I'm walking in Post Office Square, in the beating heart of Boston's financial district. I see my luncheon guest. He's huddled against the door of the coffee shop.

We'll call him Ernest, and he is, indeed, earnest about finding a job. But everywhere he goes, hiring managers spend a few minutes with him, scan his resume and say, "Your experience is great. It really is. But the job we are working to fill is a bit junior for you. It's been great meeting you. We will give you a call next week." Needless to say, in Ernest's world, the phone does not ring next week. Or the week after.

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