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!

Upwardly Global Seeking Intern

Upwardly Global, founded in 2000, is a national and award-winning nonprofit organization with offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Detroit. Upwardly Global helps work-authorized, skilled immigrants rebuild their professional careers in the U.S. by providing professional job-search training and access to employers with global talent needs.

Upwardly Global is steadfast in its core belief in the potential of immigrant professionals and the power of employers to create large-scale social change while achieving bottom line results. We pride ourselves on fostering a culture of results-orientation, entrepreneurial spirit, and a sense of the possible.  For more information about the organization, please visit

Description: The Michigan Program Assistant Intern is an initially unpaid position that will be responsible for providing administrative and program support to the new Upwardly Global Michigan office. The ideal candidate will be a highly professional, resourceful, and a self-motivated individual who wants to both contribute to and grow with Upwardly Global.

Additional Skills Required:

  • Some experience as a program or administrative assistant required
  • Some experience conducting phone outreach or client services to diverse populations preferred
  • Excellent English communication skills including writing skills
  • High level of computer proficiency with MS Office and familiarity with databases such as Salesforce
  • High level of organization and attention to detail
  • Strong ability to work autonomously, multi-task, and prioritize
  • Commit to 15-20 hours per week, schedule TBD. 3-6 month commitment.

Breakout of Responsibilities:


  • Manage onboarding process for Upwardly Global’s Michigan applicants to verify their qualifications and information
  • Support basic Salesforce data entry projects
  • Conduct research on industry- or employer-specific job postings in support of Online team
  • Help to answer incoming phones and direct calls to staff


  • Call candidates to confirm training participation or encourage to continue with training
  • Promote and register candidates for all workshops (e.g. sending out email announcements and reminders, registering JS on database, coordinating resumes, job descriptions, volunteer training materials etc.)
  • Conduct check-in calls with last year’s online participants to uncover job placements or updates
  • Meet weekly with supervisor to review workload
  • Additional event planning support as necessary


  • Coordinate alumni videos for organizational marketing use, including success stories and interview question videos
  • Compile and distribute training resources to jobseekers after training completion via email
  • Research and create new employer profiles in Salesforce based on the companies where alumni have found work and connect to alumni profiles

For consideration, please submit resume and cover letter to Annie Fenton, Senior Program Associate, at



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.



Career Opportunity with Czarnowski: Project Manager

Job Description


Job Title: Project Manager

Department: Production

Date: October, 2014

Reports to:  Operations Manager

FLSA Status:  Full-time

Position Summary

A Project Manager is responsible for overseeing the daily functions to plan, coordinate, implement and finalize production projects according to projects specifications and guidelines all while keeping the project within budget with on time deliverables. Performs other related assignments or duties as required. A comprehensive understanding of various construction methodologies.

Essential Functions

This position involves working closely with all interoffice disciplines including account services, design, graphics, engineering, onsite services, accounting, executive management and occasional client interaction. This position requires effective team communication and collaboration. Project Manager to lead projects from start to finish with minimal guidance. Ability to prioritize and muli-task


  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Developing and tracking budgets
  • Estimating
  • Continually explore opportunities to add value to process and job accomplishments
  • Planning
  • Provides calendar support, critical paths, work scheduling and facilitating weekly meetings
  • Manage projects to time lines and budget constraints
  • Define project scope, objectives and deliverables
  • Extensive collaboration and communication with project vendors and fabrication facilities
  • Develops full-scale project plans and associated documentation
  • Provides effective leadership
  • Drives issues to resolution using escalation where appropriate
  • Proactively manages changes in project scope
  • Identifies potential risks and develops effective response plans
  • Performs other duties as assigned
  • Meets financial objective by forecasting, preparing annual budgets, reconciling projects, analyzing variances, initiating corrective actions
  • Ensuring quality control throughout projects cycle
  • Develop and facilitate weekly team meetings
  • Work in a team environment
  • Global working experience required
  • Have an expert knowledge of the Chinese language and English language
  • Have capabilities to work in both the United States and China with permanent residence in one of the two countries


  • Advanced computer proficiency
  • Competency with email
  • Competency with word
  • Competency with spreadsheet software (excel)

Experience and Education Requirements

  • High school graduation
  • Graduate in applicable field of study with a bachelor’s degree or experience specific to the field of work

Physical and Environmental Conditions

The work environment characteristics described here is representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform their essential functions.

While performing the duties for this job, the employee is frequently required to sit for extended periods, see to read and analyze complex graphical data, and hear and speak to exchange information. The employee is required to frequently use hands and fingers to control equipment. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Work is typically performed in an office, which is busy, oriented to client service and subject to constant work interruptions. Employees may work under the stress of continual interdepartmental contacts and pressure meet timelines.

Travel within the United States and globally is required. Ability to obtain a passport, foreign visas, and travel by air is required.

Application Materials

Submittal of resume required, portfolio strongly recommended. References may be requested.


Note: This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee. He or she will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by his or her supervisor.


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