25 things every young professional should know by 25

Do you understand the paystub that comes with your paycheck? Can you negotiate your salary? Young pros, see how many items you can check off this list.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

If you want a job straight out of college, don’t knock on Kirk McDonald’s door.

McDonald, the president of a tech company in New York City, wrote a brutally honest op-ed in The Wall Street Journal called “Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won’t Hire You.” He believes most college graduates don’t have the one skill that’s in high demand: computer programming.

During your first few years in the real world, what else should you take time to learn? Here are 25 things every professional should know by age 25:

25. “Definitely” is not spelled “definately.”

24. You should read an entire apartment lease before you sign it.

23. An Excel PivotTable will change your life.

22. A cover letter should add color and personality to your resume—not summarize it.

21. Everyone likes to receive praise, but the smartest young adults actively seek constructive criticism.