A Sunday edition of The New York Times from early February includes a Corner Office interview that’s worth reading. Adam Bryant interviewed Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. As is his custom, he asked about questions she asked of applicants. Because her answer is better than my powers to describe it, I quote: "I'll see someone who [on his or her résumé] was a waitress for many summers and I'll say ‘Well, tell me about that.’ In today's upwardly mobile résumé, you don't always see that. You often see kids who've never had a job. But I love seeing someone who scooped ice cream or was a waitress. To me, it means they had to make some money and had a job dealing with the public. And what was that all about? Tell me about it."
She could not be more on target. I was having a weekend breakfast with a 3L a while back. It is a privilege to mentor. Her résumé was a lot of telling, not showing. I asked if she had ever worked a la what Astley was describing. Turns out, she worked in a family-owned business; she drove a delivery truck for a summer; and on a college break had to, with her sister, help tear down a warehouse the business had bought. Why was this not on the résumé? Turns out it was some bad advice from a well-meaning counselor. When I hire, I try to hire for the worst of times, not the best of times. Diverse experiences make a person better able to cope with the bad times. In "Lessons From a Hotel Lobby" I wrote on this topic when, as a college droput, I worked in the hotel business. Life lessons.