Four Things That Can Send Your Resume into the Trash


You may be the perfect fit for a job — but a hiring manager is never going to find that out if he trashes your resume after a mere glance that reveals some common resume mistakes. Even in this age of online professional networking, a great resume is still the foundation of a successful job search.

It’s common knowledge that spelling errors and grammatical bloopers are trash triggers (and these simple mistakes top many recruiters’ lists of resume pet peeves). But is there anything else that job seekers are unwittingly doing wrong? We asked some recruiting managers and career experts about the resume errors that cause them to crumple and toss a resume at first look — and some of their answers may surprise you.

1. Your Resume Is Badly Formatted

Looks matter. Career expert Abby Kohut lists misaligned indentations and double spaces as a couple of the things that make a resume start to look like it belongs in the garbage. The fix? Use tabs for indents, and search your document for stray double spaces. Also beware of being too creative. “I don’t like it when I receive resumes with funky fonts,” says Mona Abdel-Halim, co-founder of the Web-based resume tool Resunate, who echoed other experts we spoke to. “It is not professional and it makes the resume harder to read.” When choosing resume fonts, opt ones that are widely used and readable, such as Calibri or Arial, and use no more than two fonts with their associated bold and italic styles.

2. Your Resume Is Immature

Other hiring managers we talked to said they had immediately trashed resumes with pictures on them — for example, of cartoon character Bart Simpson (in the case of one applicant for a technical writing job) or of a kitten (an applicant for a customer service job). Cute resume additions like these are for kids — not professionals.

3. Your Resume Is Too Templated

Longtime recruiter Mike Monroe says that unaltered, familiar resume templates from word-processing programs annoy him. “This won’t automatically put you in the trash, but it tells me that you have put less thought into your resume than your competition,” he says. Jessica Campbell, an HR manager for talent agency, says one of her pet peeves is “when a candidate has used a template resume,” but hasn’t updated it before sending it. (And if you use Word’s Track Changes feature to edit your resume, make sure to accept all changes in the final version before submitting it.) To prevent your resume from ending up in the trash for this reason, customize your resume for each job you apply for using the language of the job ad and highlighting your most relevant experience. “When the resume is not tailored to the position, it shows you don’t really understand what the employer is looking for and are just hoping your resume fits some of the criteria,” says career expert Heather Huhman, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle. “To avoid this mistake, show the employer how you fit those [criteria] through your previous experience, skills and expertise.”

4. Your Resume Is Sneaky

Kohut says she immediately distrusts people whose resumes have no dates on them. “Gaps are not a problem,” she says. “The problem is when you try to be deceptive.” David S. Williams, founder and CEO of salary consultancy SpringRaise, agrees, saying that if you are or have been unemployed, don’t try to hide it. “You may be doing yourself a disservice because you may be a strong candidate for a position, but you tried to hide your current status,” he says. A better tactic is to be straightforward on your resume, and then use your cover letter to tell the story of your career’s progress — including information about how you maximized your time away from the 9-to-5 routine. And do remember to write a cover letter — not doing so is another guaranteed way to get your resume thrown into the trash, according to the experts.

BONUS: Lists Tasks or Duties Without Results

Your resume has to go beyond saying which jobs you’ve done: It must establish what you’ve accomplished on those jobs. Many applicants miss this key distinction.

“The only things that separate equally qualified candidates are the results of their efforts,” Zambruski said. “For example, an administrative assistant may write, ‘reorganized filing system.’ That provides the task. What were the results? A better way to write it would be, ‘Increased team productivity 20% by reorganizing filing system.’ Results are what matter to hiring managers.”


This article was originally written by Charles Purdy for Monster and can be found at

Top 7 Things You Should Look for In an Internship

Image result for internshipAn internship is an amazing opportunity to gain on-the-job skills and experience while you’re still in college, and may even allow you to transition into a full-time job upon graduation. But with the array of internship opportunities available – some paid and some unpaid – how do you choose the perfect opportunity for you?

The College of Business Career Development Center can help you find the perfect-fit internship. Along with that guidance, here are the top seven things you should look for in an internship.

Positioning you for a successful career

The primary goal of pursuing an internship is to gain knowledge and experience that will position you for a successful career. Employers generally place the most value on internships that offer relevant work experience. For example, if you’re pursuing a degree in Internet marketing, an internship that gives you experience working on email marketing campaigns could potentially give you an edge over other applicants in your field. Likewise, an internship at a company that is well known for the career you are pursuing can have a positive impact on your resume and future career opportunities.

Use your interview as an opportunity to gather information about the specific job duties you’ll be performing during your internship. If any of these duties seem out-of-sync with your career goals, you’ll want to carefully evaluate if it’s the right internship for you. Ask yourself if the internship you’re looking at will position you well for the career you want.

Workplace Environment

Would you like to work in an environment that’s full of energy and fast paced, or would you prefer a more predictable, conservative work atmosphere? Regardless of what type of atmosphere you prefer, your workplace environment should be comfortable and conducive to learning.

You can size up the work environment of a potential internship in a variety of ways. First, check out the company’s website (if there is one). How the company presents itself on the Web could give you clues to the work environment. For example, if the tone of the website is very professional and corporate in nature, you can probably expect the same of the office atmosphere. Also, check for the company’s presence on social networking sites like LinkedIn™, Facebook®, YouTube® and Twitter® to gain a better feel for the nature of the work environment.

The interview is another great time to gather information about the company’s workplace environment and evaluate whether the company’s work environment is right for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions at this time or meet with a current intern or employee to gather more information.

Education, Not Exploitation

Internships and employers should provide supervision, mentoring, and practical experience. The U.S. Labor Department requires that unpaid internships resemble vocational education and that the work of unpaid interns cannot be a substitute for regular employees. Before accepting an internship, ask for a clearly written list of your duties and responsibilities. Consider project-oriented internships with an agreed start and end date, which leaves fewer chances for you to be exploited and greater chances of gaining practical experience.

A Mentor

Mentoring may be less common in today’s business world than it was 20 or 30 years ago, but many internships still include mentoring in their programs. Once your internship is concluded, a mentor can be a great connection for you as you look for a full-time job. If no formal mentoring is in place as part of your internship, consider asking the internship coordinator if you could reach out to one of the executives at the company to schedule a time to meet and discuss how that person got their start. You may have to be the one to instigate the mentoring.

Relevance to your degree

An internship that’s closely related to your degree program will allow you to practice all of the concepts you’ve been studying in college. But don’t be afraid to accept a position that may provide you with a whole other unrelated, yet valuable set of skills and experiences that you might not have been able to access any other way. This broad real world experience, coupled with your college degree, will translate into valuable knowledge and on-the-job skills that employers are looking for.

Your college instructors can help you determine if an internship is relevant to your degree. You should also ask specific questions during your interview to ascertain if the internship will offer you skills that apply to your degree.

Wide-ranging experience

Gaining a wide range of experiences during your internship is a great way to position yourself for career success. Not only will this prepare you to handle the many facets of your career, employers also take notice of candidates who’ve performed an array of career-related tasks during an internship. Ideally, an internship should expose you to a variety of departments and responsibilities that relate to your career path. For example, if you’re pursuing a paralegal career, your internship should offer you opportunities to perform research, conduct client interviews and prepare legal documents, as well as other paralegal duties.

The more you are able to see and experience, the more answers you will have to questions regarding where you want to work, who you want to work with, and what exactly you want to do. When you’re interviewing, don’t hesitate to ask about the specific responsibilities you can expect to perform during your internship.

Opportunities for full-time employment

An internship has the potential to turn into a full-time career opportunity after graduation. To assess whether there will be career opportunities following your internship, take a look at the careers page of the company’s website to see if there are any open positions. When interviewing for the position, ask if there is an option to transition into a permanent position following your internship or if a full-time position will be available in the near future.

This article is a compilation of advice from the following sites:

7 habits that will kill your next job interview

October 11, 2016 By Dana Manciagli

So many of my clients and readers say, “I aced the interview, but I don’t know why I didn’t get a call for the next round.” Well, I guess you didn’t ace the interview, did you?

Sometimes you do well but they go with another candidate for a variety of other reasons. But having said that, it is also possible that you made some interview bloopers.

thumbdownWhen you’re aiming to nail the big job interview, how you speak is as important as how you look. You’ve got the impressive résumé, solid references, and a professional outfit. But careless language could jeopardize your chance of landing that plum job.

Interview expert Darlene Price offers some insight about the seven common habits that can keep you from truly acing that interview:

1. Too much information

Avoid talking too much during the interview. In the business world, time is money. Bosses value employees who speak in a clear, concise manner. By all means, be interesting and use a personable enthusiastic voice, but avoid rambling. Get to the bottom line quickly.

As a general rule, keep your answers under two minutes. This habit not only shows you’re well prepared and succinct, it also allows time for the interviewer to ask more questions and get to know you better.

2. Not tooting your own horn

You can bet the candidates before and after you are selling themselves, so be sure you articulate your value. The primary purpose of a job interview is for the interviewer to fully understand your capabilities and professional worth. Are you a good fit for this position?

Don’t depend on a résumé or references to speak for you. Sell yourself. With every answer, show a direct correlation between your skills and the job requirements. End the interview by saying, “Thank you for your consideration of me for this role. I’m confident I will meet and exceed your expectations.”

3. Sounding unprepared

“Uh…wow…that’s a great question. Hmmm…(throat clear), I haven’t really thought about that. Let’s see, um, what are my strengths?” You can almost hear the interviewer thinking, “Next!”

Anticipate likely interview questions. Craft your answers and be sure to rehearse them aloud. Practice at least three to five times prior to the interview, ideally to another person who can provide feedback. Record a few rehearsals. Listen to them, time your responses, and tweak your answers.

Practice helps ensure you sound prepared, professional, and polished. Plus, being prepared is the very best way to minimize nerves and anxiety.

4. Badmouthing others

Nothing tanks an interview faster than making negative comments about a previous employer and having the interviewer perceive “sour grapes.” In addition to assessing capabilities, the interviewer is also assessing if you would be a good fit within the company culture, which usually seeks to provide a pleasant and positive work environment for employees.

Avoid pessimism and negativity. Use language that conveys a positive attitude, camaraderie, and helpfulness.

5. Using weak words and phrases

There are many common culprits when it comes to weak words, and a few to keep in mind are:

  • I might
  • I’ll try
  • Maybe
  • Kind of
  • Sort of

Replace these hesitant, unconvincing words with power phrases such as:

  • I can
  • I recommend
  • My track record shows
  • I’m confident that

For example, you can say, “I bring 15 years experience in marketing, where I increased sales by 30 percent,” instead of saying, “I bring a lot of experience in marketing, where I tried to increase sales.”

6. Not asking questions

During an interview, your questions say as much about you as your answers. When the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” Never say, “No.” This implies a lack of confidence, preparation, or interest — none of which is appropriate for a job interview.

Craft at least three to five open-ended genuine questions (not generic) about the industry, company, and position. Do your research ahead of time. Don’t ask, “What exactly does this company do?” Ask, “As the No. 1 leader in the biotech industry with eight divisions worldwide, how would you describe this company’s management style and the type of employee who makes a good fit?”

An interview is a two-way street, and your questions help ensure there’s a healthy flow of conversation. As a general rule, avoid asking about salary, benefits or perks until the interviewer raises the topic.

7. Admitting you were fired from your last job

While you never want to tell a lie during a job interview, you do want to tactfully explain why you left the company (or were asked to leave).

For example, “I enjoyed my last job very much and believed in the people and products that represented the company. My boss and I held very different convictions when it came to the importance of quality and customer service. It soon became clear to both of us that I would be happier in a new role – like this one.”

Then you can transition into talking about the company where you’re applying. Using positive language, explain why you left. Then redirect the focus of the interview back to why you’re right for the job.

Dana Manciagli is a global career expert, private job search coach, and master class instructor. She has spent more than 30 years as a Fortune 500 sales and marketing executive, including more than a decade at Microsoft. Manciagli is the author of the book, “Cut the Crap, Get a Job!” and a prolific blogger. She sits on the worldwide board of Junior Achievement and has her MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

The original article can be found at the Nashville Business Journal.

Starting a Summer Internship? Here’s Advice You Haven’t Heard Before

Starting a Summer Internship? Here’s Advice You Haven’t Heard BeforeShow up on time. Ask smart questions. Have a can-do attitude. All good internship advice that you’ve likely heard before. There’s no question that summer internships can be the gateway to future employment: a new survey from Looksharp confirms that internships increase your chances of early career success. And, since demand for internships is greater than supply, you have to prove you’re among the best and the brightest.

But to really stand out this summer, you need to go more than the extra mile. If you’re looking to parlay that internship into a full-time offer, or even just a solid resume builder, the advice below will separate you from the intern pack. (And if you’re managing an intern this summer, last week I shared advice for you!)

Find What Needs to Be Done and Do It

“Find the work that needs doing and do it. Make yourself indispensable. Do they need help with Snapchat, scheduling tweets, setting up interviews? Do that. Every time someone says, ‘We should do…’  that’s your cue to do more work if it’s within reach. … Try to wiggle your way into a larger project in the first two weeks. This might be something you pitch, or something someone else is working on. If your boss says yes, you’ll probably have to use your own time. Just for now. You can work on work-life balance next year.” —  Read more at

Show Your Potential

“Here’s what you need to remember: Showing potential doesn’t mean lobbying to get only high-profile assignments and it also doesn’t mean being perfect. Do everything you’re asked to do well (trivial or not), ask questions when you need help, and through it all, show that you’re excited to keep learning and doing more. Over the course of your internship, you want your employer to see that you’re able to keep growing, learning, and taking on new things.” —  Read more at The

Network Horizontally, Not Just Vertically

My advice? It’s a big mistake to only network up, as I shared in this Forbes article. Network horizontally with the people you’re working with, too. That includes fellow interns as well as other junior staffers. —  Read more at

Add Value for the Company, Which Will Be Valuable for You

“Research the roles and people you work for; this will give you an idea of how you can be of great value and help them. If your boss is a marketing director, come up with marketing strategies that would reach your target demo in college if your company is trying to reach people your age. If you want to be a publicist, attend as many events as you can where you can network with other media publications that could be important to the publicist like red carpets and music conferences. Even if it’s meeting another intern at that company, spend the time to make those connections for future clients.”  —  Read more at Third Floor Network.

Finally, Do This Before You Leave

“Most importantly, make sure you have an opportunity to share feedback. Ask your supervisor what you did well and how you can improve. This summer, my supervisor asked me to think about five things I learned; three things I wish I had done; and two challenges for my exit interview. This is a great framework to use, because it can help you put your entire experience in context, and it might help in your next interview. It’s also valuable for your employer, because your feedback will help them shape future internship experiences.” —  Read more at Huffington Post.

Interns, what are you looking forward to this summer? What are you nervous about? I’d love to hear your take in the comments!

Lindsey Pollak is the leading voice on millennials in the workplace, trusted by global companies, universities, the world’s top media outlets — and, most importantly, by millennials themselves. A New York Times bestselling author, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her keynote speeches have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.