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Is it a good idea to put articles that I wrote at 8 years old, in a school newspaper, in my resume?

For some context: I was told by an orientation guy from my university to put theses articles on my résumé, like if they were publications. These articles were about nature, while I am in electrical engineering. I think it's because "I need to show I have good writing skills."

Edit : I know this question is odd. I just asked it so I can tell the orientation guy that his advice isn't the best.

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    Is it relevant to your career in any way? Is it relevant to the position your applying to? Most likely the answer is no. – Mister Positive Mar 6 '18 at 13:50
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    I would expect this to be an easy "no", so I'm trying to figure out why you wrote this question. Is there something particularly amazing about these articles you wrote at age 8 that makes you think your potential boss would care about them 10+ years later? – Keiki Mar 6 '18 at 13:54
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    @theonlydanever I know it's odd, I just asked the question so I can tell the orientation guy that his advice isn't the best. – D. LaRocque Mar 6 '18 at 14:38
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    How did an article you wrote at age 8 even came up in the conversation? Just overall a very odd thing unless this article was amazing and the orientation guy recognized you right away like, "Hey you wrote that article on X at age 8! Man that's amazing I'm glad to meet you." – Dan Mar 6 '18 at 14:39
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    Hopefully your writing skills have improved since you were 8. If not, that's one thing worth investing some training in. – Rick Henderson Mar 6 '18 at 17:20
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I remember similar stuff when I was studying engineering and went to my university's Career Center for advice and they wanted me to put some irrelevant (to engineering) fluff on my resume. As an engineer, your resume will be a little different from the resumes by kids in other majors.

If you look around, you will probably find that your engineering department can provide better resources for resume advice for you. The best resume advice I got was from a resume workshop hosted by one of the engineering organizations (in my case it was SWE, but look for anything hosted by IEEE (and join your student chapter if you haven't already!), CSCE (ASCE for any Americans reading this), ASME or maybe ACM). It was open to all engineering students at the school and a couple engineers from a local company came and talked about what they liked to see on resumes. It was also a good networking opportunity, before I even really realized what networking was, that led pretty directly to getting my first interview.

Oh, and the best career advice I've ever gotten is: don't burn any bridges. No matter what advice you get on your resume, from here or anywhere else, don't go tell the orientation guy he's full of it. It's entirely likely you'll be working with this guy, or someone who knows him, before long. If you see him again there's no need to tell him he was wrong about anything. You should thank him for his time and, if he presses you on how your resume turned out, just say that you got some tailored advice from an engineering-focused organization.

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    That last paragraph is spectacularly accurate. The world is downright * TINY * When you get right down to it. You'd be surprised who you end up working with/for. +1 – GOATNine Mar 6 '18 at 17:45
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    Your answer gives me good solutions for improving my resume. I will therefore say that it solves my question. – D. LaRocque Mar 6 '18 at 21:38
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Unless the article is highly articulate and amazing for a 8 years old child prodigy, I wouldn't include it. Also what was it published in? Unless it's a national scientific journal or something recognized by researchers, I wouldn't include it.

Matter of fact, I'm not sure what sort of advice you gotten from your university but this doesn't sound like you're getting advised correctly. I would seek other opinions before using this individual again.

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    That's why I'm asking here. – D. LaRocque Mar 6 '18 at 14:33
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    The only other way I can imagine it being deemed useful is to show OPs early inclination and eagerness to write. Since he is an engineer, this might not be enough to warrant an inclusion. – Minix Mar 6 '18 at 18:12
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    yea, if this is for his first job it also might be a good conversation starter, and help fill out his ONE PAGE resume. – edthethird Mar 6 '18 at 18:21
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    Don't include these articles in your resumé, of course, but why not mentioning them during an interview (as an anecdote, with a smile), if the discussion comes to the writing part of your skills? – Evariste Mar 6 '18 at 19:03
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That would get your resume noticed all right but not in a good way. Hiring officials have no interest at all concerning your childhood. They would think you were odd or strange for including this information and odd is not what most employers are looking for.

  • In that movie Big with Tom Hanks I wonder if when he grows up he could use the toy company as a resume point? At age 10 I helped a fortune 500 company increase profit by 800% utilizing new computerized story telling software. – Dan Mar 6 '18 at 14:43
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    @Dan, that is fiction. And frankly if you won the Nobel prize at ten or 8 or something of that magnitude, you wouldn't need to ask the question of whether to include it. But for 99.999999 % of all things that you could have done at 8, no it is just going to make people laugh at you. – HLGEM Mar 6 '18 at 14:50
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    Yes, yes, just kidding but yes it does seem odd to include such a thing. Equivalent to submitting macaroni pictures you made unless it is particularly outstanding and recognized by some authority. – Dan Mar 6 '18 at 14:56
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    10-year-old Nobel prize winners are hardly going to be sending out resumes like us mere mortals. – Jay Mar 6 '18 at 18:44
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    A friend was asked to review a job candidate at her university. Her review: "He has a Nobel Prize. I am a very junior assistant professor. I think he's qualified." – iayork Mar 6 '18 at 19:35
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Whenever you wonder if you should or should not put something in your resume, ask yourself this:

What does this accomplishment say about my current qualifications for this job?

When you are an adult and mention something you wrote while you were 8, it doesn't say anything about you at all.

  • Your interests will have changed
  • Your writing skills will have drastically improved (I hope...)
  • The quality threshold of a school newspaper written by 8 year olds will be ridiculously low compared to any quality standards you will be measured by as an adult.

Also, do you seriously want someone to dig out those articles you wrote back then and use them to judge your current writing skills? Assuming someone would actually do this (very, very unlikely), do you think that it would be an accurate representation of your writing skills today? I doubt it.

So I would consider it irrelevant information and leave it out.

By the way, if you want to demonstrate your writing skills, then the cover letter of your applicaton should already be a good demonstration.

  • Also starting a blog might help. You can put on your resume that you maintain a blog in your field and put a link on it, preferably a personal website and/or professional setup. That would accomplish showing off without any relevant professional skillset. – Dan Mar 6 '18 at 18:59
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The Resume / CV's purpose is to get you into the interview group, no more and no less.

To do that your resume has to have "hooks" in it that catch the reader's attention and put your info in the "interview pile" instead of the reject pile.

Those hooks need to be tailored for each application based on the advert and whatever else you can find out about the employer.

If the specific job involves "working on the company newsletter" then showing some pre-exposure would be of benefit. Similar tasks might be "assisting salespeople in technical aspects of their proposals" or documentation.

The CV is a means to an end. Once you get an interview then your performance at that interview is what gets you a job offer. The CV is nothing more than notes and you have to show you've got the skills and that you would be a good fit for the organisation.

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    +1 for first two sentences. Every CV should be (slightly) customized for the position. – Peter M. Mar 9 '18 at 16:27

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