June 21, 2011

Inappropriate Work Topics

Remember those days in grade school when certain topics were off limit like sex, drugs, and rock & roll? Well, maybe 'rock & roll' was okay, as long as you left out the sex and drugs part but then what's left to write about? Ok, I kid, but seriously, it has recently come to my attention that some bright, young, promising interns have gotten a little over-excited about the expanded topic freedom they've gained in college and are including these in their job applications. Yes, it's the adult world and no one needs protection for their delicate virgin ears anymore, however, I'd still recommend being a bit conservative when presenting materials to potential employers. It's probably not the best idea to submit a paper on sexual innuendos in children's movies as your writing sample nor is it advisable to list aerobic pole dancing as an activity on your resume. Oh, you may laugh, but those are real reasons intern applicants have been turned down at my company.

It's the same with any stranger, really. Would you introduce yourself to a potential friend by telling them your thoughts on the relationship between Facebook and the spread of STDs (another real example, folks!)? Well, maybe, but you'd certainly be taking a risk for how the other person would react or the assumptions they may make about your character. After you've been working at a company for long enough to get a feel for the atmosphere and the personality types of your co-workers, you can be a better judge of whether or not those kinds of topics would be well-received.

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer
khazard@internlikearockstar.com | @katie_hazard
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