short answer Sunday — 7 short answers to 7 short questions

It’s short answer Sunday — seven short answers to seven short questions. Here we go…

1. Eagle Scouts and resumes

A jobhunting friend is in his early 40s and wondered if his resume should include his Eagle Scout-yness. While he has achievements that
are far more recent on there, he thinks that achievement is too old. I think it’s sort of like a fraternity membership, in that other Eagle Scouts are likely to take care of their own. What do you think?

I could argue it either way. Some hiring managers might find it too old to be relevant, but others will read it as signs your friend is squeaky clean and will like that (and yes, other Eagle Scouts might bond with him over it). It might help or it might not, but it’s not likely to hurt him.

2. Should my resume include work I’ve done for a friend’s band?

I’m a music student searching for a part-time job. Realistically, I’ll probably end up in retail or food service, but I’ve been keeping an eye out for low-level part-time jobs and internships at record labels and music publications. I’ve been doing a lot of work to help out a friend’s band, including coming up with and executing promotional ideas (ones that go beyond “hang up flyers the week before a show”), researching venues to contact in new cities, and running their merch stand at their gigs. I think the experience that I’ve gotten from this has been relevant to several jobs to the point where I’ve considered listing it on my CV, but I’m worried that hiring managers will see that I’ve essentially listed “volunteered for a punk band” and dismiss me as being naïve and not actually experienced. From a hiring perspective, what would your reaction be?

You should absolutely list it! Especially for the music industry jobs you’re applying for, where listing it will demonstrate work experience in the field — but for other jobs too, because it demonstrates responsibility, organization, initiative, etc.

3. Should my blog go on my resume?

I started a food/home design blog last spring that I’ve been considering putting on my resume to support my writing/web experience (plus food is my passion, I’d love to get into that industry). I know it’s technically more recent than my current position, but I don’t want to bury the “real” job and experience I have. List it second? Mention in cover letter but not resume?

I’d list it on your resume in a different section — Other Experience, Volunteer Work, or something like that. Unless it’s your only writing/web experience, and you’re applying for writing/web jobs — in which case I’d list it first, front and center.

4. I don’t want to report to my old bullying boss again

Last year my former boss went on a year’s leave, and I covered many of his responsibilities. During that year, the company restructured, and I was promoted to manager for one of the brands our company sells, and report to a new boss. My old boss did not want or help his employees to succeed. He was a bully and if not for this restructuring I had decided I could no longer work for him and would leave when he returned.

However he is now returned and trying to negotiate a larger role for himself as he only has one brand, and no direct reports. I know his end goal is to have some say in all brands including mine, and perhaps to even get dotted line responsibility from me and others. He continues to be belittling and critical even though I no longer report to him. I am respectful but take no crap when dealing with him. But I can see his behavior escalating.

My new boss is amazing! He is a true mentor and I am blossoming under his management. I have been given a high level project along with my regular duties and doing an excellent job. My new boss doesn’t know my old boss or that I would have left if I had to keep reporting to him. Should I let my new boss know how I feel — that I couldn’t continue in this company if I have to officially report in any way to my old boss? I know he is lobbying right now for an expanded role. If that role includes any authority over my brand, he will continue to belittle, criticize, interfere and ultimately affect my good performance and results.

Talk to your new boss about your concerns. Don’t issue an ultimatum (that you’ll leave if this happens), but explain your experience working under the old boss previously and your extreme concern about working closely with him again. Be diplomatic, but be careful not to be so diplomatic that your message is lost.

Your new boss might not be able to do anything about it, but he might be able to, and it’s worth having the conversation.

5. Is this start-up job really going to come through?

I have been offered a job as a Business Development Manager (home-based global sales) by someone I know from childhood who has a startup business that is poised to become a subsidiary of a very large company (they currently own a minority share). The technology this startup company is producing is a game changer, and this position will get me back into a field that I have not been in since college, that I love and miss.

I’ve just explained the reward. Here’s the risk. The job start date has been put off until three weeks from now — I was originally told I would start last week. In the meantime, they wanted me to come out to the main office and meet the rest of the team — he keeps telling me that the documents are going out the next day, that the trip will be the following week, a week comes and goes, nothing. Now, I have had no response for two days, after I told him that it is difficult for me to plan the rest of my life when I keep being told to keep an entire week open and then nothing happens. This company is less than 25 employees right now. The CEO/friend seems to either have too much on his plate, which is why he needs to ramp up with professional staff to delegate (he literally does the sales calls all over the world himself), or he is completely full of it, made a bogus offer, and does not know how to back out.

How do I tactfully approach this, or should I not at all? Should I just ignore the job offer I accepted and move on? Should I tell him that I rescind my acceptance? I am at a loss, and worried that now that I haven’t been job hunting for the last two weeks, I will lose my unemployment.

Return to job hunting. You don’t need to write this job off or rescind your acceptance, but you shouldn’t count on it coming through. If it does, then great — but right not it’s not solid enough to count on, so you need to act as if it’s not firm — i.e., continue job-searching — until you have evidence that it is.

6. How should I bill my time from a business trip?

I am an hourly worker. (My boss is pushing for me to be full time.) I am on my way back from a week-long business trip. My boss came with me, so hotel, meals, etc. were paid by him on his company credit card. How do I account for my time? (I am a temp through another company.) How do I account for my time? I know I add the time I travelled (train, which my boss purchased the ticket), and obviously the time I spent working, but do I add when we went for meals (sometimes these things went for 3 hours!) Do I count when we left the hotel until we get back? Where’s the line between company time, and company funded personal time?

Ask your boss. Different companies handle these things differently. It’s fine to just ask him how he wants you to do it.

7. When should I expect a written offer?

Got a verbal offer from CEO via email for a San Fran startup on Monday. Accepted via email same day. My start date is tentatively set for the end of March. When should I expect a written offer? And to clarify, the offer is pending references, but neither has been contacted. Currently work on east coast corp strategy. Just getting paranoid.

You might not ever get a written offer; not every place does them. You can certainly ask for one though — or you can simply summarize the terms of your employment (title, salary, start date, etc.) in an email, send them to the CEO, and ask him to confirm. That might feel less legally binding than a formal written offer initiated by the company, but they’re basically the same — neither obligates the company to stick to those terms going forward (although they can’t change your pay retroactively), but it’s helpful to ensure that you’re both on the same page and there aren’t going to be any miscommunications.

{ 96 comments… read them below }

  1. Anonymous

    #1 – Someone in their 40s including something they did in their teenage years on their resume would seem really odd to me. It wouldn’t be a dealbreaker/shut it down situation but it would catch my eye as a bit of strange thing to do. But the next person who looks at it could be a fellow Eagle Scout and it could work in the guy’s favor.

    1. Kimberlee, Esq.

      I agree completely. I wouldn’t not consider a good candidate because of it, but to me, it would be a downside to his candidacy, as it presumably occurred when they were a teenager.

      But then, it’s only one line, unless your project were really cool and actually enhanced your candidacy in some relevant way.

        1. Evan the College Student

          I’m an Eagle Scout, so I can speak on this with some experience. You need to have completed all the requirements before your eighteenth birthday. The board of review (which talks to you and checks things such as that your service project actually helped people) can theoretically be any time afterwards, but in practice it’s usually within a couple months of your eighteenth birthday. When someone in his 20’s (or later) says he’s an Eagle Scout, that means he earned it before age eighteen.

    2. Steve G

      I am an Eagle Scout, granted the last time I interviewed for a job was when I was 29, and it was on my resume and asked about at every job interview. Some of the interviewers weren’t sure what it entailed, but when you tell them about your Eagle Scout project, they get it. And the Eagle Scout Project is what makes the rank a big deal.

      Mine, for example, was for a camp that houses adults with mental disabilities that come out from NYC In the summer. I built 6 huge picnic table sets. Visited a few lumber/hardware places and got the materials for cost, which came to $1200. Then had fundraiser where donors would get brass plaques with their names on the table ends for donating. Then had to pick out a plan to build the tables, benches, then rally a bunch of guys to do the building, and find someone with a flatbed to transport the benches, then find an independent Eagle Scout project….auditor?! to check off on everything.

      None of these tasks may seem hugely difficult as an adult, but you are doing them when you are 16 and 17, and with how crazy HS is with school, extracurricular activities, scouts, part time jobs, you need to start planning at 15/early 16 to fit the project in before you turn 18. For someone that age, doing things like running a fundraiser or calling around to lumber yards is a huge, complicated, nerve-racking deal.

        1. Sunshine DC

          When I read the OP letter, I thought: Perfect thing to list in the resume section for “Fellowships & Awards” – where you would list everything from a Fulbright Fellowship to a Prestigious Science Award, a major coveted Grant-Funded Residency at a Think Tank or NGO, to being a Rhodes Scholar. Eagle Scout looks exactly right among such honors—the kind that should surely tell any interviewer “this is a person of exemplary achievement and character.” Is this a section that other professional fields don’t use? It’s not something he would explain in detail – just list Eagle Scout among the honors he’s earned and been awarded.

      1. Girasol

        Not that I’ve been an Eagle Scout but I took it literally when I applied recently that you *must* include *every* job you ever worked at. My interview focused on a odd job I’d held for a few months at 22, one which was not related to the field I had been in for 25 years. I felt quite awkward at the time that I wasn’t interviewed for my ability to do the job that I had been doing and would be hired for. I was hired but wasn’t an exceptionally good fit and had to move on. As Steve points out, if old experience like Eagle Scout is noted, it may be a focus in the interview. You have to decide if that would work well for you or not.

        1. Steve G

          I thought it was a good thing it comes up in the interviews as it involves the large community service project. You can show you do good work not just for your personal gain – financial, image, etc., but make personal sacrifices to help the community. Also people think that if you can run a large project at such a young age, you must have graduated on to bigger and better projects as you age. I also did community service on a farm for a year and a half when I lived in a ruraler area.

          When I was job hunting people always asked about those 2 items and I liked talking about them. They always make you look good (though that is not why I did them), I felt they earned more interviewing brownie points than some of my professional projects, but I also felt that that had to do with interviewers being swamped with too many resumes of other people who know macros and are advanced in excel and have a bunch of examples of saving man hours by automating processes, bringing in revenue, and satisfying difficult customers, and so the interviewers were having trouble differentiate between applicants.

      2. Laura L

        It’s definitely significant when you’re a teenager, but I’m not sure how well it predicts work ethic or work ability when you’re in your 40s. People change a lot in those years.

        Not that he shouldn’t put it down, but to me it seems a lot like putting your high school GPA on your resume. Yes, it takes a lot of hard work (or maybe just a little hard work, depending on the person) to get good grades in high school, but it’s not necessarily predictive of later work ability.

    3. Blue Dog

      I would include it as a three word bullet point on the bottom of your resume under “Other Skills” or “Other Interests” for a couple reasons. First, my understanding is that this involves a lot of hard work and follow through. That level of commitment is rare, especially for someone that young. I would think it would carry through to later in life and would like to know. Second, it is a conversation starter. I know someone who lists they were a “Three Day Champion on Jeopardy” on the bottom of his resume. He says these 5 words on his resume take up about 20% of every job interview he has ever had.

      1. AdAgencyChick

        True! I was on the show a few years back (sadly, I was not a champ). I list it in a “miscellaneous” section on my resume and I ALWAYS get asked about it.

    4. Josh S

      Leave it down with your education (which, by the time you’re 40, should also be a footnote, unless you’ve got significant MA/PhD stuff going on that’s relevant or you’re applying for academia), or with your ‘Other Skills’ section. Like this:

      MA University of Place — 1998
      BA State College — 1990
      Eagle Scout

      OR

      Languages: Spanish – Conversant
      Computer Skills: MS Office Suite, SQL/MySQL, SAS
      Accomplishments: Eagle Scout, 1987

      Simple enough, doesn’t take up real estate, doesn’t come across as a “Look at how significant this is” and could serve as a point of connection with that fraternity of people.

      1. KayDay

        That’s what I was thinking. I would not include the details of the project, just list it as an honor, either with eduction or honors. In addition to your examples, it could go in an “honors” section:
        HONORS:
        Blackbelt Chocolate Teapot Maker, 2005
        Phi Beta Kappa, 1991
        Eagle Scout, 1987

      2. Jamie

        I see it as a fraternity of people as well.

        Just like some people in their 40’s list their college frat or sorority – it’s irrelevant to most people looking at their resume, but it might be connection with someone.

        For me it wouldn’t hurt or help – just something I’d skim over unless he was young enough (early 20’s) that the work ethic that went into it could still be relevant.

        Although everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt since the extent of my BSA knowledge is that my daughter dated an Eagle Scout once and I could always recognize his SUV around town by the giant BSA decal.

        Although it’s a small sample group of one (and it was still very fresh) I can say those guys who are into it are VERY into it. I had no idea it was such a big deal but apparently it is.

    5. Anonymous

      #1 – I also throw this out there because I do think it’s something to consider. There are people who have a negative opinion of the BSA organization because of their policies towards gay people. They may assume that if you are highlighting your affiliation with that group 20 years on down the road, the assumption may be made that you agree with their stance.

      1. Editor

        This. Five years ago, I would have said it should be on the resume. Right now, with the BSA in the news about maybe-or-maybe-not allowing gay members, I would leave it off. Getting into a political discussion at an interview could sink your application.

        Wait for things to cool down, then put it down with the education and other accomplishments as a quiet footnote.

    6. BW

      I agree, unless it was directly related to the job they are applying for, and even then I think it’s a little weird if there is much more recent career experience that applies. If the guy is in his 40s we’re talking well over 20 years ago. His job history probably doesn’t even go that far back.

  2. Avid Reader

    Thanks so much for the feedback! (Written Offer) it’s good to know some of the next steps as well as what they might be thinking. I did well on the interview so its difficult to imagine the offer getting rescinded.

  3. AP

    #2 – I know they’re a punk band so they might not be into this, but can you get them to give you some sort of title? Promotional Coordinator / Marketing & Outreach Something-or-Other? You should definitely list it, and this gives you something a little more concrete to say about it.

    1. Ariana

      This is a great idea. The band told me I can pick any title I like, with bonus points for using “PR” and having it secretly stand for punk rock!

  4. amy

    #2…..yes put it. No one needs to know the punk genre, it’s not even important. List it as freelance music promotions. List what your essential duties were, especially building relationships between band and venue, have you taken part in getting a full house for the show? Say so. :-)

    1. Ariana

      That would solve my worry about popular music being perceived as unprofessional. I’m going to consider your idea of listing it as just freelance instead, since the band name is an internal body part, and it’s hard to think how else to refer to it without describing it as “Something Band.”

  5. Blinx

    #6: Also check with your temp agency. They may have policies in place regarding how their employees should be paid for travel time.

  6. Elizabeth

    #7, congrats on your new job! A friendly tip: you will sound like a non-local if you call it “San Fran” (or “Frisco,” for that matter). Stick with “San Francisco,” “SF,” or “the city.” :-)

  7. Mike

    Re #1: I would be hesitant to include it anymore. The fact is that many people have issues with the BSA’s stance on various issues. So just as it could be a positive if it reached the right eyes it could also be a negative if it reached the wrong eyes.

    1. Blue Dog

      Not sure I agree with that. I think that might be true if he were to say that he was involved in Boy Scout management for 10 years after he got his Eagle Scout. But I don’t think anyone could blame a kid for a national corporate policy with which they disagreed. It is not like he was out actively picketing against marriage equality or advocating against an agenda.

      But it does make me think that you might want to have a tactful interview answer ready if an interviewer says something stupid like, “Wow, Eagle Scout. Pretty impressive. What do you make of the controversy lately?” Not sure how to handle that. Maybe something noncommittal like, “They do a lot of good work. It’s kinda sad that something so divisive as this is overshadowing it.”

        1. Mike

          And yet those people do exist and are hiring managers.

          And by listing it you are associating yourself with the organization and by contrast their policies.

          And I say this as someone who is involved with the BSA even though some of their policies I disagree with.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            Sure, but in general you want to screen out off-kilter hiring managers when you’re interviewing, because they’re rarely off-kilter in just one respect.

          2. JT

            Mike- are we really going to play that game – being careful of avoiding nuts?

            If someone was an intern at a big bank – maybe they should leave that off – some of the things that company has done regarding home mortgages are offensive. Someone was in varsity sports? Well, so many colleges are really discriminatory in the way they treat men’s vs women’s sports so that’s questionable.

        2. Rindle

          I wouldn’t blame someone for having participated in a group 20+ years ago that has, in just the last 10 years or so, taken a strong position that many people believe to be harmful to children and anti human rights. But I would wonder about the judgment of an individual who included that information on his resume. First, why would a 40-year old include *anything* from high school? Second, is he oblivious to the controversy (not a well-informed candidate)? If he’s not oblivious, does he also condone discrimination? Again, no judgment for having been an Eagle Scout 20 years ago, but a lot of things have changed in 20 years and bragging (the point of a resume) about association with a group that discriminates against gay children is not something I’d look for in a job candidate.

          1. JT

            “Second, is he oblivious to the controversy (not a well-informed candidate)? If he’s not oblivious, does he also condone discrimination? ”

            I know this will seem slightly obnoxious, but this line of reasoning seems slightly off-kilter to me.

            The age question makes sense to me. This does not.

        3. Anonymous

          I wouldn’t blame a kid for that but if someone who is now a grown up (40s) is highlighting their affiliation with the organization, that says to me that as an adult, they have made a conscious decision to continue to support an organization with this policy.

          1. JT

            I thought people put things on resumes because they believed them to be accomplishments, not to signify support of the institution at which they worked/were associated.

            Are you saying that an older person listing what seems to be achievement with the Boy Scouts is really doing so to show they continue to support the organization?

            1. Jessa

              Actually, it is a big deal, because hundreds of Eagle Scouts have joined a group to return their awards due to the discrimination against LGBT persons. Those “former” Eagle Scouts range from those who just got their awards to over 70 year old Scouts.

              Mentioning the Eagle Scout thing, depending on who reads it, can make the hiring agent think that maybe the person in question does have an issue with LGBT persons and is using that to make that point.

              So since so many of his Eagle Scout brethren have taken a pro-active stance on the subject, I’d leave it off, and mention it, if it seems relevant in the interview.

              1. JT

                So if an older person lists an achievement with the Boy Scouts, we can think he’s probably either dismissive of gay rights or even (perhaps) homophobic. He’s certainly not doing enough.

                As in, “Oh, these two job candidates are about equal, but one says he was an Eagle Scout and doesn’t seem to have returned his medal That could mean he doesn’t care about gay rights, so we should go with the other guy.”

                Really?

    2. JT

      I think the Boy Scout organization has some terrible policies but wouldn’t imagine that would affect my views of someone saying they were an Eagle Scout.

      In fact, many organizations/companies do things I disagree with, but if I was evaluating someone for a job I’d hope that wouldn’t be a big issue.

  8. Josh S

    #5: Start up time is often different than regular-people time. So it may be that cash flow is making things rough at this very moment for this hire to occur and they’re waiting for that to straighten out before they actually pull the trigger.

    Or it could be that the boss/CEO is “too busy” to take the time to reduce his workload. You know, the type who can’t let anything go even though it’s killing them, or the type who loves the appearance of being ‘too busy’ for anything even though it hurts the company.

    It could be anything, really. The one thing that I don’t particularly accept as an excuse is the standard, “a company’s timeline can always change.” The advantage that start-ups have is that they’re more nimble. They can prioritize anything they’d like, basically at the boss’ say-so. The fact that they haven’t prioritized bringing this guy on board shows that it’s not particularly important to their way of thinking at the moment — either the money is being used for something else, the CEO is ‘too busy’ to stop being busy, the company is silently tanking, or operations are a mess and they can’t get basic work done.

    Whatever the reason, they should certainly let you know. And you can take it as a big red flag about the way this place is being operated that they haven’t told you straight up already.

    1. kmd1966

      I am #5, and I am very appreciative of your input. I think I’m being strung along because the CEO is a childhood “friend”, and probably thinks he can get away with more with me than with a stranger. I’ve applied for 10 jobs today, and will hit the streets for some face time at these places tomorrow. Hopefully, by the time CEO comes around and responds, I will have an even better job that doesn’t leave me with that pit in the stomach feeling that something is off…

  9. Elizabeth West

    For #1, I would disagree (gasp!) and say no, don’t include being an Eagle Scout on your resume. It looks weird to have something that far back in your 40s, especially if it isn’t relevant professionally. I don’t put that I was a Girl Scout. It would only be relevant if I were applying to a job at GS headquarters. If you are talking in an interview about something you learned, it’s fine to mention it, or if it were an inspiration to go into your current field, etc.

    #2–That is totally relevant experience. You can phrase it professionally even though it’s volunteer stuff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would imagine that sort of thing is really common in the music field.

    #3–I did this on my regular resume (as opposed to my writing one), but I had a version that left it off for jobs I didn’t think would care. Most of the time I left it on, because I decided it wasn’t worth hiding that I’m a writer. If that squicked them out in any way, it probably wouldn’t have been a good fit.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I don’t put that I was a Girl Scout either, but Eagle Scout is different — many people see that as a huge thing. I can’t imagine any hiring manager I’ve known thinking it was weird. They might not care about it, but they wouldn’t think it was weird to include.

      1. Blinx

        It is truly a shame that there isn’t a rank in Girl Scouting equal to an Eagle Scout. At least not when I was a GS. And Eagle Scout IS a huge thing. It may be less so these days, when it seems like there are SO many super-achieving teenagers around, but decades ago, they were pretty rare (at least in my area). You’d get a huge writeup and picture in the local paper and usually a large celebration. As for the resume, the applicant can always talk about it in terms of lessons he learned from the project that carry on through today.

        1. former Girl Scout

          The Girl Scout Gold Award is the equivalent of the Eagle Scout. Completed by senior year of high school, must complete a number of leadership activities to be eligible, organize and complete a community service project. Pretty rare when I received mine.

        2. Elise

          There is. The Girl Scout Gold Award. It even gets you eligible for several college scholarships. I put it on my college app and resume for about 10 years (had good responses to it) but have since removed it since it’s been so long.

          1. Blinx

            Never heard of the Gold Award — had to look it up. It’s been around for 30 years, but I’ve never seen any write ups in the local papers about Girl Scouts receiving this award. I don’t think it will ever have the same clout as an Eagle Scout — that’s been around for 100 years now. The GS have to publicize more than cookies — that’s what many people associate GS with.

            1. Editor

              I’ve done stories on GS Gold and Silver award winners. It’s an impressive program and should be better known, but I don’t think the Girl Scout infrastructure is as good as the BSA setup. I tried to explain some of the things that could be done better to my area GS people, but I got nowhere.

              1. Meg

                I think another issue is that the Gold Award has changed names many times over the years– and it’s been around almost 100 years: since 1916, known back then as the Golden Eaglet, then Curved Bar, then First Class… then in 1980 it was renamed Gold Award. I wish that it were given the same kind of “status” so you could say you achieved the highest level of scouting rather than saying an award. I earned my Gold Award nine years ago, and I (and many other Girl Scout alumnae I’ve talked to) wish there were higher recognition for this achievement.

      2. PEBCAK

        I would consider it weird on its own, but not weird in the context of a volunteer or other accomplishments section that also included more recent stuff. I wouldn’t take someone out of candidacy because of it, but I feel like “I did community service 25 years ago” makes me wonder “and nothing since?” as opposed to that just not being on the resume at all. There’s something slightly negative for me about the idea of someone telling me they were an outstanding teenager and then, by omission of more recent stuff, telling me they haven’t been committed to volunteerism since then.

      3. fposte

        I think I’d want to consider the application field and the situation and how well it fit into the applicant’s overall narrative. I would actually find it really weird in an application from a fortysomething in my field, like somebody putting in a National Spelling Bee Championship from sixth grade. Sure, it was a great achievement, but it’s a quarter-century old from when you were a kid. On the other hand, there are fields and, I suspect, regions of the country where it might work fit into a narrative and work as a kind of club membership. But I do have to say it might be a bit of a minus for me on a resume and not even a neutral unless it really fit into your trajectory–and even then it might be better in a cover letter as part of a narrative about your commitment to outdoor pursuits that have led you to apply to direct Outward Bound, or whatever.

      4. Elizabeth

        But, in this case, it was more than 20 years ago.

        Even when I was in college & dating a guy who earned the Eagle Scout rank when he was in high school, the rest of us rolled our eyes over how this was the crowning achievement of his life. It had been almost 5 years by that point, and everyone else had moved on and were looking for new challenges & achievements, and he was still pulling it out as if it were the only worthwhile accomplishment he could ever do.*

        By the time you’re 40, it is like being the star quarterback on the team that won the state football championship. Is this really the only thing you’ve managed to accomplish in that span that is resume-worthy?

        *I recently ran into another friend from the era who keeps in touch with my ex, and it is pretty much the only thing he ever accomplished.

        1. Kelly L.

          I dated a couple of Eagle Scouts in college and it was all they ever talked about–that and how it made them better than lowly other humans. LOL. I think we dated the same guy. I know there must have been other Eagle Scouts around me who weren’t so self-righteous about it (hence I never knew they had even achieved it), but it did kind of put an unfair prejudice into my mind at the time.

      5. Rindle

        Are there any other achievements from middle school or high school that belong on an adult resume? I wouldn’t put National Merit Finalist, for example, or having graduated high school with academic and performing arts honors.

        1. JT

          I put a scholarship win (financial) I got at the end of high school that paid a little for college on my resume into my early 30. That is, about 12 or 14 years.

        2. Lena

          I’m really interested in the answer to this too…I’ve always thought the answer was “no” (I’m 30, 5 years into a post-masters career, 2 years pre-masters professional experience). I have, however, been advised to put National Merit and class valedictorian. I’ve always figured that was bad advice…

          1. Elizabeth West

            I put cum laude on my resume after my degrees, but they are not very old—2005. Yes, I’m proud of that. If they want to know that I earned them, I want them to know I did well. Hopefully I will do as well with the one I’m about to do.

            1. Rindle

              I put my Latin honors on my undergrad information. But I don’t have anything from high school (including Latin honors) on my resume anymore and would be surprised to see it on anyone’s resume after their first job or so.

      6. Elizabeth West

        Maybe not, but if he were that far removed from it, it might look a little funny. Well it’s just IMO.
        Someone earlier suggested it might be okay to put in Fellowships and Awards. If he has other stuff to put with it, that could work.

  10. Christina

    I wrote #3, and I get what you’re saying about possibly sticking it under “Other Experience”, but I’m not quite sure what you mean by the second half of your suggestion “unless it’s your own writing/web experience.”

    Thanks for answering though, I’m going to find some way to work it in there! It may not be Smitten Kitchen, but I’m still pretty proud of it.

  11. KMN

    #2: I have tons of friends and acquaintances that work in the (punk) music industry — doing marketing for labels, managing studios, screen printing t-shirts, working at/owning record stores, etc. Every single one of them, with absolutely no exception (and this is at least 20 people!) got their start by doing the exact kind of stuff you’re doing, or by playing in bands themselves. Put it on there — that’s exactly what your potential hiring managers in the music industry are looking for! You’d be doing yourself a HUGE disservice if you don’t.

  12. GN

    #1 – judging by how much conversation that email generated, mentioning an Eagle Scout project on your resume will probably get a person in no interview land. UNLESS, the person can demonstrate that that project was job related and relevant. Even then….

    Nobody is saying that a hiring manager will judge a kid for belonging to Eagle Scouts. I believe Mike is seeing the situation like this: if the project is not related, and Eagle Scouts are mentioned, it is logical to wonder whether the applicant is still subscribing to the views of the org. It is unfortunate, but the reality is that many orgs. were built on exclusion biases – homogeneous, Christian-based, non-minority, non-gay/lesbian, abusive, and top down. Was the kid indoctrinated, meaning he will bring those biases into the workplace? The question becomes very relevant, if the project is not related to the job description.

    It is probably regional or local, but if you are in a big city and applying for a big/international organization, they might look at you as a country bumpkin or a bigot. someone who might not fit well and would be a problem in a long run. Is it what you want to convey by your resume? I agree, it’s an assumption. however, a hiring process is a discriminatory process. Anything you say might be used against you, even if your project was kosher and didn’t harm anyone, and you are one of the most open-minded people. It can, and most likely will be used in the elimination process.

    If you know where you are applying for, and you know the hiring manager was an Eagle scout, it is probably a plus. Whatever gets you in the door. However, if you don’t know whether a hiring manager belonged to Eagle Scouts, it is an equivalent of putting National Rifle Association or a religious affiliation. Do you want to take that risk?

    I would not put it on the resume, knowing how people might interpret it. Hiring is not always about the reality, it’s also about perceptions. You want to neutralize any perceived bias about you when you apply for a job, not to create a controversy.

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      “judging by how much conversation that email generated, mentioning an Eagle Scout project on your resume will probably get a person in no interview land. “

      I really don’t think that’s the correct conclusion. The majority of commenters here do not, to my knowledge, do significant hiring, and people who do often have different takes on this stuff than someone speculating on what they might think if they were hiring, when they’re not.

      1. GN

        oh, I wish I could say that I was speculating…. I wish I have never had to face hard decisions in a hiring process…..

        also, even if majority commenters are not hiring managers, these are potential co-workers, who sometimes participate in an interview process. In some orgs, those decisions are group-based, and a personality fit can be a major factor. If my team is mixed about an Eagle Scout candidate, as a hiring manager I would listen, not necessarily act upon it, but still listen.

        another concern, thigh resume MIGHT(and I am saying might, because it happens, not always, but still does) be weeded out by an HR before it gets to a hiring manager. again, not speculating….. depends on an org and people. and that we can’t fully predict. However, this is something for the Eagle Scout to consider. Whichever way #1 chooses to act, it’s his/her business.

          1. fposte

            Yeah, I don’t see this as hugely different from the occasional questions about sanitizing work histories for AIDS activism, etc. You can never make a resume completely nutcase-proof.

            Interestingly, for some of the younger hiring I do this could actually be a relevant achievement, and it would be recent enough that I wouldn’t look at it askance from a time standpoint. We do make sure that our candidates will be on board with our support of and work with diverse groups, but I wouldn’t bring up the Scouts thing unless the candidate wanted to discuss it.

    2. Cathy

      I’m a hiring manager, and I occasionally see Eagle Scout at the end of a resume. I just ignore it. It doesn’t hurt your chances of getting an interview but it doesn’t help, and I’m definitely not going to ask you about it in the interview.

      The only way it would hurt is if you put undue weight on it (i.e. you treat it as more than a minor footnote to your professional accomplishments) or if you seem to be trying to trade on the “old boy’s club” aspect.

    3. Joey

      GN,
      Yeah, I agree that listing your Eagle Scout project would be a little weird- that type of accomplishment really doesnt do a whole lot for your resume 20 years later. But it’s not really about the project- I know Eagle Scouts that did little more than mow grass as their eagle project. It’s more about an accomplishment that says you learned the goals and values they teach and being associated with high achievers. And I’m not talking about the gay issue- I bet most scouts had no clue where BSA stood on it when they were scouts. Why do you think they stayed in scouts?

    4. EngineerGirl

      GN – ironically, your statement reeks of the Pre-defined judgement and bigotry you are railing against. Making assumptions about someone’s belief system based on an organization they belonged to in childhood? How do you know what anyone believes without actual diogue?

  13. Not So NewReader

    OP #4, I would be sure to mention to your boss why you are happy with your position now. “Since I joined this department I have learned x, y and z. I now do tasks A and B. I have developed abilities D and E. I am very happy about all of this.” Nothing wrong with telling him why you are happy with your job.

    If the job stinks it really does not matter who works along side us. It is still a stinky job. What is special about your setting is that you like the job. Let the boss know.

    I am amazed at the number of bosses that are so pleased to hear their employee likes the work.

  14. Blinx

    #1: Tell you friend to run an advanced people-search for “eagle scout” on LinkedIn. I did, and got over 89,000 results!! I think that means people, not mentions, but even so! A quick glance shows that many of these guys are well over 40. They have it mentioned under associations (there’s a national association for Eagle Scouts), merits/awards, and groups. So even if he deletes it from his resume, he could probably include it on his LinkedIn profile.

  15. EngineerGirl

    #4 – Isn’t it funny that you don’t realize how bad things were until after you get out? Especially if you now have a good boss and see how you were supposed to be treated.

    By all means go to your new boss! No ultimatims, as AAM said. But you can certainly let your new boss know that you want to continue to work with him. Also let him know the specifics about the comments your old boss is making. Once way to do this is to say it this way: “Old boss has been stating that I’m always messing up the BJ account. I would like to check with you and find out your take on it.” This gives new boss a heads up while also giving an opportunity for real feedback if it is needed. Be really specific when describing old boss’s behaviors. It provides context for what is going on, and gives new boss something to look for. I think it is also OK to say something like “I’m not sure I would have anywhere near the same success working under him as I do for you”.

    You say that old boss’s behavior is escalating. This is actually good, especailly if you maintain a calm, polite, and respectful stance. Because at some point old boss’s behavior will escalate to the point where it will start drawing attention, and he’ll expose himself. Bullys always escalate if you don’t give them what they want.

    And as a side note, make sure you are never alone. Because bullies like to attack when there is no audience.

  16. Lisa

    #2 – ever heard of Guitar Center? There are music stores out there that are retail so you might as well go for one that might get you a discount on equipment.

    1. Ariana

      I’ve already looked into the music stores in my area that I could get to on a regular basis and they’re not hiring at this time. I’m keeping an eye on them though!

  17. OP #7

    Hi, I’m OP #7.

    Just to clarify why I’m being paranoid – the CEO never followed up on my acceptance of the verbal offer – not a “welcome to the team”, “awesome”, or even a “got it.” So it’s difficult for me to gauge where I’m at currently – I met everyone, received favorable feedback, got an offer, negotiated and received a higher offer, accepted, and now do not know where to go from here. I’ve already emailed the CEO a followup to secure the start date, but have not received any response, and there is no HR department from what I can tell.

    I would be happy to cut off my job search assuming this role was secured, but am wondering what is contributing to this communication silence I’m receiving, and don’t know if / how I should keep asking for confirmation. Are they interviewing other candidates? Rescinding my offer? Just busy? I’ll get over it either way, but would like to know just so that I can plan a path forward. And because the stress is distracting me.

    Sorry for the long post.

      1. Chriama

        I’d say go with Alison’s tried and true advice of continuing your job search. The fact that they’re uncommunicative could mean a whole lot of different things, but given that they haven’t given you a start date and references still haven’t been contacted, I would assume you have no offer and keep on looking.

        I’d also say that you should probably follow up with the CEO again, but I’m not sure about the timing on that. Anyone have any suggestions?

      2. azvlr

        OP#7, I’m in the same boat except I don’t think my offer is contingent on references. I was given a tentative start date set to be two weeks away from the date I get my written offer. I was told I would hear from them Wednesday, last week, at the latest. Wednesday came and went, so I emailed the HR person in charge of the offer. She emailed me back later that evening and said not to worry, it’s in the final approval stages. I’m still waiting. This is a multinational corporation with over 200,ooo employees world-wide. They have been slow, but honorable up to this point, but I have been reading too much AAM to not be paranoid as well. To other readers, if you have hiring authority over someone, for the love of all that is holy, if you have extended an offer, please keep candidates in the loop!!! I currently have $1.47 in my checking account, and it looks like my first payday, if I do start, won’t be until the end of next month now. I would have made other choices if I knew I would have to wait this long. OP#7: I see this is an old post. I’m curious to know what ever became of your offer.

  18. Joey

    #1. Eagle Scouts should generally list it on their résumé. The fraternity of Eagle Scouts is full of famous high achievers like astronauts, politicians, high ranking military officials, etc. And there are a lot of high achievers that were scouts like Obama, Bill Gates, Clinton, Bush, Etc.

    While it might not mean much to the lay person a fellow scout knows that it means you were more interested in learning life skills that prepare you to be a leader at an age when kids are more focused on other stuff.

  19. Ariana

    Thank you for your help, Alison and everyone who has commented. You’ve helped me both feel more comfortable about putting my experience on my resume and helped me to clarify what that part of my resume should say.

  20. Lindsay

    Absolutely put Eagle Scout discretely on your resume. I have a friend who keeps his tattered card conveniently behind his ID and pretends they’re “stuck together” if he’s getting a speeding ticket. Not to say he gets pulled over all the time, but he’s gotten out of a fair number of tickets this way. In the right circles, it stands out.

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