I cried at work when I was sick, alerting job candidates to errors in their applications, and more

It’s five short answers to five short questions. Here we go…

1. Should I tell job applicants about errors on their resumes and cover letters?

As I’m reviewing resumes, I frequently see errors on resumes and cover letters (spelling mistakes, grammar errors, things like that). Should I let a candidate know, in the interest of helping them out? I’m more inclined to want to mention it when it’s just one rather than when there are several.

Nah, not your job. I’m all for giving job candidates feedback once they’ve interviewed, but for simple spelling or grammatical mistakes and for people who aren’t going to be asked to interview, I think that’s something you need to leave them to manage on your own. (Plus, I’m doubting that you really have time for it or that it would be a good use of your time to do.)

2. I cried in front of our director when I was sick

The other day I was sick and ended up needing to leave early because I made a (last minute) doctor appointment. My team lead asked that I ask our director (my boss’s boss) if it was ok since my boss was on vacation and she didn’t feel comfortable giving me the go-ahead. When I went to the director’s office. I told her I wasn’t feeling well (headache and dizziness) and had made an appointment at my doctor but would need to leave right then. As I was telling her this, I started crying (I’m a crier when sick). I apologized and explained that I tend to cry when not feeling well. She told me to go ahead and asked if I would be ok to drive.

Now that I’m feeling better, should I apologize to her again? I don’t think I necessarily need to pop into her office but if I run into her in the hall or something should I bring it up or wait and see if she does? This is the second embarrassing interaction I’ve had with her and don’t want to come off as someone who is inept or awkward.

Side note: the first interaction was shortly after I started and we were on the elevator she made a comment about being tired and yawned…normal reaction might have been to say something about how it was almost the end of the day blah blah…my reaction “oh yeah, my cat likes to jump on me in the middle of the night blah blah…” pretty sure I came across as the creepy cat lady that day.

I don’t think you need to apologize in the sense of owing her an apology, but I think you’re right to acknowledge “hey, that was a slightly unusual moment between us” — especially since you’re feeling weird about it. I’d just pop your head in her door and say, “Thank you for being so kind to me last week when I was sick. Apologies for the emotion — that happens sometimes when I’m sick.” That’s it; don’t make it a bigger deal than that (and you can frame it more as a thank-you than an apology).

As for the elevator conversation, you’re overthinking it, I promise. That conversation doesn’t sound like anything to worry about.

3. My manager is delaying my performance review

It is that time of the year when my company does annual performance reviews that are typically followed with a raise and bonus. (These are usually done in October, so we are already a little late.) My boss had me fill out the evaluation over a month ago and then scheduled the review over two weeks ago. He’s not a morning person but scheduled my review for 9am and then came in at 9:30 saying, “Oh s***, we were supposed to do your review today!” In his defense, he has been very busy, but there hasn’t been much time to re-schedule, and he hasn’t mentioned re-scheduling my review since then.

The holidays are approaching quickly, and I’m starting to get concerned about if/when this is going to happen. We both have PTO coming up and will be in and out of the office at different times. I’d like to bring this up in an appropriate way, but I feel uncomfortable because we all sit in cubicles and several co-workers sit within ear shot. I don’t really want them to hear me bringing this up. What would you recommend?

“I’m eager to reschedule my evaluation. Could we do it on Monday?” If he doesn’t commit to a new date, then point out that you’re entering a period where you’ll both be in and out for the holidays. Basically, approach this as you would anything else you needed to get him to meet with you for; don’t make it more emotionally charged just because it’s a performance review.

Email this to him if you don’t want to be overheard (although the fact that you are getting a review like everyone else isn’t terribly sensitive information).

4. I missed an interview request that a company sent to me 14 days ago

I recently missed an email request (14 days ago) for a 30-minute discussion about a job application I submitted. How should I respond for being late?

“I was mortified to discover that I missed this email when it went to my spam folder. I realize you’ve probably moved forward in your hiring process, but if you’re still interviewing and I’m not too late, I’d love to talk with you.”

5. Were my college career center’s resume recommendations correct?

I’m planning to do a co-op/internship next semester for college credit. I went to my college career center to talk about my options. They way it works is, I tell them what I’m looking for, and they send my resume to companies aligning with my interests. Those companies will then (hopefully) contact me for an interview and if they like me, I will be hired on as their intern for next semester.

Now, because I have to send my resume through my college so they in turn can send it to those companies, I gave my resume to the lady for critique. My resume has 4 inches of white space at the bottom. To avoid having so much white space, she suggested I put down relevant coursework, my GPA, and a reference section. From what I’ve read about your advice on resume writing, they seem unnecessary to put down on a resume. So, my question is, do the same rules apply for internships as do “real world” jobs? I don’t have much experience, I’ve only held minimum wage jobs (server, retail cashier, childcare provider, hotel front desk, etc.). She said that by putting coursework (such as accounting, management, marketing, etc.) it will show companies that I am not at all clueless in those areas. My classmates have done co-ops/internships through the school before, and obviously they were able to find an internship with what I assume is the same resume advice I’m being given. So should I put down my GPA, coursework, and a reference section? These internships are supposed to be a learning opportunity, and perhaps companies would like to see what I’ve learned in school and such so they can better find out if I would be a great intern for them. Still, I would greatly appreciate your input!

It’s not that including those things will get you rejected; it’s just that they don’t really strengthen your resume. Ideally, you should try to figure out if there’s more you can play up about the kind of worker you were at the jobs you’ve had, even if they don’t seem like they’d lend themselves to accomplishments (the resume linked from this post is a great example of how to do that). But ultimately, if you want to pad some of that empty space with coursework, no one is going to be outraged or disgusted or anything.

That said, only include your GPA is it’s high or it could hurt more than it helps, and don’t include references at all, as they do not belong on a resume and that would be like including a haiku just to use up space.

To answer your first question, internships have the same resume rules as other jobs, but often when you’re applying for internships you have less work experience to flesh out the resume with.

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