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When it comes to job hunting advice, question everything you’re told

April 15, 2013 Uncategorized 1 comment , , , , ,

Punk pioneers Stiff Little Fingers‘ signature tune “Suspect Device” admonished “Don’t believe them / Question everything you’re told.” It’s sound advice for anyone looking for guidance in the job world.

The other day on /r/GetEmployed, a user asked how he should write his resume objective for a job as a sales clerk at Bass Pro Shops. He said that the prof for his Communications in the Business Environment class told him to have an objective on his resume.

I’m guessing the prof might also have advised to put “References available upon request” at the bottom of the resume, too, which is also bad advice. I’m also guessing that the prof hasn’t created a resume in the non-educational world ever.

The key here is that the original poster of the question (the OP) didn’t ask why an objective is important. He just accepted it as true without an understanding. This is a mistake. Whenever someone gives you advice, about anything, not just jobs, ask why. Ask specifically, “Why do you say I should put an objective on the resume?” or “Why do I have to wear a suit to the interview?” You need to understand why you are doing anything, and not just follow it blindly, so that you can make a decision on if you want to follow it or not. You will get conflicting opinions on everything in life, so understand the logic behind it.

I’m guessing that if the OP had gone back to his prof and asked why to have an objective, the prof’s answer would have been not much more substantive than “because that’s just what you do”. If he were to ask me why you should not have an objective, I’d explain “because it is a waste of space that says nothing except that you want the job that you’re applying for, instead of telling good information about you and why you’re good for the job”. Based on those two reasons, the OP can make his own decision.

Note: There is a time when objectives may make sense: when you’re handing out resumes blindly, like at a job fair or something, where it’s not clear what sort of job you’re looking for. Then it makes sense. But if you’re sending in a resume for a specific job, and your objective is “to get a job that is exactly like the one I’m applying for right now”, then leave it off.

Ask questions. Understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Don’t follow anyone’s advice blindly, including mine.

Making Your Tech Conference Presentation, and Experience, Not Suck

November 11, 2011 Uncategorized No comments

Tech conferences are incredibly expensive, and not just in dollars. Even free conferences like BarCamps incur the expense of the attendee’s time. Taking time off from work or family is a hassle at the very least, and it’s time that isn’t billable. The draw of the conference boils down to those 45 minute sessions, and speaker and attendee alike should make the most of it.

Read the rest of the article at Software Quality Connection.

What kid-friendly web-email options are there?

June 27, 2011 Uncategorized No comments

Amy and I are talking about getting Quinn some email, mostly for us to send her little notes, but I’m sure that Grandma and aunt Cinda would love to send her mail, too.

My requirements are:

  • Whitelist of inbound mail addresses.  I want zero unsolicited email going to her, spam or otherwise.
  • Easy interface, meaning not something like Gmail, which I think would be a mess for her.
  • Address book so she doesn’t have to remember email addresses.
  • Would prefer a web interface, so that she can access it even away from home.

I’ve been leaning toward setting up an email account for her on petdance.com and making some procmail rules to enforce the whitelist.  If I do that, is there a decent webmail front end I could put up?  Squirrelmail is hardly easy.

Update: I went with zoobuh.com which gives me all I wanted for only a dollar a month.

How can I transfer stickers from my old laptop to new?

June 27, 2011 Uncategorized 5 comments ,

I bought a new MacBook Pro a few weeks ago, and I’d like to get the stickers from the back of the old one onto the new one. Most specifically, I really like that Google “My other computer is a data center” sticker (no disrespect to Milwaukee BarCamp or Pumping Station: One, of course).

Any suggestions as to how I could remove them intact from the old machine?  And affix them to the new?  If it matters, the new laptop has an aluminum case.

I’m also looking for stickers of Plankton, Mr. Krabs’ nemesis from SpongeBob SquarePants, since I named the laptop “plankton” in his honor.  I always name my machines something related to Quinn or what Quinn is into at the time I got the machine.