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  • Eleanor 4:32 pm on March 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: email, , , , job applications, ,   

    I’m the One Who Reads Your Resume 

    Last week and today, I spent a good portion of my days going through job applications. Yup. When I saw them on my desk in the morning, I thought it was a mistake. I ended up going through all 34 to find education, last three jobs, and experience related to the position. By no means did I read the applications thoroughly, nor will I be asked for my opinion. I was just making a spreadsheet with that info for my boss to look at. But wow, I learned a lot about job apps.

    1. You can get jobs without a masters (OR EVEN A DEGREE), and lit and history majors get jobs too. Woah. Mind blown.
    2. Don’t put on irrelevant/outdated stuff. One or the other, but not both. If you were an intern in 1985, it might be time to take that off your resume.
    3. Consider the job posting. I know my office put a lot of thought into what they were looking for (someone with experience on the hill was a must) and someone with experience in museums and libraries was a plus. Some people applied with neither. It didn’t make sense to me. If you don’t fit into any of the categories besides wanting the job, you may not be qualified.
    4. Don’t underestimate your power. Here i was, thinking i was a lowly intern, when in fact it’s my reading of these applications that the boss is going to read. I’m moving up in the world.

    All the reading of people’s email addresses reminded me a lot of Harvard Sailing Team Mailing list video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AXtOnR5dnE), because some of the applications had ridiculous email addresses, like @starpower.net. Honestly, that was the only really weird one, but still. Weird.


  • Erin Greenawald 9:36 pm on October 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , cowokers, , , email, , working virtually   

    The Good, the Bad, and the Gchat: On Working Virtually 

    As I mentioned last week, my work for The Daily Muse doesn’t usually involve fun times with my co-workers—or any time with my co-workers. My work usually looks a little more like this —>

    Admittedly, this picture was taken during a day that I did get to spend at our co-working space in NYC, but you get the idea. Just me and my computer, getting chummy. Starting last August, I have worked 10—and now 20—hours a week virtually, in various locations and states of dress (read: I don’t always look that cute).

    There are a lot of things I love about working virtually. The biggest perk is that it’s continually given the the opportunity to work for a company I’m really excited about, but that is unfortunately not in the city I’m living in. When I first applied to The Daily Muse, I was a week away from moving to Copenhagen for a semester. I was worried they would turn me down because of my international situation, but they were completely on board. (Thank goodness.) Plus, I can pretty much work whenever, wherever, and wearing whatever I want. As your typical way-too-busy AU student, this is key.

    But as great as it sounds not to have to show up in your best business casual every day, there’s a dark side to working virtually, too. The hardest thing for me has been not having face-to-face interaction with my co-workers. As I learned over the summer when I did get to work in person with them, my co-workers are pretty awesome, and face-to-face time leads to a lot of great things: socializing, brainstorming, coffee breaks, collaboration, happy hours, joking around, more coffee breaks. My managing editor and I try to mimic it by sending each other links to Editor Real Talk or pictures of cute puppies over Gchat, but it’s just not the same.

    So, now that you know the best and worst of the matter, here are a few other things you should know if you’re thinking of picking up a virtual internship:

    1. If you aren’t a self-motivator, don’t do it.
      No, your boss won’t be watching you work over your shoulder, but that doesn’t mean you get to slack off—if you don’t do your work, your boss will still know. Take yourself to super-star intern level by regularly communicating the status of your projects to your boss, even if they aren’t due yet. It’ll make her life easier knowing what to expect from you (and reminding her that you’re doing good work never hurts you either).
    2. Get ready for an email explosion.
      All the assignment check-ins, quick questions for your boss, and little conversations you would have in the hall? Get ready for them all to be in your inbox. Long emails that replace presentations or team updates, short emails with quick questions about a project, just-in-the-subject-line emails for quick need-to-knows. We recently adopted a team chat service called HipChat that has relieved our inboxes some, but the amount of email you send and receive as a virtual worker is pretty absurd.
    3. If you can find a way to meet the people you work with, do it.
      Whether you can afford to take a trip to go meet them all, or Skype is the best thing you can do, find a way to spend a little time with your most immediate co-workers face-to-face. It’s kind of hard to really get to know someone over the internet, to get how you vibe with them. I worked with all of my co-workers over email and the phone for nine months, but didn’t feel like I really got to know them until I met them in person—and now I feel like I can interact with them all much better virtually. It’s nice to have a face, voice, and personality associated with the person on the other side of the email chain.
    4. Don’t be afraid to have a little virtual fun.
      When all your work is done via email, it can be easy to feel like every email you send has to be business related. News flash—it doesn’t. You have to find some way to virtually replace the break room (in fact, most of our breakroom content stems from the jokey emails and chats we send to each other). Obviously, this will depend on the level of professionalism within your organization and how well you know your co-workers—and you don’t want to spam people’s already crammed inboxes—but a fun email every now and then can be a good way to give everyone a quick break.

    That’s all I got for now! Do you have any questions about working virtually, or tips from your virtual work experiences?

    • Julia Beyer 4:59 pm on October 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for these extremely useful tips about working virtually, Erin. I am highlighting this in the SOC Spot Newsletter.

  • Paul Lopreiato 10:00 pm on August 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , email, , the game,   

    Internship Application Gone Wrong 

    We’ve all had the experience of applying for internships online. Sometimes through Twitter. Almost every single time, these internships are completely legal and worth it. In my past posts, I’ve written about potential legal issues with internships, but this most recent problem is slightly more public:

    Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do on Twitter #23: Tell your followers that if they want to be your intern, they should call a phone number that belongs to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Sounds obvious, right?

    Unfortunately, The Game did exactly that to his 593k+ followers on twitter.

    The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says that the calls delayed responses to genuine emergencies, including a spousal assault, two robberies and a stolen car, with Captain Mike Parker telling the LA Times that the prank was “beyond irresponsible… The deputies’ ability to answer the phones and dispatch personnel to help these people was significantly impeded.”

    One can assume how much of a problem this is for any applicant.

    So, three lessons are to be learned from this whole experience: Firstly, a lot of people want to intern for The Game. Secondly, you shouldn’t let someone else tweet as you for fear of legal problems. And thirdly, always beware the simultaneously self-aggrandizing and self-pitying rhetoric of someone who refers to themselves in the third person.

    And consider waiting until your prospective employer puts out an email address to contact – particularly if your prospective employer has been nominated for major music awards in the past and famous.

  • Zach C. Cohen 8:37 pm on July 26, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , email, HR, , respect,   

    Don’t Take it Personally 

    I had a bit of an issue with HR  at Time, Inc, which is the overarching company that runs TIME Magazine. It kind of bugged me for a while, but I think I’ve come out of it with a better outlook on my situation here.

    (More …)

  • Emily Fleitz 3:56 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Chinese new year, dumplings, email, , Lord of the Rings, , writing reports   

    Happy New Year 

    Today is my first full day at the Solidarity Center.  I arrived a little after 8:30am, a remarkable feat considering a slow shuttle bus and a packed Metro train.  My supervisor Tim, the Regional Program Director for the Asia/Europe office, has given me my first big assignment.  I am supposed to cull information from Solidarity Center publications to put into a report for the MacArthur Foundation grant program.  I am still not completely clear on everything that needs to be done, but Tim tells me I will meet with him and Neha later today to talk about it.

    In the meantime, I have been checking out the MacArthur Foundation website  and catching up with email, which has piled up since I was here on Monday afternoon.  Email is a great thing- the best email I have gotten all day didn’t have any text, just this great subject line: “chicken shu mai and vege dumplings in both kitchens for Chinese New Year.”  After writing this post, I think I’ll head there for a mid-morning snack.  Luckily, it’s right around the corner from my desk; the kitchen is a good place to be familiar with.

    Everyday I learn a little bit more about the office.

    (More …)

    • Jennifer Carignan 7:05 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice post, Emily! Working on grant reports is great experience, and I’m sure you’ll learn a ton.

      Sorry to hear about your stair adventure. I’ve been trapped in my share of stairwells, so I understand the feeling of panic. 🙂

    • jc0424a 7:34 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Gandalf: [pointing to a tunnel] There!
      Merry: He remembered!
      Gandalf: No, but the air doesn’t smell so foul here. If in doubt, Meriadoc, always follow your nose.

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