company took away our lunch room, high school on a resume, and more

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

1. Our boss took away our lunch room

I work at a legal services company in California. Our boss (president/CEO) recently made new rules for the employees and I just want to know if these are ok. Our company offers conference rooms to our clients to use for mediations, meetings, etc. We’ve been allowed to use these rooms (when unoccupied) to take our 30-minute lunch breaks. Since we don’t have a break room, this has worked out perfectly.

Our boss recently took away that option and has suggested we find some other place to take our lunch breaks. There is a small table with four chairs in the back hallway, but it’s also right across from another conference room where clients can see us eat and will interrupt our lunch break to have us help them with whatever they may need, even though we’re off the clock. We don’t all go to lunch at the same time, but a lot of us want our privacy, away from clients, to relax during our breaks. Some of my fellow colleagues have even gone down to the parking garage, 14 stories down, to eat their food in their cars. We’re all really frustrated about this and have no idea where to start to fix this problem.

Well, not every workplace offers a spot for lunch breaks. You may have to leave the office (is there anywhere around you that you can go?) or eat at your desk. That’s not ideal, but sometimes that’s all that’s possible. That said, you can certainly explain the problem to your boss and see if he’s willing to put one of the conference rooms back in use as a lunch room. He might be — or he might not, but you should begin by asking.

However, if you’re running into the issue of clients spotting you eating and interrupting you while you’re off the clock, that’s an issue that does need to be solved, since California law requires that you be given a 30-minute meal break — which means you’re not working during it. Plus, if you’re non-exempt and you’re clocked out during this time, you’d need to be paid for any time spent helping clients while you’re supposed to be eating. So you should absolutely point this part of the problem out to your boss — but be aware that the solution might be “go outside the office to eat, even if it’s to the parking garage.”

2. How can I tell if there’s another qualification my interviewer is looking for?

The last two screening interviews I have had did not progress to an in-person interview. I asked for and actually got some feedback, and in both cases, they said they were looking for someone with X (a different X in each case) and felt that their other candidates would be a better fit in that regard. In both cases, I actually do have a lot of experience in both Xs but was not asked about it, nor was it mentioned in the job description. I even asked if they had concerns I could address at the end of the interview.

How can a candidate be expected to address a concern that is not mentioned? Is there a question that can be asked up front so I know how to tailor my answers?

Asking whether the interviewer has any reservations about your qualifications that you could address is the best way to elicit that sort of thing, but you tried it and it didn’t work. At that point, there’s not much more you can do. You can’t control for this kind of thing perfectly, unfortunately.

3. Can I do an internship while keeping my current job?

I’m currently employed, but I discovered a potential amazing opportunity with another company. They would require a part-time internship of 3 months, but I am told that everyone usually gets hired and even before 3 months. As much I like where i work, I think I could have a much better career with the other company. Obviously, I would like to keep my current job and intern at the same time. How would you approach a supervisor in this situation?

A couple of suggestions I received were to just say that for personal reasons I need to work part-time or if that if that is not acceptable to request 2 months of unpaid leave. One problem is my supervisor will be very confused and question this sudden request. On top of all this, I am expecting a promotion in the next few months or so, but I don’t want to tarry too long in starting the internship.

Yeah, you’d almost certainly need to explain why you were requesting to move to part-time or to take a two-month leave, since those are both unusual requests in most jobs. That means you’d need to come up with a lie to explain it, which is a bad idea — both because it’s, you know, lying and because if your current employer found out what you were really doing, you’d almost certainly be fired.

I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it too here — you’re going to need to pick one or the other. And I’d be very wary of quitting your job for a 3-month internship with no guarantee of employment after that (and I’m also not sure how amazing an opportunity it can really be if it starts with an internship).

4. Do I really need to remove high school from my resume?

I just read that high school has no place on a resume ever. I’m a recent college graduate and I just got my first “real job,” and it involves working with kids preparing them for success in high school and applying to college. I had my high school listed on my resume with academic honors (national merit scholar and whatnot), and I think it might have helped me to get the job, but maybe I’m wrong. They mentioned that they were impressed by my academic success and that it showed that I’m a good fit. Is it still time to delete that section from my resume?

Yes. For that particular job, it might have been appropriate to talk about your high school experience in your cover letter, but high school doesn’t belong on your resume. Very few employers care what you did before college, unless you did something truly magnificent, which most of us didn’t.

5. Can I be required to work after my shift has ended?

If I have clocked out for the day and am heading towards the exit, can I refuse to clock back in if my managers then decide they need my help with something? I am not a seller, but am obliged to help out of concern for how superiors my retaliate. I work in a high-end retail store where clients often want things last minute.

You can say no, but they can fire you for that, if they choose to. In other words, your employer can indeed require you to work past your scheduled shift, even if you’re already on your way out. That said, explaining that you will be late for X (an appointment, picking someone up from the airport, or whatever) will generally work in most reasonable workplaces — but simply refusing won’t go over well and is a good way to ensure that you’re never asked to clock back in at all.

6. What should I delete from my computer before handing it in?

I’m in the process of changing jobs internally. As part of the process, I’ll be getting a new computer. I’m doing things like deleting temporary files, browsing history, cookies, personal documents, etc. Is there anything I’m overlooking? I want to leave the computer clear of personal information. I know this isn’t a typical AAM area, but I thought other readers may have gone through this too.

Don’t forget your email — deleting anything personal you’ve sent or received, as well as anything work-related that’s sensitive. I’ve found emails I never should have seen after employees have left, and it never fails to amaze me that people leave that stuff on their computers.

7. Can I list landlord-ing on my resume?

I have been a landlord for 8 years now (we have two small houses on our half acre of land) and I’m wondering how to get this experience on my resume. We’re in California where tenants’ rights are strict and I have learned the ins and outs of our legal system. We’ve had four sets of great tenants and one bad tenant who I successfully sued in small claims court. I think this is all great experience that I would like to share somehow. Maybe not the suing people part. That might make employers a little nervous.

Can I list it on my resume as Smith Property Management or do I mention it in my cover letter?

You can absolutely list it on your resume. It’s work, and it’s a revenue-making enterprise that you’ve clearly learned things from.

{ 188 comments… read them below }

  1. Olive*

    Regarding question #1, it’s probably for a valid reason if your boss stopped letting people eat in conference rooms. Last year I worked for a company that allowed that, and whenever I had to set up a room for a meeting, I had to spend time cleaning the room. Crumbs, trash, wet glass rings, smears of food, and general food smells made cleaning necessary several times a day. Most people are just not careful eaters every single day, which is fine unless you bring clients in a nice room and are embarrassed to realize it’s a mess.

    1. Jessa*

      That and potentially bugs. If people are not properly cleaning up after themselves and the room is not designed for food service (like a break room with linoleum) and has carpet, etc. You can have problems. People don’t realise they’re dropping crumbs in the carpet and having insects. Even when they ARE cleaning the tables.

    2. Jazzy Red*

      Even when I was an executive admin, I would be appalled at the condition of the executive’s conference room sometimes. I made it a practice to check the conference room before meetings and do any necessary cleaning up.

      Food smells, bugs, and general “cafeteria” types of messes do not make a good impression on visitors.

      1. fposte*

        If the OP discovers that this was the problem, it might be worth proposing a short-term experiment where she and her colleagues agree to take cleaning responsibility for the room. You’d have to be sure that eating there was worth the extra admin you’ve signed on for, though.

      2. Vicki*

        Interesting point. This makes me think of companies I’ve worked at that have breakrooms and cafeterias, but also a preference for catered lunch meetings (i.e. “you can’t complain about working through lunch if we feed you!”)

        The meeting rooms are used for meetings, but the after-lunch meetings have to deal with crumbs, food smells, and full trash cans. Ewwugh!

    3. Anonymous*

      And even if they clean up nicely, but fill up the garbage can…it gives the wrong impression to clients.

      Honestly, I can’t imagine not wanting to get the heck away for a few minutes, even if it is to your car in the garage. When I worked in a high rise in Seattle, I’d head out at lunch and just walk. And grab a coffee on the way back from the cart. One day the Seattle Symphony was holding a rehearsal in the park! Seattle is the best city. Sorry NYC but there it is.

      1. fposte*

        If you’re in a high-rise at an interstate exit business “park,” you may have nowhere to walk but steamy parking lots and no coffee but whatever you bring.

        1. Anonymous*

          Well to be fair, I no longer live in Seattle and now work in one of those parks, and I still go outside and walk. No Symphony though…just the food truck to serenade me. Starting to get into La Cucaracha!

        2. Melissa*

          It’s things like that that kind of make me afraid to move away from New York, lol. I like that I can walk aimlessly for 10 minutes and find something interesting to eat. I don’t want to work at Dunder-Mifflin.

    4. Elizabeth West*

      Yes, and the smells especially. Occasionally at Exjob, I was allowed to eat in the conference room if it wasn’t being used (so I could write on my lunch hour). But I was always careful not to do so if I had salmon patties or something strong in my lunch.

  2. Katie M*

    I was just talking about the “high school on resume” thing with an old high school classmate a few days ago.

    We were catching up and we both found that the interviewers we had for our current jobs both had remarked on the high school we went to. It’s not nationally known or anything, but it’s within a network of schools that anyone who went there will probably notice or comment on.

    That wasn’t the first instance that happened in an interview for me, either. Now, maybe there were many times that it counted against me and I just don’t know. But it was definitely a great ice-breaker in those moments during the interviews.

    I wonder if it’s perhaps a regional thing?

    1. Brett*

      It’s a regional thing where I live, and frankly it is a form of (possibly illegal) discrimination.

      In this area, where about 50% of the population attends private school, your high school is a strong indicator of your gender, race, religion, and socioeconomic class. While the last of those is legally okay to discriminate, the first three are not. Yet, if you screen by high school (and professional jobs here certainly do), then you are effectively screening by race and religion, and sometimes gender, too. Obviously most of this happens before the interview, but at the interview phase it is definitely a way to probe for religion.

      The high school you attended clearly has social ramifications too. You can count on the “Where did you go to high school?” question in any social setting well into retirement; the more elite the setting, the more likely you are to be asked. Personally, I love the blank stares I get when I say my high school (I grew up 1800 miles from here), but my out of state school clearly turns some people off (especially when they find out it was a public school too).

      1. Where Catholic Schools Run Rampant...*

        If you aren’t talking about Cincinnati, I will be *shocked*.

        1. anonymous*

          I live in another midwestern large metro area and this happens to me, too. I went to a Catholic high school that is considered elite, and people always comment on it. Away from this area, not so much.

      2. Nickib*

        Same experience in New Orleans. I wasn’t raised locally so it took me a while to clue in to the discrimination aspect of it. I bring on short term contractors frequently and certain co-workers are amazed that I don’t screen by high school and still manage to find high performers.

        1. Anonymous*

          Yep this is definitely a thing in New Orleans. If you ask someone where they went to school, you probably mean high school.

        1. Brandy*

          I do a lot of work in our St Louis office and it is INSANE how much people there care about high school!

          1. Elizabeth West*

            Missouri is kind of…well, stupid sometimes. Not all the time, and not everywhere, but yeah.

            *Disclaimer: grew up here, still live here (groan).

      3. Brett*

        I -didn’t- grow up in St Louis :)
        Hence why I get *blinkblink* when I tell people my high school.
        (In other words, yes, I am talking about St Louis.)

        I decided I should fact check my own percentages. For the MSA, 15% attended private school. But in the city itself, 42% attend private schools.

        1. Anon*

          Wow this makes me so sad. I went to a poor (think almost ghetto) public high school that was very diverse…. I loved the experience and although we didn’t have a lot of AP classes or money flowing into the school, I think my high school years formed me in a great way.

          I was a national merit scholar and took local community college classes through my high school to have my AA when I graduated at 17. Obviously, my high school didn’t affect my ability to learn and do well. I would be very sad to find someone discriminating against me because of my high school!

  3. Z*

    Regarding #4 taking high school off resume – Once I deleted HS from mine, I moved the National Merit Scholar designation and SAT scores to my college section. Those kind of straddle the line between high school and college, so you can still leave them on your resume (as college achievements) without listing your high school.

      1. Z*

        Oh, they’re gone now. I’m on my second post-grad school job. But I left them on while I was trying to get my first post-academic job. (I didn’t do any internships, so at the time, I had trouble getting my resume to fill up most of a page.)

  4. KarenT*


    I disagree with Alison slightly. Lots of great opportunities can start with an internship if the OP is entry level. In some fields starting out as an intern is practically mandatory–think publishing, journalism, fashion.

    1. FiveNine*

      Usually not at the stage, however, when the person already not only is gainfully employed but is on a successful career track and is set for a promotion. I know sometimes the grass seems greener — but in this case I assure you there are publishing, journalism, and fashion industry folks who are above intern level who would tell you their jobs aren’t glamorous or stable or even decent-paying and who would give anything to be where the OP currently is.

      1. AdAgencyChick*

        YES. Internships are great to land that first experience (whether in the working world as a whole or in a new field), but I’d never trade a steady, paying job for one unless I was looking to make a career change. And even then I’d step carefully.

        OP, you can’t be certain it’ll pan out — and your desire for this particular job may be coloring your certainty that it will.

    2. AnonyMouse28*

      I’m probably the exception to the rule, but I didn’t have any publishing internship experience (or really anything other than English as a second major in terms of traditional publishing experiences) and my first job out of college was in publishing. What I did have were a stack of hard and soft skills and a resume unique enough to make an HR recruiter screening resumes stop and go “huh.”

      That being said, I don’t disagree with you that traditionally those industries hire from within, I just figured I’d point it out for anyone hoping to break in without those traditional experiences…

      1. KarenT*

        Me too, actually. But getting into publishing is getting harder and harder. Not that the OP is necessary going into publishing. My point is really there are jobs out there where internships are a necessary evil, and without knowing ore details it’s possible that the OP pursuing one could make a lot of sense.

  5. Mike*

    Re #6:

    First off you really shouldn’t have anything on the computer that you don’t want your employer to find out about. My current employer did some layoffs recently and those that were let go had to leave their computers behind. That said, when I left my last job I did a DOD disk wipe on all my computers. I walked out the door with the finished screen up. Of course my coworkers knew I was going to do it and we made sure that anything I had that they needed was transferred off of the machine.

      1. Mike*

        There is nothing jerk-like about it. The first thing any good IT person should do is wipe it themselves and then restore it from an image. To do otherwise would allow any viruses or malware to remain on the computer.

        Additionally, I work as a programmer and the first thing any person in my position has to do is setup their environment which can be fairly customized. At my last company I was the only one running that particular set of OSs which were ones I installed and configured.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Then you should leave it to them to do it, not do it yourself, unless they ask you to. And not every employer operates that way. I’ve worked places (as have others here, if you read the comments) where that’s not how their I.T. does it.

        2. Joey*

          Its jerky alright. Its the equivalent of trashing all of your desk files so your employer can’t use them.

        3. PPK*

          I’m on Mike’s side here. This would be normal where I work. We’re our own IT staff for most things. Any shared data should already have been shared so wiping your box when you left would save some other poor coworker time. But I’m in programming too so maybe this is a field specific thing.

          For example, if I need to dispose of or transfer a machine (old, broken, getting an upgrade), it is my responsibility to wipe the hard drive. If I were giving my machine to another coworker, I wipe it and re-install. We have corporate operating system install images available (with a basic suite of software) so it’s less of a pain than it sounds.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            If he did it because the employer expected it or appreciated it, then I have no beef with that. If it was in any way intended as an F-you, that’s the issue.

            1. Anonymous*

              When did I ever indicate it was a F-you? If you re-read the post you’ll see that I worked with my coworkers to make sure everything that was needed was off of the machine. So in that particular case that meant all code was pushed to our repositories and documents were in a shared location. The wiping was just part of extracting myself from their systems.

              1. Anonymous*

                Speaking as a litigator, when a company is in, is contemplating, or is expecting litigation, it has different obligations to maintain files than it would normally have. Normally a company tells all the employees who may have relevant documents to refrain from deleting files, but in some instances, the company may only tell a subset of employees that files need to be preserved (for example IT, who handles hard drive erasing).

                If an employee were to delete their hard drive when leaving (even with the best of intentions) and deleted files that were relevant to the litigation that company was pursuing, planning, or expecting, it could create significant legal problems for the company. Having good back-ups would help the company avoid some of those problems, but it would likely still take the lawyers some time (that they would bill the company for) to sort out the situation.

                Long story short, you should not delete your hard drive unexpectedly without confirming that it is okay with someone at your company, even if you expect that IT will do so soon.

                1. Judy*

                  Every time I’ve been involved in patent litigation or discovery, the lawyers set up in a conference room and image our hard drives.

  6. Erik*

    For question #6:
    When I left my last job I went through every single folder looking for any personal files, photos or other items. I transferred them to a portable hard drive, then deleted them.

    After that, I ran a DOD wipe on all of the free disk space to ensure that they wouldn’t get their hands on anything.

    I was tempted to just wipe the entire hard drive clean, but I didn’t want to be a jerk to the admins, whom I had a great relationship with.

      1. Erik*

        True – many companies use that as standard procedure. My last job didn’t do that. They only cleaned it out so they didn’t have to purchase new licenses for Windows.

        Yes, they were cheap…

    1. AnonyMouse28*

      What did you use to wipe the free disk space? And would you need administrator access to run those types of programs? I’m just curious, because I work in a fairly flexible work environment where people habitually do personal stuff on their work rigs (like shopping with cc info, etc) and I’d like to do that sort of thorough wipe if I move on.

      (caveat: I know, I know, ideally you don’t do anything personal on your work computer, but my brain works better during the day time!!)

      1. Erik*

        To provide some context, this is at a software company. By definition you need Admin access on your machine. YMMV.

        I used a tool called Eraser, which you can get for free. There are more destructive tools like Datem’s Boot ‘N Nuke, which are for wiping entire drives.

        1. Erik*

          One more thing – I’m a software engineer so you can’t get anything done WITHOUT Admin access.

    2. Ask a Manager* Post author

      For whatever it’s worth, if I saw an exiting employee had wiped their hard drive without permission, I’d have I.T. restore the whole thing from a backup to see what they had wanted to get rid of. That’s not typical behavior.

      1. The IT Manager*

        There’s a good chance I’d delete everything including work files before I left since there’s little chance my computer would go to the next person doing my job. All work information should be shared already. The help desk will reimage the computer before giving it out again anyway.

        But a wipe seems extreme – like you felt you had something to hide.

      2. Mike*

        You really think most companies have IT do regular backups of individual employee’s computers? That is potentially a lot of data that would need to be stored and managed which would be pretty costly. There are some ways to make it easier but wouldn’t cover what you are thinking about.

        Email and documents on a shared location are much more likely to be backed up than an individual’s computer.

          1. Anonymous*

            You know, our IT department said “everything is backed up”, until we needed a restore and then we found out “everything” technically meant “some things”. I would bet, in a large organization, that Mike’s right — the storage space alone would eat the IT budget alive. [caveat: I am in IT but I’m the database/webdev type so I sort of but not really know what I might be talking about]

          1. Frances*

            Everything at my last workplace was backed up BECAUSE a supervisor level employee wiped her computer before quitting without notice.

        1. LadyB*

          At every IT Dept. I’ve managed, we’ve made it clear that you store files on your C: drive (actually on the computer) at your own risk whether they’re work or personal files. IT will back up all networked files, but you’re on your own with the local ones. That means if your computer crashes and IT have to rebuild or replace it, your local files are gone for good.

          1. Windchime*

            At our place, the C:\Documents (or whatever it’s called) is actually mapped to a network drive because people would save stuff there, despite being instructed to save to their network share. So for us, that’s backed up as well. But anyplace else on C? Nope.

        2. Windchime*

          I work in an IT department of about 100 people. I’m a developer, but we have a whole department of engineers and desktop support people. It would be unusual for a programmer to wipe their computer clean (we use the term “slick it” here) as they were leaving. If I were having trouble with my computer, I would ask the desktop people to re-image it, which is basically wiping it clean and then restoring the standard OS and programs.

          But if someone were leaving and slicked their box before they left? I think that would cause questions here, especially if the person was not leaving on good terms.

          1. Erik*

            There’s a difference between wiping the entire HD and only wiping individual folders, like I did.

            Wiping the HD – bad. No argument there.

        3. Liz*

          Emails and networked files, definitely. Anything running through their servers (including IM logs, browsing history) will also be included. I don’t know anyone who stores anything other than MP3s and temporary files on their actual computer; IT has managed to successfully train people into using their network drives for all work-related files.

      3. HR lady*

        I agree with Alison. Remember, your computer at work doesn’t belong to you, and nor do any of the contents on it. I encourage everyone to stop using their work computers for personal storage – i.e., don’t store your personal photos, recipes, diet plans, fertility schedules (!! read that one in these comments), PTA memos, etc. And if you are using your work email for personal use, set up a personal email and transition all of your family and friends away from that. If you let your work computer store passwords for personal websites, be sure you have those passwords stored at home (or somewhere you can get them), too. If your work computer crashes, or if you are suddenly no longer employed there, your company has no obligation to retrieve any of this information for you.

        It’s not so much a question of you breaking rules by using the work computer for personal stuff (as long as you’re being reasonable and your company is reasonable), it’s that I’ve seen too many ex-employees ask us to retrieve this stuff, and apparently they didn’t realize that it was not something they were entitled to.

        1. Cathy*

          One of the hardest things I had to do at a previous job was stand in for a manager who was on vacation and lay someone on her team off. I had to tell the ex-employee she couldn’t take her laptop with her family photos on it out of the building so she could back them up. I ended up doing it for her the next day, but I made a point of explaining to my own team that they should not store personal files of any type on company computers.

      4. Mike C.*

        What’s wrong with wiping free space? It’s to ensure that anything personal that was deleted is actually gone.

          1. Llywelyn*

            The deeper question is… “how would you even know that an employee wiped the free space on the drive.”

            Short of monitoring keystrokes, then assuming it is a local storage there’s not really a good way to know that sort of thing. Wiping free space is a pretty subtle thing, much harder than even knowing that they are keeping it there in the first place. We’re not talking in this case about someone formatting the drive and requiring a complete reimage, we’re talking about the deletion of specific files and ensuring that the erased space is actually erased.

            Also, this may be a cultural thing, but from what I have seen a lot of smaller tech companies don’t back up employee computers. They sometimes have a network share that’s backed up and certainly shared resources (e.g., git/svn, sharepoint, etc) are backed up, but the computer itself is either not backed up or is backed up on a drive that the employee has complete control over.

      5. Erik*

        Depending on the type of wipe performed, good luck recovering data. You might be able to get a previous snapshot, but if they used a DOD wipe like I do, it’s gone forever.

        Technically, you could probably get data using a special company that recovers hard drives, but that costs into the thousands of dollars.

  7. SC in SC*

    Re #2 I’d take that feedback with a grain of salt. It X skill was so important then I would have expected the interviewer to ask about it directly. It’s possible that you just had two unskilled interviewers but it also may have just been a convenient excuse. It’s hard to know which.

    Re #6 I agree that it’s a good idea to remove any personal information but have to draw the line where some are discussing wiping hard drives. Work computers and all the information they contain are the property of the company. Wiping it completely is not only wrong in my opinion but it also burns a bridge. Besides, where I work is far from cutting edge when it comes to IT and even we back-up email and hard drives on external, third party servers. Wiping your hard drive will be a mess for your coworkers but wouldn’t stop someone from finding something if they knew where to dig (although I doubt anyone would care).

    1. Anonymous*

      Agreed. Just assume from day one that nothing you do on your work computer is private, and you should never have a problem.

      I do have a small number of personal project files and photos on my work computer, but nothing outrageous and nothing I would be embarrassed to have made public. I just ask myself if I would mind having my boss see them; if the answer were ever yes, then I would have no business handling them on a work computer.

      1. Tinker*

        Being ultimately okay with anything on your work computer (or anything in your life) being revealed doesn’t preclude ordinarily taking precautions to protect your privacy and your personal information.

        It’s kind of like — I’m ultimately okay with walking out of my office at any given moment, losing everything in it, and having everything down to the scrawled notes about the configuration of my IRA rollover and the post-it note reading “Get new kitty litter before cat shits again on carpet” gone over by my manager, but given the opportunity to do so I shredded that stuff on the way out.

        Were it not for an unwillingness to go to the bother, I would have done the same to the digital equivalent thereof and I’ve known coworkers to do the same routinely and without comment. As it was I cleared my browser data and called it good.

    2. Tinker*

      Wiping your hard drive after you’ve transferred data to your coworkers (or in a case where nothing was ever on the machine except ephemera) and before you hand it over to IT… to be wiped… essentially does not affect your coworkers at all (presuming you didn’t mess up the knowledge transfer). That being what the folks here were talking about.

  8. Unknown*

    As for number 4. AAM stated about doing something significant in high school. One task I have noticed that is truly significant and opens up a lot of job doors. That would be Eagle or Gold Scout.

    1. Brandy*

      Funny…my DH is an eagle scout and that has long been removed from his resume. As in, even before he took off the name of his high school.

      Probably a regional thing?

      1. Elise*

        Or he just didn’t know better. It shouldn’t be there forever, but is a good addition for someone recently out of school who doesn’t have much job experience. It’s good to have for one job after you have removed the high school.

        1. Elise*

          I just saw your response below and that changes things a little. It’s still not a regional thing, it’s a school thing. But, he would have done well to leave the Eagle Scout as long as the boarding school.

    2. Ellie H.*

      I started thinking about what “truly magnificent” would entail, after reading the question. Someone I was acquainted with in high school had an essay published in the Concord Review, which is very prestigious, and I was thinking if that would qualify. The funny thing is that this inspired me to look him up; he’s now a professional literary translator (he and I were together in an Ancient Greek independent study, so that doesn’t surprise me, although he works on a different language now) and has a website and everything and the Concord Review publication is indeed not on his CV! Pretty funny. (National Merit scholar is, but he has a lot of more recent publications than this one from 2003 or whenever.)

      1. Sophia*

        But even the, if he included it, wouldn’t you just include the accomplishment and not the high school?

      2. Trillian*

        I suspect it’s because he continued to develop as a writer, and the article does not reflect his current skill, and/or his views changed and the article does not reflect his current thinking.

  9. Tai*

    Re: #5: If you are able to help, I’d say, “Sure. Let me just clock back in.” I get the sense that your employer is trying to get you to work for free, but that you are an hourly employee who also needs to clock in and out to be paid for time.

    If your manager tells you, “oh, it will only take a second,” then I would recommend approaching him before you clock out for the day. Say, “Is there anything that you need before I clock out?”

    1. LisaLyn*

      Yeah, my concern there is that if the person has clocked out, he or she is not getting paid and isn’t that asking them to work for free? I like your idea of offering to clock back in.

    2. evilintraining*

      And I will add that AAM is absolutely right that they can fire you. That happened to my daughter several years ago in the bakery dept. of a grocery store. Bakery had already been closed 20 minutes, lights were out, and someone came to the counter when she was cleaning the equipment, requesting a cake (not pre-ordered) with writing on it. When my daughter told her the bakery was closed and it couldn’t be done, the woman complained to the store manager, and my daughter was fired.

      1. SB*

        But your daughter wasn’t off the clock. I worked for a grocery store in college, and the time clock and lockers were in the back of the store. You would clock out and have to walk to the front of the store in your uniform, and would almost always get stopped by a customer wanting help (even if you were carrying a purse or a coat and it was rather clear you were leaving). We also had to eat our lunches in the cafe area, and would get interrupted by customers. At a team meeting, store managers said if you were stopped, you should always give that customer service with a smile, regardless of whether you were on the clock or not. One employee was fired after she told a customer that she would help her, but would have to clock back in. Management caught her clocking back in, and weren’t happy with her excuse.

        1. Mike C.*

          That employee was following the law, and should have complained to the state labor board. If clocking in impedes good customer service, then the store needs to find a different way to ensure employees are paid according to the law.

          1. KellyK*

            Agree 110% If I were in the situation and asked to work without clocking in, my next question would be “So how do I go about getting paid for that time?” (In practice, I’d let it go when it ended up being a minute here or there, but if I’m two minutes into lunch and end up helping a customer for the next twenty-seven, there’s *no way* I’d be okay with an unpaid lunch break for that time.)

    3. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I didn’t read it that way, since the OP asks if she can refuse to clock back in — which sounds like they’re not trying to get her to work off the clock; she just doesn’t want to return to work (on the clock).

  10. Nichole*

    OP 6 says it’s an internal change, so s/he isn’t leaving the company entirely. The measures in the letter sound sufficient to me. S/he just needs to wipe the “me” out of the computer. Follow the Kindergarten rule and leave it like you found it. Remember picures too. I like to have unique desktop backgrounds and often create presentations with screenshots, so I have lots of photos that, while not offensive or embarrassing, would be clutter if it was becoming someone else’s computer.

    1. Steve*

      I’ve made several internal transitions, and every time I’ve taken my computer with me. Maybe it’s just my company, but it’s easier to reassign that asset than it is for IT to re-image the computer I would have turned in AND the one I would have inherited. Computers are replaced/upgraded every 3 years, but that almost never coincides with promotions or transfers.

  11. Brandy*

    On high school…I would perhaps consider leaving ONLY the school/ graduation date on your resume IF you have space and IF there is a compelling reputational/alumni reason and IF you are <25.

    I don't meet any of these criteria, but as an example, my husband went to a very elite boarding school and that often spurred questions/ connections during interviews when he was job searching right out of college. He took it off his resume as soon as he had a graduate degree/ was looking for his second post-college job (by then it was dated and also made the section way too long), but just a thought. If you're applying to jobs where someone may actually care about your high school (where you went- not how well you did), it might be worth a second consideration before removing it.

  12. Elise*

    I’m a little puzzled by some of the responses to the computer question. Every place I have worked, the IT department has always restaged computers to a like-new state before giving them to the next person. Is that not usual?

    I would worry about moving things I want to keep to an external storage (and wouldn’t have very private information on anyway) but wouldn’t bother with cleaning up miscellaneous files to make it nice for someone since the restaging program IT runs always has done that.

    1. LisaLyn*

      Yeah, I posted above that I work in IT and that’s what we do — wipe and completely reinstall.

    2. abby*

      I’ve always worked for small companies and, in my experience, this is not normal practice. In fact, I have never worked for an organization that even had an IT department. Each place I’ve worked, it’s been fun to see what the previous user of the computer stored on the hard drive. So I guess it depends on the organization. I have learned to never store personal stuff on a work computer, though!

      1. SB*

        I worked for a small company and they didn’t wipe the computer. While searching for a file I came across the previous user’s fertility cycle chart. She had a color-coded spreadsheet, with pivot tables and graphs.

    3. Calibrachoa*

      Well I jus got an upgrade at work and the strutions are to hand my old one AND the password to IT after I am done transferring everything.. i assume they are checking for compliance with regulations such as no browsing for funsies or unauthorized apps. (I am consdering falling down the stairs on my way in *facepalm*)

      1. Anonymous*

        That’s just bad security practice. IT shouldn’t need your password to see everything on the computer, and now they can impersonate you, which is a big no-no.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          Yeah, they should be able to log in as administrator. They should not need your password.

      2. HR lady*

        Calibrachoa, although I’m not in IT, I wouldn’t immediately assume they are checking for compliance. It’s my understanding that when IT sets up a new (upgraded) computer for you, they need certain of your passwords in order to install certain software. (Maybe an IT person can verify this?) Certainly if they found something egregious (such as porn) on your machine, they’d be talking to your boss.

        So unless your company is really strict, I wouldn’t think the sole purpose of the instructions you were given was to check if you were doing something wrong.

        1. Anonymous*

          When set up correctly, IT shouldn’t need your password for anything – that would just create an electronic paper trail of “HR lady did X at this time” when it was really the IT person’s doing (can you imagine if they downloaded porn onto your computer while logged in as you?)

        2. calibrachoa*

          We don’t have network IDs just local ones. It is not IT asking for the pw, either, but assets. I think it is about clien

        3. Windchime*

          I’m in IT, and all the guys who build our workstations can log into any computer they want with their own credentials. I’ve never needed to give my password to anyone else in IT. There are times when they will do their thing and then ask me to log into my workstation so they can finish something up. But never, ever would they ask for my password. In fact, part of our orientation training expressly forbids the sharing of passwords because if anyone does something using my identification, *I* am held responsible.

      3. Jeff*

        When I rebuild or replace a workstation for my users, I need their login credentials so I can configure and test their e-mail and connections. Our company policy is that they are supposed to change their password once I am finished, but I suspect that few of them actually do.

    4. RubyJackson*

      Our company laid off four staff members and didn’t touch their computers afterwards. I was given one as a secondary machine and saw that one former employee had remote access to everyone’s email and desktops.

    5. Calliope~*

      Two previous places I where I’d worked, I was assigned a computer someone else had used and both had personal info, pictures, documents etc of the previous user so, no, please don’t assume that your company is going to do this for you.

      The place I’m working now is a fairly large company and they have it set so you cannot save anywhere BUT the network drives and each employee has an assigned drive on the server along with the dept. and public drives which is incentive enough for me to keep work/private life completely separate anyway!

  13. FD*

    Re: #4

    By the same token, what gives with online applications asking for your high school–and often not just the high school name but the address and sometimes GPA, even for jobs that require previous experience.

    I’ve even had one or two that ask for elementary school. Seriously? Are they going to call my junior high principle and ask how I behaved in English class?

    1. Brett*

      That’s for background security checks. More to make sure that you are not lying about where you are from than anything else, but depending on who the security check is for, they may pull your K-12 records.
      One of the more fascinating things I ever learned about security checks is that they regularly interview the desk workers at your freshman year dorms to ask them how much you partied underage and if you did any drugs.

      1. VintageLydia*

        I’ve had retailers ask me about elementary school and I seriously doubt they’re delving that deep.

      2. Anonymous*

        I went to a large public institution where the dorms’ front desks were staffed by students. I wasn’t much of a partier, but good luck tracking those workers down!

        1. P*

          Yeah, that’s what I was thinking – how would you even go about finding the person who was in that position during that specific time? It’s unlikely that they would still work there, and seems even more unlikely that they would even remember you 4+ years later.

        2. ExceptionToTheRule*

          I went to a small private institution and our dorms’ front desks were staffed by students as well.

        3. Brett*

          Student workers are really easy to track down. The colleges keep those records a very long time (especially since desk jobs are often work study). From there, you just hop on over to the alumni association to get a current address and phone.

          And yeah, I have no idea why a retailer is asking for that info. I would if that is crossing over into socio-economic screening (e.g. demographically profiling people by where they grew up.

          1. Anonymous*

            I would hope my school wouldn’t release my information because some weird employer wants to know who was working the front desk four years ago!

      3. TL*

        I had no desk workers at any of my dorms. I guess you could ask the RAs but I doubt they would know or remember.

      4. Mike C.*

        This is for something like a serious security clearance, right? Like maybe doing top secret defense research or becoming a federal official’s chief of staff?

        Because if this is becoming a normal thing for conventional jobs, I’m going to laugh in their faces when they go on to complain that they don’t have the money to pay their workers more.

        1. Chinook*

          DH did a high level security clearance for NATO that involved me tracking down details about my parents (like birth place/date and citizenship date), where I lived for the last 10 years and all sorts of friends and neighbours he has known for 10 years (not an easy thing when you have been movign on average once every two years). The 0ne thing they never asked him was for his high school information.

      5. Lynn*

        Who does that? I used to have a job requiring a high-level security clearance, and even those guys only went back 10 years. I guess if you’re under 28, that would take you back to freshman year. It’s a time-consuming and expensive process, though, and it’s really hard for me to imagine employers doing this for run-of-the-mill retail jobs.

  14. Computers*

    Be careful here. While it is appropriate to remove your personal data from your work computer, do not remove any work related emails or documents. Companies have retention policies for these materials, the materials belong to your employer, and there are legal ramifications should the company be or become involved in a law suit or government investigation. Frankly it is not your call to destroy company property, even if you believe a work email is “sensitive,”–it’s not “your” email, it belongs to your employer. Really surprised by this advice.

    1. Chuchundra*

      That’s just silly. If there are legal or corporate requirements for data retention, those policies are going to be implemented at the server level, not on employees’ individual machines. Any data that is not backed up on a server is pretty much, by definition, not important.

      And are you telling me that you never delete work e-mails? I get nastygrams from admins on a regular basis that my inbox is full and could I please delete non-essential emails.

      1. Liz in a library*

        This is exactly what I was thinking. If it is important to store them, there is no way they are being stored solely in an employee’s email client.

      2. AnonyMouse28*

        Hah I hate those grams. I’ve become a compulsive archiver just because I haaaate those grams.

      3. Anonymous*

        Policies require individuals to implement them. Legal and corporate requirements are not magically put into effect by the server fairies (auto delete if it’s old and you haven’t filed it as a possible exception – but the policies I’ve seen are not that simplistic).

        There is a difference between deleting non-essential emails and eliminating the company’s work product from one of its assets. There was nothing silly about Computers’ comment.

      4. ThursdaysGeek*

        Nope, I never delete work emails. I do archive them into a separate file, however. They can be useful to me (“I helped with this before…what exactly did I do?”) so why would I delete them?

        1. Jen in RO*

          Because a lot of them are junk – automatic notifications, out of office replies… I don’t care that Jane has 5 days of PTO last March!

    2. Brett*

      If the company is retaining email, they are retaining it somewhere else other than on the work computer. Deleting it from your work computer would not be destroying the email.

      1. HR lady*

        Brett, there is a specific situation called a litigation hold where you might get a memo from your company lawyer or HR department instructing you to keep (not delete) emails about a certain employee or situation. This can happen to you if someone threatens a lawsuit or files a complaint with the EEOC, and you are a witness or involved in some other way. I know you were talking more generally, but I just wanted to point out that there can be situations when an employee would not be allowed to delete certain emails.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Yes, but presumably then the employee knows about it. That doesn’t mean that they can’t delete other emails, which is what it sounded like @Computers was talking about.

          1. HR lady*

            Agreed – people can definitely delete other work related emails when appropriate. (And the litigation hold situation is pretty rare, anyway.)

        2. ExceptionToTheRule*

          My company auto-deletes any messages in my Outlook after 60 days. Whether I wanted to keep them or not.

          I presume that for legal reasons, they’re archived somewhere in corporate server/cloud land…

          1. Katie*

            I’ve been lurking for a while, but this comment brought me out because it deals with one of my favorite little job niches…

            Your company is probably auto-deleting your messages for the opposite reason, so they don’t have to keep them. If they ever become involved in a legal action, they can become subject to discovery – where they have to produce certain specified information for the court. So, if they have 2 years worth of e-mail archives, they have to be able to, and take the effort to, search through all of them to find a certain piece of information if needed. But, if they only have 2 months…it makes the process a lot easier and less time comsuming, especially if you consider a few years ago, when it wasn’t as common to have file level access to back-ups, so searching an e-mail archive meant you had to be able to restore the whole machine, not just search a zip file.
            The auto-delete also becomes kind of a CYA/plausible denability thing.

  15. Anon*

    #3-IMO you’d have a better chance of getting an adjusted schedule if you were doing this internship while in a school program. I was very lucky that my boss was so supportive while I was going thru grad school and the internship hours I needed to complete (counseling). She was willing to massively adjust my schedule to accommodate about 12 hours a week of internship. My life was hellish working 40 hours too but I made it through. It helped that my boss knew what I was trying to do and my work product up to that was excellent.

    If I was your boss and got this request for 2 mths unpaid or reduced hours I’d start wondering what the heck was going on. If you came and said here’s the deal (explained everything), I’d be more lenient and probably understanding.

  16. Goosey Lucy*

    #3. IF you’re going to do this, I don’t think you can lie about it. Maybe approach your boss about it being an opportunity to gain training/experience if you can be spared part-time.

    Would be kind of crappy if you did that and then left though.

  17. Jazzy Red*

    Alison’s comment to #6 …”I’ve found emails I never should have seen after employees have left, and it never fails to amaze me that people leave that stuff on their computers.”

    This made me laugh! You would be bored to death if you found my personal emails in my work computer! I think I’m the most boring person alive, or maybe I’m just really good at keeping work/personal emails separate.

    1. The IT Manager*

      :) I was in the military and once deployed with a unique unit. They had people who listened to our phone calls – not so much the work ones (which were almost always done on secure phones) but the personal ones home which could be intercepted. I spoke with someone who said it was a very boring job. I can imagine. I love my mom but she loves her job as a teacher and can talk for a long time about her students sometimes. I find that boring. I can’t imagine some who did not love her finding those conversations interesting at all.

      1. Anonymous*

        I have a tendency to describe my attire for the day to my family members. I am imagining (with some amusement) anyone having to monitor and report on those conversations.

        Date: August 21, 2013

        Time of call: 07:23

        Duration of call: 12 minutes 41 seconds

        Substance of the subject’s conversation: Subject is wearing her black slacks today – the flat front, not the pleated, the ones she got from Neiman’s on that trip – with her white blouse – the one with the decorating banding, but not the scallops, the plain banding with little notches. – and her green cardigan. She chose the wedge heels instead of the flats because she can’t find the little snap things to shorten her pants, and the black and white heels she really wanted to wear have scuff marks. Subject expressed concern about her ability to clean these to her satisfaction. Subject reports carrying her purse with the little silver diamonds on the flap. Subject described a black, green, white, red, and blue scarf with “little x’s” in detail, and stated that she couldn’t get it properly tied around her neck and instead tied it into her scarf, hoping it will flutter in an attention-getting way. Mother expressed approval.

        Threat assessment: Visual confirmation that subject is attired as described. Accordingly, threat assessment is zero.

        Action required: None.

          1. CathVWXYNot?*


            In my case they could just copy and paste from the last call, because every phone call with my parents follows the exact same template. Sometimes they tell or ask me the same thing four weeks in a row. It’s not a dementia thing – they’ve been doing this since forever.

            Oh, and the little snap things? I am SO buying some of those!

        1. ExceptionToTheRule*

          My mother does this about food. I get a play-by-play of everything she’s eaten, how it was cooked, and where/when she bought the food.

        2. Trillian*

          Ah, but those of us who grew up watching “Get Smart” and later on “James Bond” know that these innocuous conversations are just full of secret code words.

        3. Chinook*

          If, when doing said threat assessment of the subject, you believe they made some bad choices, can you descrieb them as a “fashion threat?”

      2. Elizabeth West*

        When my ex-bf was going through the federal law enforcement application process, we used to joke about them listening to our phone conversations. So, especially if there were any noises on my landline, we’d go, “Hi guys! Hope we’re not boring you!” and then continue with whatever we wanted to talk about.

        1. Chinook*

          When DH was working in military intelligence in the nation’s capital (not undercover – you could tell his job from his cap badge), foreign nationals were caught with personal information about him and me. After that point, we just assumed one of the embassies were taking note of our conversations home to family, reading all our bills and keeping tabs on how often we never went out at night. Which, of course, they weren’t. But, we did have a lot of fun hypothetically creating a paper trail for a false identity based on the fact that I had legal photo id in 2 completely different names (and couldn’t have either of them changed to reflect the other)

  18. Paulus*

    Regarding #1:
    California does require that a break room be provided and it must be separate from the toilet facilities. And if they are routinely interrupted by clients and the company is or ought to be aware of it, that can result in some hefty penalties to the company, paid to the employees (an hour per day with violated break or meal periods). An “on-duty” meal period doesn’t sound like it would be permitted under CA law here and would require their written consent and authorization anyhow.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      My understanding — and I could be wrong — is that California employers do not need to provide a break wrong when employees are allowed to leave the premises for meal breaks.

      1. Brett*

        I’m not so sure OP #1 is allowed to leave the premises. Otherwise, why not just sit outside and eat instead of sitting in a car in the parking garage. Sounds like employees are sitting in the parking garage because it is the farthest they can get away while still being in the building.

        1. fposte*

          Could be; could also be she works in one of the kajillion workplaces where there’s no place to sit outside and eat.

      2. Paulus*

        It’s not a matter of whether they’re allowed to leave the premises for meal breaks (which, to my understanding, is pretty much guaranteed by law bar a few exceptions), but also of the paid 10 minute break periods California law provides. As far as I’m aware, there’s not an exemption to requiring suitable resting places.

        1. Paulus*

          Slight correction: They can require you to remain on site, but they must pay you for the meal period if they do so.

      3. CEMgr*


        “IWC Orders, Section 12, Rest Periods, in conjunction with the provisions of Section 13(B), Change Rooms And Resting Facilities, which requires that “Suitable resting facilities shall be provided in an area separate from the toilet rooms and shall be available to employees during work hours.”

        Like all labor laws, there are many caveats and conditions, including state, industry, nature of the work etc.

  19. Evan*

    Followup on #4 – Does this mean I should take off everything that happened before high school graduation, including computer-related projects and volunteer activities? I’m working at my first post-college job in computer programming, so they’re actually related to my career path – but I understand it’s a long time ago and I have more recent, more professional experience.

    Also, when should college activities (extracurriculars, honor societies, class projects, GPA, etc.) come off my resume? I assume that summer internships can stay on longer, though?

    1. Sophia*

      I don’t ever put class projects on my cv (though it may be field related). Now that I’m in graduate school, I’ve dropped all my extra curricular activities from my cv, and only note honors (e.g. graduated with distinction, phi beta kappa etc) and even then, only under my education (e.g. UNIVERSITY NAME, DEGREE, HONORS). My other activities are all in grad school, which I’ll keep when I get a faculty position because that seems to be the norm. It’s a shame bc I did a lot of service and other activities in college but in my case, it doesn’t really matter.

      1. Elizabeth West*

        Hmm, we have a class project coming up that is specifically FOR our portfolios (in addition to being a learning thing). We’re supposed to find materials from an outside source (“client,” although we are doing it unpaid). Does that mean I shouldn’t use it? Unless it sucks, which obviously would mean don’t use it…

        1. Sophia*

          What do you mean you find materials from an outside source/client? Do you mean you’re putting together something for an actual client as part of the class? Or do you mean you’re doing this project for a hypothetical client? If it’s the former, perhaps you can put it under “professional experience” and if it’s the latter, maybe mention it in your cover letter as an example of your work. Does anyone else have other suggestions?

          1. Elizabeth West*

            It can be someone we know; it can’t be another student. A work document, a lesson plan, a church bulletin, etc. Just something to edit so we go through the process.

            I HATE this part of it. I asked at work; hopefully we can come up with something there and then it really will be work-related. I can’t use the stuff I edit at work already because it’s confidential. But maybe Documentation has something…

            I don’t wanna be freelance! :(

  20. AP*

    #4 — I’d like to know, for reference sake, what are some things that wouldn’t/would qualify as truly magnificent?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Magnificent: starting your own successful company while in high school or winning a national science competition that includes adults
      Not magnificent (once you’re out of high school): winning your state science fair

  21. mel*

    I’m definitely at the age where no one cares about high school, but still can’t bring myself to remove it! I worry that if I put nothing there, I might be seen as a drop out?

    I also don’t have a degree or anything. I have four years of studio classes and a completed pastry program so there’s some useless education there too that no one cares about.

    Plus I’m a pretty loyal person so I only have a couple of jobs (I stay too long at entry-level positions – that’s retail/hospitality for you) both of which no one will ever care about.

    So really, if I’m allowed to scrap the high school, I might as well scrap the entire resume and send nothing because it’s all just a hodge podge of “high school” crap. I tend to spend more time trying to pull out useful skills in the cover letter because the resume alone probably makes me look like a drop out.

  22. Elizabeth West*

    4–high school on resume

    Very few employers care what you did before college, unless you did something truly magnificent, which most of us didn’t.

    Harry Potter’s resume:

    –Completion certificate from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (honorary)
    –Defeated Voldemort in what would have been last year of school, thus ensuring safety of both the entire wizarding and Muggle worlds.

    1. Al Lo*


      Also, I love that Hermione went back and finished her schooling (in the year that Ginny also finished), because of course she went back and finished, whereas Ron and Harry went straight on to work in the Auror office.

      Ahem. I know far too many of the post-series facts about the characters. And also, not to thread-jack even more, I recently discovered the James Potter series, which were surprisingly excellent for being essentially fanfiction. I suddenly had another 2500 pages of the Potter world to read, and it made me so very happy.

    2. Sophia*

      +1 :)

      Although, can I say the ending ruined the whole series for me…SPOILER

      *Harry should have died


      And I was thinking about other popular fantasy books and movies. Although I’m not a fan, I wonder how Edward and the rest of his family in Twilight would put their high school experience…they’d have to update it every time they go to a different school.

      And Katniss I don’t think, graduated high school, but she’d have kick ass accomplishments.

      1. Loose Seal*

        Frankly, I’d have to worry about hiring Edward and clan. If it takes them 100+ years to finish high school, how quick are they going to pick up on-the-job training?

  23. dejavu2*

    Re: computers, just had to share this gem! At old workplace, we had a shared laptop employees would take on business trips. One guy apparently used it to take photos of himself posing in his tighty-whities. He had erased the images… but forgot to empty the recycling bin. And he was the IT guy.

  24. Jay*

    Follow up for #7 RE: Land lording

    Yes, I think this is a good idea, and I have used it as well. I also was in a professional band for 10 years and have that on my resume, as both focused on finances, small business management, expenses, using vendors, contractors, filing taxes, accounting and record keeping, project management, use of depreciation, and as you mentioned legal. And yeah, we essentially use our initials for our property management/land lording business (i.e. – ABC Real Estate Partners) as we have a goal to buy a smaller house in our area eventually and rent it out.

    Below is a blurb I have on my resume especially when applying for smaller type companies. I have found that this leads to a good conversation about having an entrepreneurial spirit and helps lead to other conversations that shows you may be well-rounded and more than a title/degree/experience.

    I put the band blurb as well since I also added technology skills that were used as well.

    If you have any ideas or examples to share please post here as always looking to see how other land lords or small business people can make this work on their resume as well

    Owner, Partner & Entrepreneur at ABC Real Estate Partners (2009-Present)

    •Financial responsibilities included the maintenance and control over an annual budget of $12,000 for small business accounts, monthly expenditures and filing of yearly tax returns for small business partnership.
    •Maintain both account receivables and payables to proper vendors, clients and contractors.
    •Responsible for operating within the budget and producing projected positive cash flow for business.
    •Effectively screen applicants, run background and credit checks.
    •Strategically look for new investment opportunities.

    Founder, Partner & Musician of Entertainment Musical Act (1998-2008)
    •Responsible for finances and cash flow of annual budget of $15,000 of small business accounts, monthly expenditures and filing of yearly tax returns for small business partnership.
    •Successfully licensed two songs for independent video game resulting in a $5,000 commission.
    •Handled marketing, promotions and public relations for five member band, including booking performances with national/regional acts, and making low cost travel arrangements.
    •Attended professional musical industry networking conferences in New York City, Lexington, KY, & Detroit, MI
    •Successfully recorded, released, promoted and sold 4,000+ copies of Independent CD summer 2004 and was nominated for two Detroit Music Awards – 2005
    •Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performed keyword research, optimization, and submission of company web content to all major search engines.
    •Created HTML newsletters that were distributed via email list manager.
    •Built multiple websites/blogs using Microsoft FrontPage and Blogger.
    •Managed Database of customers for marketing and sales purposes.
    •Developed and managed social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Pure Volume and

    1. Sophia*

      Hmm…I wonder if it would be helpful to link to a website if you have one, because it could give it more legitimacy, though I think this looks great regardless!

      1. Jay*

        Been thinking of making a 1-2 page webpage via blogger
        on blogspot to help with this. But I wouldn’t want to put email/phone # while tenants are living there on a 2 year lease

        1. Sophia*

          Yes, don’t put their contact information but you could talk about, for example, the houses amenities, number of floors, type of house etc – all things you can find in things like redfin listings. You could also include tabs for contact and other info for vendors, credit checks etc. I’d check out small real estate businesses’ websites for examples. Same for the music one, where you can make archives of the newsletters and promotional materials available etc

          1. Jay*

            yeah, the band one we still have a facebook and myspace page up. We took the dot com down though, but we regret it as someone bought the domain :(

            Hey by chance do you have a rental prop or small business as well?

            1. Sophia*

              No, sorry! I just looked at a bunch of Redfin postings (and our agent’s when we picked him) when we recently bought a house.

    2. OP*

      Jay this is great! Thank you. I needed a good example of what to say. As an overly self conscious person who never feels “good enough” updating my resume is painful. I bought Alison’s book, but still having trouble with exact wording. I mentioned it in my cover letter, but I will get on my next job app. Thanks again!

  25. Chinook*

    OP #2 – I often ask interviewers directly if they have any questions or concerns about my resume near the end of the interview. Since my resume often raised red flags (due to my “province hopping” history), this was a good way to directly address any questions that came up due them wondering if I would be sticking around. I also found it would bring up questions about other skills and I could then let them know about experiences not necessarily listed on the resume.

  26. April*

    Re – Eating at your desk
    This can be problematic for employers in California. The state has said that if you’re at your desk, it’s unlikely you wouldn’t answer the phone, look at an email, etc. So the state is likely to view that is work time, which would mean the employer will usually break the rule about providing a break after 6 hours. I know this because of an audit I just went through.

  27. CAndy*

    Re: #6…

    I would always just do a re-install of the operating system and put back on whatever other software your employer is expecting to be on there for the next person who uses the computer.

Comments are closed.