Congratulations graduate! Here’s why I won’t hire you

Congratulations graduate

At HB, over the past 14 years, we have received thousands of resumes from new college graduates. Too many had the background to make the cut or at least garner a second interview. But disastrous interviewing skills brought them down.

Here’s our take on what went wrong and how to improve.

Please share with any graduates in your life.

Mark O'Toole

About Mark O'Toole

Although Mark regularly creates meaningful, sustained relationships for clients, secures media coverage that builds no matter how long a client engages with HB, and consumes every type of media every single day, he knows PR is not about traditional media anymore. For Mark, PR has never been about media, but rather about helping clients meet business goals. By constantly applying his marketing mentality to solving business challenges, Mark created a platform that catapults client campaigns to new levels.

Learn more about Mark


  1. Just read your “11 Reasons..” piece. Right On!

    That piece should be a class in college. I’m not sure what a lot of these grads are doing, but they certainly are short on manners, professionalism and long on arrogance.

    Mark, you may add, don’t come to my office with ANY earings(guys) or ears with holes in them for those earnings, OH, no tongue piercings, eyebrow piercings or any that I can see.
    Tattoos too – don’t want you near my conservative real estate investors looking like you just walked off a biker movie set!

    But hey it may just be me! haha

    Nice Job !


  2. Natalia says:

    Love this presentation. Can you share how it was created?

    • Mark O'Toole says:

      Natalia, our amazingly talented design team at HB made this. What kind of detail were you looking for?

  3. Rich says:

    Hello Mr. O’Toole —

    As a former hiring supervisor, I must congratulate your for assembling this superb presentation. It is very good advice for graduates. I agree, that in the engineering field I was in, internships were by far the #1 thing I looked for when making hiring decisions.

    I was, however, dismayed at the use of an explicative in this presentation on slide 59, with no effort to disguise it. While I understand the point of its use in this context, I must say I’m disappointed, given that some students may take this particular use as demonstrating that foul language can be acceptable in certain situations in the professional world, as this was a professional communication. However, it is never okay in any professional capacity, including this particular usage. Even casual banter in the workplace can get an employee in trouble, as occurred when one of my employees once complained to me as their supervisor of another employee’s casual “colorful” language making them very uncomfortable, and I had to take action.

    Again, this is a fantastic effort. Except for that one slide, this is a superbly done.

    • Mark O'Toole Mark O'Toole says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Rich. We did create a “clean” version of this presentation that is in use at many college career centers. We appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts.


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