It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Should I put fanfiction on my resume?
I’m a college student putting a resume together for the first time and your blog has been a huge help. There is, however, one thing I am unsure of. That’s if I should include my fanfiction on my resume.
I’ve published over 83,000 words of fanfiction in 2015 alone. One of my works is in the top 2% of all stories in its fandom, which I am of course very proud of.
However, I’m worried that listing this will weird out employers or come off as unprofessional or out of touch. I also know that if I list it more vaguely (not calling it fanfiction or mentioning where online I publish my work), it’s likely to come up in an interview. Would a hiring manager be alarmed by an applicant including this in a resume? Or is it not that big of a deal?
I wouldn’t include it. Fanfic has enough of a bad reputation with enough people — it’s marginalized, at best — that while some hiring managers might find it interesting or take it as evidence of writing skills, there’s too high a risk of many others seeing its appearance on a resume as a negative. There are also copyright issues with a lot of fanfiction, and if you get a hiring manager who’s attuned to that (for example, me), you risk raising their hackles on that front.
If you want to demonstrate writing skills, there are lots of other ways to do it — with your cover letter and writing samples, for instance.
2. I want to tell my ex-friend’s employer what she’s really like
I had a friendship turn sour and when it did I cut off all ties, including blocking the person and all of her friends. I’d been friends with her for seven years and had known her to be unstable in the best of times, so I thought it was best to deal with her hostile feelings this way. Before I blocked her, I told her to never contact me again.
She was recently arrested in her home for some kind of drug charges. She believes that I set her up to be arrested, i.e. dropped a dime on her. I didn’t, but everything she was charged with was something she was actually caught doing. I know that she believes I snitched because she left me five threatening voicemails to that effect. I took it directly to the police and filed a police report.
I feel it is important that her employer know that he has a drug offender who immediately starts threatening people when caught in his employ. I’m going to send a letter along with my police report. I would like to know how to word the letter without airing any dirty laundry. I want to letter to cleanly say, “this person is threatening me and you should know it.”
Any ideas? I work for the government, so in terms of informing my employer, I just filled out a form. We have security in the lobby anyway.
This has nothing to do with her employer; it’s an issue between the two of you (and between her and the police, but having drugs in the privacy of her home isn’t such an outrage or a threat that her employer needs you to alert them to it). If she harasses you further, follow the advice of the police you’re already in contact with, but writing a letter to her employer would be an over-step by you and is likely to needlessly escalate this further.
Her employer probably employs plenty of “drug offenders,” given that 10% of Americans have used an illegal drug in the past month.
3. I sit near the printer and everyone wants me to babysit it
I’m a marketing coordinator with some executive coordinator duties. My desk is the closest in the office to the main printer. I am constantly asked/told to retrieve items from the printer and deliver them to the owner, restock the paper, change the ink and toners, scan and send documents, etc. It is very disruptive to my workday and I’m starting to go crazy. Would it be reasonable to submit a request to move my desk?
It really depends on your role. If you’ve got admin duties, and it sounds like you do, these might actually be reasonable things for people to ask you to do, although that also might depend on who’s making the requests. So the first question is: Is part of your job to provide admin help to others? And are those others the people who are asking you to do this stuff? If not, though, then sure, I think you could talk to your manager about what’s going on and float the idea of moving either your desk or the printer.
4. Are infographic resumes still a no-go?
Lately, my fellow job-information librarians and I have seen a number of articles about infographic resumes as a “trend” in 2016. We remember your column on this from 2013. We have a lot of pause about infographic resumes, for all the reasons you mentioned in your column; we’ve always been trained that you impress employers on a resume with your experience and skills, not gimmicks. So far, we haven’t seen any infographic resumes from our patrons during our resume review sessions, but as the word gets out more, we are wondering if we will. Has your opinion about infographic resumes changed at all? Have they become more accepted (or even expected) by hiring managers over the past three years?
No! No, no, definitely no. All the things I wrote in that older post hold true now: Infographic resumes are cheesy, sacrifice quality and quantity of information to the constraints of the design, don’t cater to what actual hiring managers want to see (just to what the people designing them want to sell), and are all around a bad idea.
Be very suspicious of anyone publishing articles telling you this is a current trend. They were also saying it was a trend a few years ago, and they’ll continue to say it now because they don’t know what they’re talking about and/or don’t care if they’re presenting good, helpful information as long as it gets them traffic.
5. Fired employee is still listed as affiliated with us at an upcoming conference
Firing the toxic employee from hell was a great decision that we don’t regret, and I say this noting we’re in academia, where firing takes a LOT to make it happen.
But I noticed that she’s attending a digital humanities conference next month, and that conference’s list of attendees (which is posted on the web) still lists her as being affiliated with us. Is it appropriate for me to email the conference and say that she’s not affiliated with us anymore? It’s perfectly legitimate for her to attend independently, of course (and I’m assuming part of why she’s attending is to network to find another job), but given how off-putting she is, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with people associating her with us.
Sure, that’s fine to do. It’s likely that she didn’t set this up intentionally but rather that the listing info was submitted while she still worked for you, but it’s fine to ask them to update it since — as you note — she no longer represents you.