It’s terse answer Thursday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…
1. People keep walking into my meetings
I am an administrative executive for a medium sized office and would like some advice on the subject of meetings. Our unit consists of approximately 10 people, and we usually operate as a family (a really close team) and get all of our work done with a bit of fun in between. My problem is that when we have staff meetings, we have unwanted people including themselves when the meeting does not pertain to them. They just walk into closed door meetings.
It is not is my personality to ask them to leave, but how else can I manage this and conduct the meeting?
You can’t get them to leave without telling them you want them to. When it happens, stop the meeting and say, “We’re in the middle of a meeting, but do you need something? If not, we need the room for about 30 more minutes.” If they don’t get the message and stay anyway, then you need to say, “This is actually just a meeting of the X team (or of people working on the Z project, or whatever). We have to kick you out!”
This is not rude. This is reasonable.
Also, pet peeve: Your workplace, as well as people in it might get along, is not a family. Family do not (generally) fire other family members or lay them off. Thinking of workplaces as families leads to a lot of bad decision-making (by both employees and managers).
2. My boss asked to share my self-evaluations with my replacement, and I said no
I was originally hired at my organization in one position, and have since been promoted to another position with more responsibility in a different department. My former boss (who still outranks me, but to whom I no longer report) wants to share my old annual self-evaluations with the new person who took my old job. The purpose of this is to give the new person some “guidelines” about how to do a self-evaluation. My old boss asked my permission, and I said no, because it made me uncomfortable. Our evaluations are pages long, and contain details about specific goals, problems, and accomplishments for me personally (not the department–that was a different report). I offered to advise or help the new person instead, which offer was declined. Was I wrong?
No, you’re perfectly within your rights (practical rights, that is, not legal rights) to decline to share your evaluations with someone else. Also, your boss’s reasoning is bizarre — she should be perfectly able to give your replacement “guidelines” without showing her a document that you prepared assuming that it would be kept in confidence.
3. Applying for multiple openings with an organization
There is an organization that has posted multiple job openings with very similar descriptions — all of which I am interested in and qualified for. Should I apply for all (seven) similar, but slightly different jobs, noting in my cover letter that I am doing so only because I am so interested in working for this organization and want to do my due diligence? Or do I only apply to one or two?
Apply to one or two and state in your cover letter that you’re interested in being considered for anything else you might be a fit for.
4. How much detail is too much on your resume?
I’m currently looking for a new position and have been following a lot of the advice from your site about resumes, cover letters, etc. While I know a 2-page resume is ok, I’m wondering how much detail is too much for one position.
My current position is in marketing/communications (my first “career”-type job); previous positions have been mostly administrative. I’ve had my hands in a lot of things in the 4+ years I’ve been in my current job — hosting/managing events, writing (newsletters, announcements, variety of web content, print campaigns, you name it), social media, managing projects/creating project plans, editing, analyzing data/web metrics. I’m trying to write the bullet points as “achievements” rather than duties, but the section for this job is still about half a page long (about 12-15 bullets), three times the length as any of my previous jobs (3-5 bullets each). Is this ok, or do I need to trim it down substantially?
If they’re all truly impressive achievements, 12 might be okay (although 15 is pretty iffy). If they’re not all truly impressive, and you’re listing some things just because you want to be comprehensive, trim it down. (A good test: If a hiring manager skimmed and only read three of those bullet points, would you be happy no matter which three they were? Or would you be dismayed if they were some of the weaker ones? That may happen in real-life, so take out anything that’s weak.)
5. New manager’s comments are making me uncomfortable
Over the past two months we’ve hired new upper management at the nonprofit I work at. My boss, the new CFO, has made comments twice now that have made me uncomfortable. A few weeks ago, we had a meeting with our new executive director in which the CFO acted somewhat disrespectful. He was hardly paying attention while his boss was speaking, making comments under his breath, laughing, etc. One of the executive director’s ideas involved having a company float in a huge local parade, and the CFO said “We’ve got lots of pretty girls here to put up there on the float…” then turned to the executive assistant next to him and said “I’m including you too, you know.” Everyone ignored him. I decided not to say anything about it since it wasn’t really to me directly. Today we had a photographer at our location taking photos for a local publication. The CFO came into my office and said to myself and my assistant, “We’re taking pictures and we need some pretty girls.”
I ignored this again. What should I do? He is at least 20 years older than me and this is really creepy! He’s my boss and should not call me pretty!
Talk to someone above him in the chain of command, or to HR if you have an HR department. Someone needs to tell him to cut this out, and there’s no reason that you need to strain your relationship with him by having it be you.
6. My employer made an app to help us do our jobs, but it’s only available on iPhones
I am a 100%-commissioned sales associate, and my employer has an app made for iPhones only, which can look up inventory in three different locations. Three of our 30 commissioned sales associates have iPhones and now have an unfair advantage on making more money due to the time the app saves. I believe this app is unfair because I am currently in bankruptcy and cannot afford an iPhone at this time. Other employees feel like they need to run to the store to purchase an iPhone so they don’t fall behind the times. It’s my understanding that the owner of the company is not purchasing phones for anyone. Am I wrong for thinking this is unfair?
It might be unfair, but there’s no law stopping your employer from offering the app for iPhones only if that’s what they’ve decided to do. You could certainly talk to your employer, however, and ask if it’s possibly to get a version for other phones so that you’re able to take advantage of it.
7. Should I take this job off my resume?
My first job out of college (8 years ago) as an asst editor/writer lasted three months (newly-created position, they needed more experience than I had/didn’t know how to train me, ended up being fired), but I’m afraid if I take that off I won’t have any other relevant communications experience on my resume, plus I feel like the job title looks good and I did learn a lot. Am I being silly, should I just take it off?
Yes, take it off. First, it’s only three months, and it’s unlikely that you have any significant achievements from such a short period of time. Second, the fact that you were fired is likely to harm you more than any good listing the job could do you.