For many years now, I have observed that employers increasingly don’t respond at all to job submissions. Not unsolicited submissions, mind you, but in response to advertisements that the employers post seeking applicants. We’ve known for a great long time that was an utter waste of resources and effort, but why is it that employers don’t communicate in any manner when you’ve submitted to an opening that you are qualified for - even when you have an inside reference.


I’m going to burn a bridge here - or, at least, some will suggest that’s what I’m doing. But, this is a drawbridge that’s already pulled up. From my chair, this is more of “the emperor has no clothes”.


I’ve taught LSAT preparation courses for twenty-four years. My success rate is very high, my classes uniformly give very high reviews and students from more than ten years ago stay in touch. I performed very well on the LSAT when I took it in 1980. Nothing should stand in the way of my credentials as an LSAT preparation instructor.


LSAT preparation being what it is, it’s a freelance gig that involves a lot more preparation time than is otherwise compensated for. On an adjusted dollar hourly basis, I’m earning the same rate of pay that I did when I was hired in February 1987 to start teaching. That, though, is a post for another time.


One is always looking for other opportunities to fill the free lance schedule, and for me, I am always scoping out opportunities to add to my assignment schedule. Thus, I have looked at the big commercial preparation companies, the biggest of which is Kaplan.


Kaplan is a unit of the Washington Post company. The largest unit. The most profitable unit. Test preparation isn’t their most profitable element - online college education is, paid for with student loans backed by your tax dollars. Kaplan is most interested in diverting or eliminating the new student loan restrictions that would most likely eliminate their entire collegiate business.


Kaplan has been advertising quite heavily for test preparation instructors - all across these United States. I have been presenting my credentials and interest in working for them for an equal period of time. Never once have I had the favor of a reply. No reply of any nature, other than the automated “we have received your information”.


A few days ago, I had seen yet another Kaplan ad for test prep instructors in my city. In case that link goes down, it was the same job I’ve applied to for more than a year - posted 22 October 2011. Just for grins, I had clicked through the LAST post Kaplan had a few weeks ago and had attempted to submit my credentials - the website told me that I had already applied.


On 19 October 2011, the Kaplan recruiter for Albany/Binghamton NY posted a conversation on a LinkedIn group:

Have you thought about teaching Graduate School Test Preparation?

Hi. I am the Faculty Manager for Kaplan Test Prep Graduate Division for Albany, Binghamton and Ithaca, NY. I am always looking for excellent teachers who have scored in the 90th+ percentile on their graduate school exams. Kaplan is the industry leader in graduate test preparation, we provide paid training and prep time, opportunities to teach and tutor, and even have a health insurance plan for part time faculty.

If you did well on your tests and you think you have what it takes to be excellent in the classroom, I want to hear from you. Email me at


Being who I am, I couldn’t help but reply with:

I have repeatedly applied for open Kaplan positions. I have 24 years experience teaching LSAT, and 10+ years teaching GRE. Never had a response to any of my inquiries.

Just sayin’.

Three more people (so far) have chimed in that they also had applied to Kaplan repeatedly without any reply.


Not being a total douchebag, I also had sent an email to Howie at his Kaplan email address provided in his LinkedIn post.

I appreciate that you’re looking for new talent for your prep program - I just don’t understand why the company doesn’t respond AT ALL to qualified applicants? I’ve applied for several positions in Houston and Chicago - would certainly be open to employment in Albany (my sister lives there). In fact, the website won’t LET me submit for positions in Houston, but the ads for those open positions run several times a week.

So - guess what happened? NOTHING. No reply of any kind either to my comment or my email.


What valid business purpose is served by posting for positions, collecting credentials and then not having the decency to say “thanks, but no thanks”?


I say that we should use resources such as Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook to keep each other apprised of companies that engage in this behavior. Trying to find support for one’s self is emotionally draining and exhausting in this environment - submitting for work that one is clearly qualified to do and never having any sort of reply is fodder for serious self-doubt and depressive feelings.


So, John Polstein - director of test preparation for Kaplan - what say you? Why is this an agreeable way to run a railroad for you?

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