudiation of every stupid thing that you wrote for the last four years. Blame it all on the aforementioned professors; trust me, they weren’t going to be good references for employers anyway.
- This is all a partisan trick! Nope; the partisan trick is merely an entertaining side effect, here.
- Fine! I’m spending the rest of my life in academia, then! HA! Oh, OK. Yeah, you’re golden then, Sparky. Up until the point where the higher education bubble bursts. Until then: carry on, my wayward [individual of particular gender, sex, and self-identity].
- You’re enjoying this situation far too much! :shrug: I’m also not hiring anybody, so, really: what’s my opinion worth, anyway? I’m just a idjit writing stuff on the Internet, right?