GTRI 10 Disastrous Resume Mistakes

10 Disastrous Resume Mistakes (and how to avoid them!)

Everyone knows to include their name, contact information, and work experience on a resume. But what is going to make your resume stand out? What should you avoid to give you the best chance of being chosen for your dream position?

  1. Typos and grammatical errors. This is important for every job candidate to avoid, but for international students, it’s a good idea to add an extra step and have a native English speaker with good grammar skills review your resume for grammar and usage. It’s important for employers to be confident in your command of the English language.
  2. Using passive language. U.S. employers value self-motivation and action. The more your language reflects action, the better. This list of action verbs from The Muse will help make your resume stand out.
  3. Including illegal information. In the U.S. it is illegal for employers to ask certain questions. If this information is included on your resume, you will automatically be disqualified from applying. Illegal information includes:
    1. TOEFL Score
    2. A Photograph Backdrop
    3. Immigration Status
    4. Age/Birth date
    5. Hometown/Home Country
    6. Marital Status
    7. Race/Ethnicity
    8. Religion
  4. Focusing on group accomplishments.  Group accomplishments are a great thing to include on your resume because they demonstrate your ability to work on a team. However, you should focus this description on your role within the team.
  5. Listing tasks instead of problems solved. “Responsible for updating social media accounts,” becomes “Increased social media engagement scores by 13% by implementing new strategy.”
  6. A Hard to read format. Hiring managers generally have a lot of applicants for one position and want to be able to scan your resume quickly at first. Instead of writing in paragraph format, use bullet points whenever possible. In addition, an easy-to-read open sans font is a must.
  7. A lack of imagination or creativity. Hiring managers get tired of reading “resume-speak.” They also get tired of looking at resumes generated from templates. The level of creativity should match the type of position you are seeking. A graphic artist, for example, may have some graphic elements included in their resume, while an engineer would be expected to have a more traditional resume.
  8. A lack of focus. If you’re applying for an IT Specialist position, the time you spent as an intern in the IT Department at the University, or serving as the technical consultant for your favorite student group is relevant. Working in the dish room of the cafeteria is not. Make sure you highlight the experience that is relevant.
  9. Not including keywords. Especially if you submit an application online, hiring managers will likely use software that searches by keyword to sift through the first round of resumes. If you do not have those keywords in your resume, it will not make the first cut. A good practice is to identify the likely keywords being searched by reading the job description carefully, and then making sure those keywords are in your resume.
  10. Not offering references. If this is your first job, list professors in your major area of study, academic advisers, research partners, or anyone else that can speak to your work ethic and knowledge of your area of study. If you have job experience, a supervisor or a co-worker in a position of authority is the best reference.

Download our handy Resume and Interview Guide for more tips!

8 Tips for Surviving Finals

The countdown to winter break has officially begun and the end of the semester is right within your reach! The only thing standing between you and those four sweet weeks of rest and relaxation is the dreaded finals week. Final exams can be an exhausting and chaotic experience if you do not properly prepare yourself. You may think that all-nighters and copious amounts of Redbull and coffee will get you through the home stretch, but there are healthier and more efficient ways to study for your finals. We have put together a list of tips for you to follow to help you study and deal with the stress of final exams!

1. Rest up: Studying is important, but cannot be accomplished without a sufficient amount of energy. During the week of finals, try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

2. Organize a plan: Two weeks before your finals, write down your entire schedule for the upcoming weeks. Include everything such as classes, work, extracurricular activities, time for studying, etc.

3. Create a study guide: Even if your professor does not make it mandatory, study guides can help outline what you need to know.

4. Find a study buddy: Nothing is worse than not understanding the material you are studying. Seek out help from TA’s, Professors, study groups, help centers or a friend from your class.

5. Use all resources given: No one knows the exam better than the professor. If your professor gives you any resources, take advantage of them (there is a reason why they are giving it to you)!

6. Stay healthy: Be sure to eat nutrient rich meals and stay active. This will help control stress, keep your emotions stable, and raise your energy levels.

7. Don’t Cram: Studies show that cramming right before an exam wont help you do well. It is best to study in intervals; study for 20 minutes, take a 5-minute break, and repeat. This helps you retain information longer and more effectively than if you were to cram.

8. Find your study spot: Everyone has different study habits, and location plays a role in that. Find a spot where you can really hunker down and do your best work. Whether it’s in your dorm room, a coffee shop, the library, or the comfort of your bed, pick a place that works for you.

beaded prom dress

How to Prepare for a Career Conference

Attending a career conference is a great way to gain insight about your field of study and learn more about what it takes to land an interview and secure a job.  Career conferences consist of multiple sessions that you can attend, each focusing on a different interest. We know career conferences can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to help you prepare for the Michigan Global Future Conference and getting the most out of this great experience!


Networking never stops. Throughout your career, you will always be meeting new people, forming professional relationships and networking. At a career conference you will be meeting students who share your interests in learning more about your industry, and employers who are there because they want to teach you. It is important to build connections with the people you meet! Business cards and resumes are a couple of things you can bring to help you network.

Dress appropriately

Make sure you dress professionally. You never know whom you will meet at a career conference, so you want to look presentable. Pick clothes that travel well and are weather appropriate, and make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to wear for an entire day.

Take notes

You are here to learn, so it is important to take notes so you can have them for reference once you leave the conference. Bring something easily transportable to take notes with, a pen and paper, tablet, or even a camera to take pictures of slides the presenters may use.

Social Media

Interacting on social media is a great way to get involved and interact digitally with a conference. At the Michigan Global Future conference, we will be using the hashtag #MGFD2014. If you tweet or post about something you learned or to someone you met, use the hashtag and other people who are at the conference and are also interacting can see what you have shared. It is a great way to meet people and get noticed on social networks.

By following these tips, you will be making the most out of your career conference experience! We hope you have fun at the Michigan Global Future Conference!

Suit Up for Success: What to Wear for Your Job Interview


You have a job interview coming up. You’ve researched the company, prepared yourself for those tough interview questions and now comes challenge of what to wear. First impressions are everything and how you dress is major part of it.

When deciding what is appropriate, always dress more professionally than you think. For males the best option is to wear a suit unless the company is not as professional. In that case you could wear dress pants and a button down shirt with a tie. Also note that accessories for men are important as well. Make sure you wear the proper shoes to match your outfit; you would never wear tennis shoes with a suit. And of course, personal grooming to match a professional environment is essential.

For women, dressing for an interview is more complex due to the combination of professional clothing available. The skirt suit is a good professional attire choice; dress pants and a blazer with a coordinated blouse is also ideal. Accessories for women are key, completing an interview outfit. Jewelry should complement your outfit without being too flashy. Neatly manicured nails and well-done hair are also an asset.

When the workplace or position is less formal, the dress code may be as well. Remember to dress for the position you want and never go dressed as a slob. You are not only projecting your fashion choices through your outfit, but also your work ethic.