terse answer Thursday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

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.

{ 95 comments… read them below }

  1. Reeya

    Also, pet peeve: Your workplace, as well as people in it might get along, is not a family. Family do not (generally) fire them or lay them off. Thinking of workplaces as families leads to a lot of bad decision-making (by both employees and managers).

    HEAR, HEAR! This x 100000000000. I worked for a company that referred to itself as a “family” repeatedly in its internal communications to staff. It was one of the most dysfunctional places I have ever encountered in my professional life, because they were reluctant to have formal policies and procedures and processes because that level of formality was counter to the small intimate-ness they were trying to cultivate in the company culture. Seriously, family this, family that, we’re all a wonderful family, in every communication. The office parties were the worst – toasts would be given about the “wonderful [company name] family.” It made me really uncomfortable. Very glad I don’t work there anymore.

    1. sharon g

      I agree. I’ve worked at places that liked to throw around the “we’re like family” phrase. The problem is, I don’t like several members of my biological family. If they want me to act like coworkers are family, they aren’t going to like how I treat some of them.

      1. Christina

        Oops, sorry, meant that for Elle about the master resume! I swear I know how to use a reply button…

    2. Sascha

      My last workplace threw around the word “family” in a lame attempt to make the peasants feel valuable. We had crappy salaries and crappy managers, and saw way too many people get special treatment and break all the rules that were enforced on us. Somehow upper management thought reminding us we were a “family” would make it all better.

    3. ChristineH

      When reading Alison’s comment, I was like “what wrong with considering coworkers like a family”, but your post makes sense…now I understand the drawbacks.

    4. Josh S

      I dunno. Dysfunction, favoritism, being asked to work long hours for little-to-no pay…all that sounds exactly like family to me.

      Maybe these places are all just being unintentionally forthright?

    5. Cathy

      100% agree. My CFO was going in for a minor medical procedure. The entire staff got a text message from the CEO at 6AM saying “Jane is going in for her procedure now. She is your family and I expect you to think of her as you would your BLOOD family.” I was astounded. I wished her the best, but I don’t think of my co-workers as blood family, and certainly wouldn’t be as concerned as if one of my relatives were in the hospital.

      1. Mike C.

        What, are they expecting you to hide a body for her or donate bone marrow? What the heck is that?

    6. Jamie

      ITA – thank you! Stop with the family stuff. I hear it all the time and I feel like telling them that as much as I like some of them none of them look like me, I wouldn’t give anyone here a kidney if they needed one, and since none of them are beneficiaries on any of my policies why don’t we just stick to the colleague thing.

      My family has never once had to pay me to show up. Stop paying me and see how often I turn up at work. :)

  2. Elle D.

    #4 – I had a decent sized list of diverse accomplishments at my last job since I was a department of one during a time of major growth and change for the company. When I was ready to move on, I developed one master resume that had 10-12 bullets for this job highlighting my achievements each of these diverse areas. The version I sent hiring managers was tailored to only included the 3-5 most relevant bullets for the job I was applying for, and saved some of the other experiences and accomplishments for interviews.

    1. Another Ellie

      I also like having a master resume because you can leave things on there that will never go on the real resume again, but that are nice to remember.

      1. Michelle

        Haha I wrote something totally redundant down-thread– this is what I do! I am a big fan of the master resume.

  3. Christina

    Thanks for the answers to my questions (#4 and 7) Alison! You confirmed what I should have already known about these two items :-)

    For what it’s worth, I think (I hope!) most of the items I talk about for my current position are pretty impressive, but I probably don’t need one bullet about one particular event series that has been a huge accomplishment, and then another bullet about some other, more minor (but still successful) event/event planning duties just because they were conducted in a different format, for example–I will trust that someone could extrapolate on my skills based on that one big accomplishment. Some editing is on the agenda this evening!

    Also, only slightly related–on my team, we don’t “do” bylines, so when I put together examples for my portfolio, none of my work product has my name on it. Is this standard enough in the communications world to be acceptable or would it ever raise questions as to who actually did the work?

    1. Julie K

      If you’re in an interview, and the interviewer says she needs proof that you wrote what you said you wrote, I think you probably don’t want to work there. I really value being trusted by my manager.

      1. The B

        Actually, for many positions that need you to write you would be asked to do a writing exercise. For example, write a press release for an imaginary event coming up. I want to see how people write and what they produce in action.

        1. Christina

          I’ve had positions ask for writing samples as part of my initial application, and then later to write something specific for them, which I’m perfectly comfortable with. I’ve just always felt a little awkward giving examples of my writing that don’t actually say anywhere on them that yes, really, I wrote this.

          1. The B

            In many corporate writing type of jobs, you don’t often get a byline. For example, if you are writing the Board of Directors introduction to an annual report, and many etceteras. Now, if it was a magazine article or newspaper article and it didn’t have your name on it I’d think it is odd. But internal publications, company papers, some press releases and the like, those are a different case.

  4. BW

    #1 – People really DO this?! WHY? Who would walk into a meeting they don’t have to go to and weren’t invited to and hang out? Am I the only one who thinks this is bizarre?

    1. A Bug!

      It’s a bit of “I don’t want to do any work right now and need a good alibi” and a bit of “I’m a nosy nellie and want to feel involved”, I’d imagine.

    2. Reeya

      Seriously, I find this bizarre, too. I’m never that thrilled to be in meetings that I am required to attend (I’ve only had one manager who was exceptionally good at running meetings, and that was years ago sadly). Crashing a meeting where I haven’t been invited and then just chilling/listening in? Weird.

        1. BW

          But you don’t stay for the meeting. You just grab a donut and run. All of the benefits, none of the torture.

    3. Jamie

      Yeah – who voluntarily shows up to meeting they aren’t required to attend? Doesn’t everyone have enough of their own for which they’re trying to make time?

      I can’t imagine anyone doing that at my workplace, so I think my reaction would be to stop and ask them what they needed to contribute to know when to slot some time to give them the floor.

      The only time I’ve encouraged people to go to meetings where they aren’t totally relevant are new hires where it can help to get some broader context. They are there to observe and these are the more public meetings like production, sales, where there are tons of people and bigger picture stuff is being discussed. But I always clear it with the meeting holder first.

      This is crazy to me – but now I want a donut.

      1. Rana

        It’s so weird to me, too. I’d be inclined to arch an eyebrow at the interloper and say in a chilly voice “Can we help you?” or “Are you lost?” or such. If you’re not invited, it’s rude to just barge in and disrupt things!

  5. Kimberlee, Esq.

    For #6, you obviously know your budget better than I do, but iPhones aren’t very expensive anymore (other than the newest generations). You can get free ones on new plans, and often on upgrade, on the carriers that have them.

    And I really don’t know what “unfair” means in this situation? The company wants to sell more, so they make an app available to salespeople that saves time. They’re not obligated to keep other salespeople from getting a competitive advantage over you.

    By all means ask if they can make the app available for Droid, but be prepared for them to not want to put the expense into doing so (though, if 27 out of 30 salespeople don’t have iPhones, they might be planning to roll out a Droid version anyway).

    1. Jubilance

      Pet Peeve: Android is the operating system that is the competitor to Apple’s iOS; Droid is a trademarked brand name for a specific phone made by Motorola. Most people think they are the same thing but they aren’t.

      And btw, I agree with your advice.

    2. KayDay the LaDay

      All of that is what I was thinking. I don’t what service/plan the OP currently has, but with AT&T, the older model iphones are free to $100, depending on the deals they have at the time (which is the comparable to most phones). Of course, I understand if $100 is out of the OP’s budget; it’s not pocket change, of course. But it also not $500 like when they first came out.

      Unless you cannot do your job without the app, I don’t think there is anything unfair about the company providing another tool like this. Would it be unfair if the company allowed all employees to log into the VPN from their personal computer, but you didn’t have a home computer?

      All that said, I would still definitely politely ask if they plan to have a version for other phones.

    3. Adam V

      I was going to agree with this, but I just read this today:

      > In a recent analysis shared with AllThingsD, 59 percent of iPhone users are paying more than $100 per month for calls, texts, and data.

      > The majority of those users, 49 percent, are paying between $101-200, and 10 percent are paying more than $200. A little over a third of iPhone users pay between $51-100, and a relative handful—6 percent—pay between $25-50.

      (Source: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/got-an-iphone-you-probably-pay-over-100-on-your-monthly-bill/ )

      So yes, the upfront cost is cheap. But they get it back over the course of your locked-in two-year contract.

      (And for the record, I also have an iPhone, as does my wife.)

      1. fposte

        If you get a locked-in two year contract, yes. But you can buy an old model without a contract and use it as a prepaid phone if you want, too.

        1. Lulu

          Problem with buying an older model is that apps tend to be configured to work best with the most recent OS, which doesn’t always play nice with the older tech. I’m holding on to my 3G until I’m working again because it more or less still works, but I’m finding more and more apps I can’t update or even download because I can no longer operate with the latest system. Even some of the apps I can use crash a lot (usually takes 5-10 attempts to launch the Twitter client now!)… So be careful with this one, don’t look TOO far back.

          1. fposte

            Good point–my Touch just hit the OS ceiling and it’s so far hasn’t been a problem just to keep the old model, but if they went all Cutting eDgE and wrote for 6, an older model won’t help.

        2. Jamie

          Can you do that now? I remember trying to do that for one of my kids several years ago with one of my old iPhones and at that time they all needed a contract.

          Maybe it changed when AT&T lost their death hold over service with the iPhones.

          I don’t think the OP should have to upgrade their phone on their own dime, but I’m a broken record on my opinion that the company should pay for the tech by which they benefit.

          If it does run on an older version I would suggest that the OP ask their IT if they have any old 3GS laying around. (Lying around? It’s one rule I’ve never been clear on). Anyway – I’ve got a couple in my drawer from user upgrades and I know a lot of IT people with similar old models in their drawers.

          1. KellyK

            Good idea. And it’s lying, unless the phones are laying eggs (which would presumably hatch into baby phones). :)

            1. Jamie

              Now THAT would be a boon to my IT budget – if I could start breeding my own phones!

              Thanks – I’m generally pretty good about that kind of thing, but it’s one I always get wrong.

    4. Judy

      If (1) you can’t afford the smartphone data plan, and (2) you’re using this at work where you have WIFI, could you get or convince your boss you need an ipod touch?

    5. COT

      Would an iPod run iPhone apps? If so, you could buy a used iPod. True, you could only use the app when you had wifi access, but it would be better than nothing and wouldn’t require a phone contract.

    6. Mike C.

      What’s unfair is that they shouldn’t be basing metrics or pay based on gadgets one owns. If they made this tool and it generates a huge number of new sales, they should give one to everyone instead. If they’re cheap like you say, they’re even cheaper with a bulk corporate discount.

      1. Anonymous

        I agree – this doesn’t come over as a ‘above and beyond’ option, it comes over as a “well if you want to keep your job and meet your target…” option. Therefore they need to buy the equipment required or make the facility available in other ways too.

        The employees shouldn’t be suffering due to not having a ‘status symbol’ personal gadget.

        1. Jamie

          I’ve heard this before, but I never understand it. There is nothing status symbol-y about an iPhone, IMO.

          1. Ash

            “I’ve heard this before, but I never understand it. There is nothing status symbol-y about an iPhone, IMO”

            Are you serious? I don’t want to sound rude, but you’d have to have missed the last near-decade to think that iPhones aren’t a status symbol.

            1. Jamie

              I understand that people think that – but I don’t understand the logic behind it.

              To me there’s nothing impressive about a phone. Status symbols typically are indicative of some level of wealth (not always, but typically) and I see people every day who are very close to minimum wage with iPhones.

              1. Ash

                And those are probably the same people who spend their money on other status symbol items like Coach purses, designer jeans, etc. Just because it seems as though they can’t afford that kind of stuff, doesn’t mean they don’t spend their money on it.

                1. Jamie

                  Just a matter of opinion about what constitutes a status symbol:

                  “A status symbol is a perceived visible, external denotation of one’s social position and perceived indicator of economic or social status.”

                  Since people of all economic and social status have them to me they aren’t indicative of anything. A really nice house I can never afford? A luxury car? Those are typically owned by people who have attained a certain degree of wealth – so they are symbolic of that. But if it’s something anyone can have if they scrape up a couple hundy I don’t see how that’s symbolic of anything.

                  Just a difference in semantics that’s all.

                2. Rana

                  There’s still a cachet to owning one, regardless of cost, in a way that’s not true for other smartphones. It doesn’t matter, in any case, if people at all levels can have one; if your peer group all do and you don’t, or you have one and your peer group doesn’t, it can matters.

                  Think in terms of that sort of social status – of wanting to fit in or seem a bit more on top of things than your immediate peer group – and it makes more sense.

      2. Jamie

        Totally agree that the company should pay – what kind of company doesn’t give sales comany phones?

        But if anyone knows how to get them on a corporate discount let me know. I have a corp acct with Apple and the only thing that does is get me faster service. Apple is ridiculous with the lack of discounting things I need.

  6. Meghan

    #5 If it weren’t a ‘boss’ being creepy like that, here’s a good answer I learned from my Mom. “I’m sorry, but there are no ‘girls’ here. Only adult women work in *this* office.” This should be said with ice in the voice.

    1. East Side Tori

      Exactly! That was my initial reaction to reading that question. Or a slight variation, “Then you should look elsewhere. Only us professional women here.”

    2. Anonymous

      Another snarky thing I probably wouldn’t say in real life: “Maybe you should hire models then; I’m here for IT work.”

  7. Michelle

    LW4: I think you should change what you list on your resume depending on the job you’re applying to! It sounds like you have had the chance to develop some really awesome varied skills, but it’s likely that you’ll be applying to jobs where not all of them are relevant and requested. If you apply to a job where event coordination matter, use those bullet points; if you’re applying to a more social media job, use the data metrics and communications achievements.

    I found I have also worked in pretty diverse positions- which is an asset- but it helped to tailor my presentation of my experiences in my resume for each job I applied to, so it would be easier for whoever was reviewing my resume to see how I fit with the job. Good luck!

  8. Tim

    #6: I’m a software engineer at a company that produces an Android and iPhone version of one of its products. Each platform is completely different, and as a result, maintaining two versions of the software is very expensive. It actually might be (significantly) cheaper for your company to buy the other 27 salespeople iPhones than to build an Android version of the software.

    1. Adam V

      Totally agree – and if there are issues with the app, every thing you change has to be verified against the other app to ensure they’re still acting the same way. It’s not a cheap task – and this is why many app developers pick one or the other, or at the very least begin on a single platform before they port to another.

      1. Editor

        I do feel for #6, though. What kind of company sets up an app that only serves one-tenth of the sales force? A place that doesn’t want to look at cost-effective ways to increase profit?

        I really dislike Management By Impulse, where a business owner or higher-up can’t see past some shiny thing.

        1. fposte

          Yeah, it definitely sucks to have a significant and disparate expense foisted upon you. As noted upstream, they could have just made it web-based.

  9. girlreading

    #6, not sure what your cell phone situation is like right now, if you even have a plan. I know Verizon and I think Sprint are giving away free iphone 4’s right now if you’re eligible for an upgrade. It’s my understanding the difference between iphone 4 and 5 is very little. Also, your company might have a plan, maybe they would be willing to get iphone 4s for other salespeople if they could get the phone for free- you should see if they would look into that.

  10. Adam V

    Re #6: Unfortunately, they’ve already sunk development time into the iPhone app, but personally I would ask whether or not they could write up a simple web app to mimic the functionality (I would be surprised if the phone is doing much more than calling an API on your company’s servers to pull down the data). A lot less fully-featured than an app might be, but a lot cheaper and easier to set up.

    1. AG

      I suppose it depends on whether the app needs to be used in the field or can be used on a computer, would it be possible to use an iPhone emulator on a computer to access the app?

  11. Sue D. O'Nym

    #6 – Since there was (presumably) a way to check inventory before, and you were able to do your job under that system, then you should still be able to do your job, and nothing has changed. Unless, when they released the app, your employer eliminated the “old” way to check inventory, and the app is now the only way.

    1. Mike C.

      You missed the point: the app saves a bunch of time, allowing for more sales. Telling someone to do it the old way isn’t going to solve the problem.

  12. Nyxalinth

    I have two jobs that were seasonal temporary call center work. One was 3 months for Christmas in 2002, the other was the ballet in 2009 for 7 months. They do have relevant achievements, I make it clear they were seasonal, and if I leave them off, there will be gaps. What’s the best way to handle this?

    1. COT

      I doubt anyone would care about a 3-month gap in your employment nearly ten years ago, so I would leave that off. It’ll distract from your other accomplishments. The 2009 job seems more relevant, especially if you can highlight some unique accomplishments like you mentioned.

  13. XT

    To #6, someone else already said something similar, but iPhone 4s are selling from around $100-200 on Craigslist (know this b/c I sold my 4) and you can sign on for a new plan and usually get a free or reduced phone. Plenty of people at those little kiosks are trained to call major companies and get you out of your plan since they want the commission as well and can get you good deals if you shop around.
    You may be able to write off the phone as a business expense also, although that doesn’t necessarily help until 2014.

    It all depends tho, you just have to decide if the $$ by improving sales and benefits of having an iPhone outweigh the cost of owning one.

  14. Lisa

    I disagree with AAM. If they are all jobs within the same dept then yes, her advice is sound. However, if the jobs are similar, but in DIFFERENT depts, then you are dealing with different managers who won’t see your resume if you limit applying to 1-2 of those jobs. HR may not even get involved at the stage of seeing resumes to cut, but only contact people AFTER the managers chose who they would like to see. That means only 1 manager saw your resume, and the others never did.

    1. Recruiter

      I’d agree with you and apply to as many as you want – in my previous recruiting role, we might have 7 people working on 7 very similar positions and they might not share candidates across roles (i mean, admittedly not the best way to set up a group, but that’s another story). At best, applying to them all might get you in front of more eyes, at worst you’ll look like a mildly annoying online applicant (where you’d be in GREAT company).

  15. Lisa

    If the app is iphone 5 capable only, then you are pretty screwed. However, if it can be used on older iphones or an ipad, then see if you can buy one of those on ebay.

    1. Sam

      Out of curiosity, does anyone know how many apps are available for iPhone 5 and not backwards compatible? I still have a 4s and haven’t had any problems with compatibility. Yet.

      1. Lulu

        I’m guessing most are backwards to 4S still, but not much farther. I think it depends more on the OS, so once the OS bumps up beyond what the hardware can handle, issues ensue…

      2. Aimee

        My 4 can still handle all the apps, but my son has my old 3 and is not able to get many new apps or update several of his existing apps anymore.

      3. Sydney

        I had an iPhone 3GS until about two months ago and I never ran into apps not working on my phone. I’m on an iPhone 4 now and still no compatibility issues.

      4. KayDay

        I have a 4S and I haven’t had any problems (although, admittedly, I’m not very app crazy, so I don’t have a good sample size to go on). The 4 is basically the same as the 4s, so it should work fine too. I also kept my 1 for a very long time, and I never had any big problems with app compatibility…and there was a really big difference between the 1 and the 3G.

  16. Lulu

    #4 I ran into a similar issue with my resume – in my case, a bit of a laundry list of bulleted accomplishments were my attempt to make up for a lack of title change over a long period of time. It just looked like/was too much for anyone to really process. I ended up coming up with about 3 areas of accomplishment under which I could distribute and consolidate what I was trying to illustrate. Much more readable, and helps focus the content a bit more as well. For instance, I was able to find a way to put my event planning and some writing experience under the same “special project” topic (it’s more complex than that, but just as an example). So depending on what your accomplishments are, maybe see if you can combine several of your bullets in one general concept? This would also allow something for you to expand on in an interview without just rehashing what’s already on the resume.

    Also, as Alison said, evaluate the relative importance of your bullet points – are any of them there because they were part of an accomplishment brainstorm, but really won’t stand out next to the others? And are there any that are more related to what you’re looking to do (I had some things that I’d never want to actually do again, but were technically “accomplishments”)? Try to find the intersection of strengths and what the employer is likely to be looking for.

    And agree on the Master Resume concept: that’s what I had been doing with the laundry list version, so the submitted versions weren’t quite as crazy, and I can continue to tweak the updated version if necessary.

    1. Chocolate Teapot

      Yes, my first reaction on reading that was urgh.

      Mind you, I have never forgotten the brilliant “Nine to Five” with all the comments made to poor Dolly Parton’s character by the horrible boss. Come to think of it, the “we are all one family” rubbish pops up there too!

  17. Anonymous

    #6 – the comments I’m seeing are great and all re; getting a cheap phone on a term with a carrier BUT the OP is in bankruptsy, and you need descent credit to get a cell phone on a plan, and would only qualify as a secondary user if they have a friend or family member’s apply as the primary user.

    1. Lulu

      Good point. I think people who haven’t dealt with that kind of thing (or haven’t for awhile) forget how much it impacts your access to anything involving a credit report, and that it usually indicates you don’t have much extra cash at your disposal either.

      Honestly, I’d think a company with that many sales reps that’s savvy enough to have an app created would also have a corporate cell phone plan… If they’re not going to provide access to the equipment someone needs to take advantage of their app, it’s kind of a lame attempt to increase revenue! Of course, the fact that we all think it’s lame isn’t of much help to the OP. Maybe a conversation with the manager or IT would help come up with a solution that would mitigate any immediate expense or credit issues (i.e. loaner phones). Good luck, I know it’s frustrating to be in a position where you’re assumed to be more financially well off than you are!

    2. Rana

      Plus, as I think someone pointed out, for it to use the app they probably need to sign up for a data plan as well, and those can get spendy.

  18. Long Time Admin

    #1 – You need an agenda, with the required attendees listed. (You should have one, anyway.) You also need to get your boss on board with keeping outsiders outside of the meetings. The “word” should come from him.

    There are a couple of good suggestions above. I especially like saying “We’re having a meeting; do you need something?”. Or, “hmmm, I don’t see your name on the attendance required list”.

    Another thing that might help is to remove all extra chairs. As far away from the meeting room as possible, so they can’t just grab a chair and come in.

    However, none of this will work if your boss doesn’t get on board with you.

  19. Anonymous_J

    “Also, pet peeve: Your workplace, as well as people in it might get along, is not a family. Family do not (generally) fire them or lay them off. Thinking of workplaces as families leads to a lot of bad decision-making (by both employees and managers).”

    Yes! THIS! This is why, when I see references to being “like a family” in a job description, I run far and fast and don’t apply to these positions. Thank you for saying this!

  20. TT

    What world are we living in when we can pay respect to a woman (“hey you look nice”) and not off construed as a toally old voyeuristic perv?

    If you don’t want to referred as that, simply say “Thanks! My name is xxx, can we just use xxx going forward” as a subtle hint.

    But the tone of the post struck me as unreasonable. For one thing you must off as far more creepy (eeehh the old guy called me pretty, he must be thinking about getting it on and bumping uglies) than the CIO (who might be just giving a simple compliment along the lines of you look nice today).

    What kind of age are we living in when calling someone attractive is unreasonable when it’s offered as compliment with no (so far) hidden intentions?

    what else should we take offence to?

    “Hey you look really nice today”
    “Hey that you look good in your new suit”
    “Hey I like what you did with your hair”
    “Hey I like the picture of you in the company newsletter, you could be a model!”
    “Hey you’re scorching, what say we blow the joint and go burn up barn?”

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