Connect with us

Student Loans

5 Common Resume Mistakes that Keep Employers from Interviewing You



With the proliferation of online job search sites, it has become easier than ever to apply for multiple open positions in a short amount of time. Before you click “Apply,” however, make sure the resume you attach meets the employer’s expectations and requirements. Though each recruiter is different and what appeals to one may not impress another, certain mistakes will turn off any employer. Recruiters pay attention to both format and content, and below, I’ve listed five common mistakes related to both that keep employers from inviting you for an interview.

Formatting Issues

Your resume’s format is what makes a first impression and determines whether your document goes in the “yes” or “no” pile. Recruiters spend seconds scanning your resume, and if they can’t find what they need because of an unusual layout, small or difficult to read font size, or unnecessary use of emojis/color, or they are distracted by typos and inconsistencies, your document will be tossed. “My eyes scan a resume and if I notice mistakes and misalignment, I’m concerned about your attention to detail,” says Liz Matthews, associate director of employer relations at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. “If you are not aware of the mistakes in your resume, I’m not sure how well you’ll pay attention to your emails, calendar and all the other nuances that make the difference between a below average employee and a stellar one.”

When preparing your resume, think about those who will have to read it. Make it easy for them to see you’re the right person for the job so they make a decision to call you back. Keep your resume clean and organized, and use boldface and italics sparingly. Show off your technical skills by aligning all sections and dates; indent bullets to make different sections easier to see; proofread and have someone else proofread the document for you; and unless you are in one of the few situations when it’s appropriate, avoid deviating from the standard resume format.


Speaking of making your resume user-friendly, one way not to do that is by loading your document with text, on one page or even worse, two pages. Text-heavy resumes demand much work from recruiters to find what you are trying to say, so they are often tossed. The purpose of a resume is not to get you a job but to get you an interview, so consider leaving only the information you know will grab employers’ attention. Keep in mind that removing experiences doesn’t mean they are not meaningful to you; you can still mention them once you are invited for an interview. On the resume, however, you are trying to highlight key skills and experiences that directly relate to the position.

To avoid making this mistake, pay attention to word usage. On a resume, every word must add value. Using adverbs and adjectives that contribute no meaning, such as extremely and excellent, is a waste of precious real estate on your document. Print and look at your resume. Do you see enough white space and clearly designated sections? If not, you have work to do. “Lack of white space means that your resume is too long or includes too many details,” says Matthews. Remove the fluff and be concise.

Non-Relevant Information

One reason your resume lacks white space is the inclusion of information that’s not relevant. This specific mistake indicates one of two things:

1. You didn’t even read the job description and are simply sending the same resume to as many open positions as you see; or

2. You have no clue what you are interested in so your resume presents a hodgepodge of experiences and accomplishments with no focused message.

As someone just beginning your professional journey, you may think you don’t have much information to share, so you list everything that comes to mind. Relevant experience, however, doesn’t mean having had the same job as the one you are applying for; it means that your experiences have helped you develop the skills, technical and interpersonal knowledge, and attitude to perform well in the job you are applying for. “You want the reader to see what you’ve accomplished and not be overwhelmed by unnecessary information,” says Matthews.

To avoid making this mistake, carefully read each job description in fact, read it multiple times and highlight different themes that you notice (e.g., analytical skills, communication skills, etc.). Next, imagine the best person for the job based on what you identify in the job description and what you’ve found through researching the employer. If what you imagine matches who you are, then make sure your resume reveals that. Consider creating Word Clouds of the description and your resume, and then customize your resume to align with the language of the job description.


Even when candidates have reviewed the job description and know exactly what experiences, skills and accomplishments will grab the attention of recruiters, they may not spend the time to highlight how they delivered value, but would rather list general tasks completed. An effective bullet starts with an action verb that links to a specific outcome. It needs to answer the following questions: What did you do? How did you do it? What was the result?

“When I look at your resume, I want to see how you have contributed, not what you were responsible for,” says Matthews. Don’t simply make claims with no data and examples to support your claim. “Instead,” adds Matthews, “tell me how many customers you helped, how the audience rated the presentations you delivered, or by what percentage your sales went up.” Quantify your achievements but avoid inflating your success as that is a sure red flag for employers. Hiring is a risky process for employers so be sure to show those looking at your resume that you are worth the risk.

Concerns About Your Online Presence

I hope it’s not surprising to hear that employers review your online presence along with your application documents before they can consider you as a viable candidate. Though some roles may more obviously require an online presence, no matter your target industry and position, you need a polished and active LinkedIn profile if you want to be taken seriously. That said, don’t assume that LinkedIn is the only place employers will check. They may search your name online and see your activity on personal social media sites. If you are not sure what that will bring up, open a new incognito window and put your name in the search bar to see what you can find.

Make sure the information employers find online matches and complements the story your resume tells. When it comes to online presence, depending on the field you are going into and the types of positions you are considering, you may want to add links to relevant social media sites or even a link to your website or portfolio, if you have one, and I encourage you to consider having one. These could either be directly related to your work or show a bit of your personality.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear your resume tips. Check out our forum to contribute to the conversation!

By: Krasi Shapkarova
Title: 5 Common Resume Mistakes that Keep Employers from Interviewing You
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 15:43:11 +0000

Continue Reading
Advertisement Attention Stock Investors

Student Loans




Continue Reading

Student Loans

Apply Online For Student Loans



Apply Online For Student Loans

Applying online for student loans is a convenient and efficient way to secure funding for your education. Whether you are facing financial difficulties or simply want to keep your debts to a minimum, student loans can help alleviate the financial burden while you focus on your studies.

One of the main advantages of student loans is that they typically offer lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. Additionally, repayment is often deferred until after you graduate, giving you time to establish your career and increase your income potential.

By applying online, you have access to a wider range of lenders, allowing you to compare different loan offers and choose the one that best suits your needs. Look for lenders offering competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms, and any additional incentives that may be available.

Student loans can be used to cover various expenses related to your education, including tuition fees, housing, course materials, and living expenses. While your personal bank may be willing to provide a student loan, applying online gives you more options and potentially better terms.

However, it’s important to remember that student loans are still loans, and you should borrow responsibly. It’s advisable to budget regularly and avoid unnecessary purchases or luxuries to ensure you can manage your loan repayments in the future.

Before applying for student loans, explore other options such as scholarships, grants, or parental funding. These resources can help reduce the amount you need to borrow and minimize your financial obligations.

Lastly, it’s crucial to have confidence in your ability to secure a salary that will enable you to meet your loan repayments after graduation. Work hard to achieve the grades and qualifications necessary for your desired career, as this will increase your chances of finding a well-paying job.

In conclusion, applying online for student loans can provide you with the financial support needed to pursue your education. However, it’s important to borrow responsibly, explore other funding options, and plan for a successful career to ensure you can manage your loan repayments effectively.

Continue Reading

Student Loans

Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid



Many families are facing new financial challenges in light of the coronavirus emergency, and College Confidential has fielded dozens of questions on this topic recently. To address those queries, we hosted a webinar on April 9 entitled “Paying for College Amid Changes Due to the Impact of COVID-19.”

During the event, moderated by Aaron Murphy, manager of learning and development with Inside Track, the following panelists offered their perspectives on the issue:

  • Denise Trusty, director of financial aid with Morehead State University
  • Laura Reisert Kalinkewicz, associate vice president of college partnerships with RaiseMe
  • Amy Nelson, director of sales at International Scholarship and Tuition Services
  • Charlie Javice, founder and CEO of Frank.

Check out the following topics that the panelists discussed, along with their views of how things may unfold amid the financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Family Finances Changed? Contact Your Schools

If you plan to start college in the fall as a freshman — or return to school as an existing student — and your financial situation has changed since you applied for financial aid, you should contact the colleges on your list immediately. Financial aid departments can consider appeals for more money, but must base these decisions on each individual student’s situation, Trusty said.

“I know with Morehead State, where I work, we will be doing professional judgement calls on all students who say they’ve been affected,” she noted. “We will reach out to those students to see what we can do to help them maybe obtain additional funding, additional grants, scholarships, whatever they would be eligible for. We do professional judgment all the time for our students, because things happen all the time. This year will be an especially large amount of those, I’m sure, but those are up to individual schools to make that call for their students.”

In addition, she added, the Department of Education has set aside over $6 billion for additional grants and scholarships that the universities will be able to use. “Currently, I don’t know how that’s all going to play into this,” Trusty said. “So that will be up to each individual university on how they lay those out. I know it will be beneficial, I just don’t know how available that will be to each student.”

Keep in mind that schools are accustomed to reviewing financial aid appeals, and they all have processes in place for to do so. “It is really, really important to know that schools typically leave a budget from 10 percent to 20 percent or so of their financial aid dollars for what would be called a professional judgment bucket,”Javice said. “Therefore, there is additional money to be had, and it’s up to you to request it. You should approach your school as soon as you know you might need more money, and be prepared to show supporting documentation demonstrating how your finances are different from when you filed your FAFSA initially. This might require proof of a job loss, medical bills, a cut in pay or another such issue, Javice said.

In addition, if another school gave you a better financial offer, you can petition the school that gave you the lower offer for more money, Javice noted. “This typically works better for private institutions versus public state schools, given the fact that they have a little bit more discrepancy and more dollars to put to work in terms of a tuition discount,” she added. “This is solely up to the school on a case by case basis.” In some cases, the money is distributed on a first come, first serve timeline, so don’t wait if you know you need more aid.

Although financial aid can be a stressful topic, try not to be emotional when you request more money, Javice added. You’ll get a lot further by having organized documentation to present than you would by getting angry or upset, she noted.

Consider Outside Scholarships

The coronavirus situation has changed plans not only for incoming freshmen, but also for current college students, Nelson said. “Organizations are stepping up and trying to find ways to provide additional scholarship opportunities this year,” she noted. Students should be proactive in seeking those options.

Raise Me is offering new micro-scholarships for students who are seeking additional funding sources, Kalinkewicz said. In addition, she encourages students to ask colleges for more time to make decisions, even if the school hasn’t extended its deposit process. You can always try and request additional time to get your financial aid package right, she noted.

Finding more money is not relegated to younger students, Javice added. “Adult learners comprise the biggest group of people actually going to college today,” she noted. It’s very common for people to be seeking new types of skills and going back to college to gain additional degrees. Financial aid is available to adult learners, and they may even get aid to pay such costs as rent, she added. In addition, they can seek outside scholarships or employer-matching funds to pay for their educations.

Not Necessarily Too Late to File FAFSA

Students who didn’t file a FAFSA already should do that as soon as possible so you can get access to financial aid funds, Javice said. Federal FAFSA deadlines are usually in June, but states make their own deadlines for state aid. Some states, such as New Jersey, have moved their deadlines back for this year, so check to make sure you stay on top of your deadlines.

And if you file for financial aid and you decide you don’t want it, you can always decline the financial offer or portions of that offer, Nelson said. Your best bet is to apply so you can take what you need and decline any amounts you don’t need. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, you should apply anyway because you could be surprised at what you’re offered. “You really need to complete that [FAFSA] process every year,” Nelson said. “The process is very easy, and jobs can come and go. It’s your safety net and you want to make sure you’ve completed it. It makes it a whole lot easier when situations like this arise.”

Some colleges also have supplemental applications to fill out for particular types of aid, so always reach out to your financial aid office for information on which documentation you should be completing, Kalinkewicz said.

Could Families — Not Schools — Be in the Driver’s Seat?

Because many merit scholarships are based on test scores and GPAs, some high school juniors are concerned that they won’t have access to those in the coming year. With test dates being canceled and grades moving to pass/fail, they fear they won’t meet the criteria to earn such scholarships.

“It’s clear to me that colleges and universities know the extraordinary circumstances we’re under,” Nelson said. “All schools are leaning forward and considering all options as the situation develops. I would continue to encourage juniors to stay engaged and stay informed.” You should also watch to see what happens with test dates, she said. The ACT and SAT dates could change, and some schools may forego the need for a test score altogether, she added.

In addition, some merit scholarships that have traditionally been based on test scores may become test optional, Kalinkewicz noted.

Keep in mind that in many cases, families are in the driver’s seat rather than having the colleges be in charge, Javice said. Some schools have lost revenue and are very eager for students right now, “so if you are scared because you thought you could never get into a specific school from an admission criteria standpoint, this is your year to stretch, this is your year to think about the schools that are your reach category and go for it, because schools need the money and need the students. So the power that used to be in an admissions office is in you, the student or the family’s hands,” she said.

She also advises juniors to request application waivers from schools to save the $50 to $100 or so per application that they would normally pay. The schools may say no, but it won’t hurt to ask, she advised. “Persistence is key when dealing with schools,” Javice noted.

Federal Student Loans Payment Suspended

As many families are aware, payments on federal student loans are automatically suspended from March 13 through September 30, 2020 thanks to the government’s CARES Act. This is essential to keep in mind, particularly for families that have multiple children in various stages of the college process.

“You will stop paying your loans and you will have zero interest from now until September 30, and that’s important for parents to know,” Nelson said regarding existing federal student loans. “If you had an auto draft, the auto draft has been shut off and will not continue. You can, however, continue to make those payments if you’d like, and any interest you had before March 13, once that interest is paid up, all your payments will go directly toward your principal.” She advises families with federally-backed loans to check with their loan servicing agents, because they have a lot of information for both parent and student borrowers on how the CARES Act will impact payments for the next six months.

Student Job Gone? Colleges Might Help

For students who expect to earn money via part-time or full-time work to pay for college, but can’t do so due to the coronavirus, colleges may have resources to help. “There are many colleges and universities that have put together emergency grants for students to cover expenses that they were maybe not expecting because of COVID-19,” Nelson said. “They are making accommodations to try and make up for that lost income for students.”

Trusty said Morehead State is continuing to pay students who were on federal work-study. “If they had a job, we are still paying them right now as if they were working, although they are not. In the summer, those funds will be flipped over to emergency grant funds. So we will make sure that our students are covered and can live as if they were employed with the work-study position.”

Some colleges have even made remote work available to students, Kalinkewicz added. Therefore, contact your financial aid office to determine if any accommodations are available to make up for lost student income whenever possible.

Consider Other Options to Save

If you are seeking ways to save money on college, you should also consider other resources, whether that means less expensive colleges, in-state options or potentially transferring down the road, Janice said. You can also save money by taking classes at a community college to pay a lower cost for your credits that can be transferred to a four-year college later.

“If you have that target institution in mind — maybe you’ve already been admitted there but your family has determined a year of community college will really help stretch things further — work on articulation agreements or a plan so you are taking the right classes that actually have the ability to transfer toward the degree you want at your target institution, not necessarily just as credit,” Kalinkewicz said.

In addition, many colleges offer merit aid for transfer students, she added. So always look for every potential financial aid and scholarship resource to best maximize your package and allow your dollars to stretch as far as possible.

Resource: To review the entire hour-long webinar, you can watch the replay here.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Check out our forum to contribute to the conversation!

By: Torrey Kim
Title: Webinar Recap: How COVID-19 is Affecting Financial Aid
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2020 15:22:20 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading