Danny Rubin of News to Live By recently published a great article on Huffington Post’s College site entitled 25 Things Every Young Professional Should Know by Age 25 that I wanted to share and comment on.
A few of the notable things everyone should know:
A cover letter should add color and personality. It shouldn’t summarize your resume.
Absolutely agreed. Talk about why you’re a good fit for the company/culture you’re trying to join, not just what you learned in college or have done in your professional life. Show a potential employer who you are, not just what you’ve done.
Everyone likes to receive praise, but the smartest young adults actively seek constructive criticism.
I used to coach youth basketball for five years in the town I grew up in, and through those five years I always felt we learned more about sports, ourselves, and life in general from losing than winning. Michael Jordan once said “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Don’t be afraid to try new things and ideas, even if they are not successful.
Take LinkedIn seriously.
LinkedIn’s stock price started at just over $60. It is now at over $180 in less than two years. Facebook’s stock price opened at about $38. It is now at $26 in just about one year. So let me ask you this: what site are you spending the majority of your time on? Is Facebook going to get you a job?
You’re never too busy to write a thank-you note.
Whether it’s after a job interview, internship interview, after completing an internship, or after receiving a birthday gift, a don’t text, tweet, email or facebook your thank-you’s. Handwritten notes show you care.
Negotiate your salary.
Yes, you’re very excited to receive that entry level offer and you think you have no business negotiating a salary. Be grateful for the offer, but if it’s not what you were hoping to get or think it’s worth, it’s OK to ask for more. They won’t pull the offer of the table!
Don’t step into an interview room without research on the company and questions for the employer.
You’re smart enough to already know that, right?
…and my favorite:
You’re halfway through the most formative decade of your life. You don’t need all the answers, but you must keep asking questions. Start with this one: what’s something new that I can learn right now?