Top 10 New Employee Mistakes

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

You finally landed that job. Congratulations!

But you’re not home free yet. In fact, these first few weeks and months on the job can make or break your career. Make sure you avoid these common new employee mistakes, and get your career off to a great start.

10. Coming in late, leaving early

This is one of the most common mistakes new employees make. After all the work it took to get that new job, make sure you are at work on time, and that you leave on time.

9. Attire

Another common mistake new employees make is in what they wear. After dressing well for the interviews, they show up in clothing more appropriate for the beach, a club or a puttering around at day home. Even if your workplace is casual, make sure your clothing is neat, clean and most of all, appropriate for work.

8. Language

Yes, four letter words have crept into TV shows and music. But in the workplace, dropping the f-bomb could have your career bombing as well. You could even find yourself charged with sexual harassment or creating a hostile workplace. Better to keep it clean at work.

7.TMI (Too Much Information)

It could be all about complaining about your previous job. Or whispering about some of your new colleagues to others. Or maybe making sure everyone knows your views on current politics, or exactly why you have to take off for a doctor’s appointment. As new employee mistakes go, this one is one of the most common – and the most annoying.

6. Bad choices in personal decor

Most companies allow employees some leeway in how they decorate their offices or workspaces. But a common new employee mistake is to choose potentially offensive décor, or to bring in too many things. Keep your office accessories tasteful – and under control.

5. Looking down on support staff

Underestimating the support staff is a new employee mistake that could spell the end of your job almost as soon as it starts. That clerical staff or kitchen staff or maintenance crew is the key to getting things done. Alienate them, and your career will suffer.

4. Loner

The opposite of Number 7 on our list, new employees who talk to almost no one at work are making a mistake that could stall their career indefinitely. Why? Because the silent new employee misses that “I’m new here” opportunity to make friends, build bonds and become a part of the team.

3. Advice too soon

Picture this: it’s a new employee’s first week on the job, and as the meeting gets started, he or she starts offering their take on how the meeting should be run. And how project requests should be processed. Later, they add advice on how testing should be done or which items should be added to the menu.

Unless you were hired as a consultant, spend the early days on your new job listening and learning. Save the advice for after your credibility is established.

2. Ignoring protocol/procedure

All companies have processes, even if they’re informal. One of the most common new employee mistakes is to ignore those processes. Make sure you know how, when and why things are done at your new workplace before you try to change them.

1. That’s not my job

The number one new employee mistake is to refuse assignments or projects because they are perceived as below the level of the job. Big mistake.

Unless the request involves something offensive, or crosses into personal time (like being asked to take someone’s car for an oil change), consider everything your job.

Top 10 Resume Sample Sites

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Top 10 resume sample sites

Your resume. It’s the first thing an employer will see of you. It’s all of your experience, skills, education and career plans distilled into a couple of pages.

And it’s scary as heck to write.

Having good resume samples can make the job easier, but so many resume sample sites are just link farms or thinly veiled ads for companies hoping to sell you career advice. But there are some good ones out there.

Here are some that offer real samples that could help you transform your resume from so-so to wow.

Top 10 resume sample sites is known for their extensive information and their sample resume page is no exception. Lots of resume advice, and some good, reliable samples, too.


Top 10 resume sample sites
Skip the questionaire in the middle of the page; it leads to an ad. Click on a job title in the right nav for the actual samples. Yes, this site buries their resume samples amid lots of ads, but the templates are there, and they are good, so it may be worth the effort.


Top 10 resume sample sites
A simple to use resume template site that’s more about the content than the formatting. Use this site for ideas on what to include, and how to work experience, education and goals into your resume for a variety of jobs.


Top 10 resume sample sites
Like some of the other top 10 sites, Free Resume Samples is more about the content than the formatting. But they have a big plus in their great mix of detailed resumes and solid career and job hunting advice.


Top 10 resume sample sites
This site is a mix of quality resume examples and templates, and links to other resources including resume writers and career advisors. Of special note are their excellent CV (Curriculum Vitae) samples for academic job hunters.


Top 10 resume sample sites
Students who are trying to construct a resume for that first job, or first job in a new career field, will find the answers they need in this template site. Pick the template by major for the best advice for your situation.


Top 10 resume sample sites
Excellent sample resumes, plus sample cover letters and job hunting advice make this a top choice for career resume advice.


Top 10 resume sample sites
This is a great resume sample site for executive and senior level management resumes, a category often missing from other resume sites.


Top 10 resume sample sites
You would be hard pressed to find a kind of job or job situation Best Sample Resume’s site does NOT have as a sample. Easy to navigate, no frills site.


Top 10 resume sample sites
I rated Microsoft’s resume sample page number one for a couple of reasons. Yes, they have a lot of great samples for a variety of job categories. But even more valuable is the fact that every one of them is already formated for Microsoft Word. That means when you download one, it will work. No trying to recreate spacing or formatting – a big time and paper saver.

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Top 10 Ways to Stay Organized in College

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

Starting college is exciting, scary, wonderful and confusing. And sometimes overwhelming, especially when it comes to staying on top of assignments, laundry and your social life.

But with a little planning and the right tools, you can keep it all under control. Here are our top 10 tips for staying organized in college.

10. Have a calendar in your room

Maybe it seems old-fashioned in these days of handheld everything, but an old-fashioned wall calendar at your desk is critical to organization in college. The size, location and viability of a wall calendar makes it the best tool for staying on track with projects, exams and big events.

9. Have a second calendar with you

This is where your smart phone or tablet can come in. Or you can use a paper planner. Either way, make sure it’s small enough to carry with you every day…and then do it!

8. Record it right away

One of the best ways to stay organized in college is to make it a habit to record every deadline, assignment, or event as soon as you learn about it. Jot it in your phone or planner, then copy major deadlines and such to the large wall calendar as soon as you get back to your room.

7. Use folders

Get a stack of file folders and use them to hold papers on your desk. Label one for each project, then tuck research, handouts and other items you need for that project into the folder.

This simple habit will save you from late night searches through stacks of papers – a huge time and stress saver!

6. Take a stapler to class

Many professors will give out papers during class. As soon as you receive that paper in class, staple it to the notes for that day. Not only will that prevent papers from being misplaced, the notes that go with the paper will be right there when it’s time to study.

If you use a laptop or tablet to take notes, keep one paper notebook with you to store handouts. Date the page, and staple the handout to it. That way you’ll know which handouts go with which notes on your computer.

5. Read the syllabus

All too many college students forget to read the syllabus in detail. That can lead to missed deadlines and forgotten assignments. A key to staying organized in college is to read it, enter the important dates into your calendars, and staple it into your notebook.

4. Record grades

As soon as you find out how your professor will handle grading, record it somewhere. If it’s four tests and two papers, note that and leave a blank space for the grade next to each. As you receive grades, record them. That way, you’ll always know where you stand, and when you have to address a too-low average in a class.

3. Work backwards from due dates

As soon as you know the due dates for your major papers and projects, sit down with a calendar, record the due date, then start working backwards. Figure out when your rough draft needs to be done, when your research needs to be done, and when your topic has to be finalized. That timeline will tell you when to start on each project.

This tip may keep you from ever having to pull an all-nighter!

2. Use reminders

Once you have due dates and dates for the steps in your projects, use computer reminders to stay aware.

1. Set priorities

Of course, you want to have fun in college. But you also want to be back next year. So set your priorities. Make sure you have time for social events, but take care that a last minute invitation to go out doesn’t override your study or project plans.

Best of … new employee office and cubicle decorating

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best of office and cubicle décor ideasContributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

We spend more waking hours in our offices and cubicles that we do at home. So it only makes sense that you should pay as much attention to the décor in your office as we do in your house.
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Top 10 How to Pick a Career Tips

August 29, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

You could always use a dartboard. Or maybe paste a few choices on that old Twister spinner. But there are better ways to pick a career. And we’re here to give you 10 of them.

10. Look at your past

What did you always love doing? What came easy to you? What activities or subjects could keep you occupied for hours? All of these are clues to the best career choice for you.

9. Take a test

There are hundreds of choices tests you can take to help you identify the best career choices for your aptitudes, skills and interests. Try some of the free online tests, ask your school counselor for career tests, or work with a career counselor to guide you towards the best tests.

8. Talk to a counselor

Talking with a professional counselor can make it easier to pick a career. No, they can’t tell you what you should be, but they can guide you and provide you with tools like aptitude tests and opportunities for internships.

7. Ask people who know you well

Sometimes it’s easier for friends and family to see our talents and skills. Ask a few people you trust about the careers they see as a good match for you.

6. Follow people around

Ask to shadow people in a variety of careers. Or volunteer if you can’t find a professional to follow around. By seeing the day to day aspects of a number of jobs, the question of how to pick a career becomes easier to answer – you will have seen it firsthand.

5. Research the requirements for various careers

Before you decide on a career to pursue, make sure you understand the requirements. What degrees are required? Is there other professional training needed? Do you have to serve an apprenticeship or an internship? Is there a qualifying test? Make sure you know exactly what’s required.

4. Network

One way to pick a career is to start with a broad field, like medicine or law, and then network with people throughout the field. You may discover a new career path you never knew existed.

3. Research the costs and time involved in preparing for a career

Once you know the amount of education or training required, make sure you have a clear picture of the cost in both time and money. This will make sure your process of picking a career doesn’t come with sticker shock.

2. Check out predicted growth in the job

Hiring trends, changes in technology and national economic health all play a role in the number of job openings expected. Make sure the career you pick has good growth and stability.

1. Make a plan

No list of how to pick a career advice would be complete without a recommendation about planning. Knowing exactly what has to be done, and when, will go a long way towards making your career choice a success.

Top 10 Ways to Change Careers at 30

August 23, 2011

Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

It used to be that a major career change was something reserved for the midlife crisis years, when minivans were traded for red sports cars and successful executives reinvented themselves as surfboard artists or organic cheese makers.
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