• Kwan Segal

Resume Mistakes International Student Must Avoid

Updated: Oct 11, 2019



Why do you need a resume?

First of all, it’s a “fact sheet” that lists your qualifications, experiences, skills, and achievements.

Second, it’s a career branding tool that shows recruiters who you are. The purpose of a resume is to make recruiters want to learn more about you and get you an interview. While all resumes share the same basic elements—such as contact information, education, experience and skills—the winning ones avoid the following mistakes. As an international student, make sure you understand what to avoid when writing your U.S resume.

1. Inappropriate language:

It might be hard for international students to choose the appropriate tone for their various written materials. The rule of thumb for a resume is to be subjective and neutral. Do not use casual, daily conversational language or clichés such as “climb the career ladder," “think outside the box,” or “go-to person." However, you shouldn't sound like a robot by filling your resume with lots of technical jargon and industry-specific acronyms.

2. Your personal information and photo:

Don’t include anything beyond your physical address, email address, cell phone number, and the URL to your LinkedIn profile.

That means you shouldn't include your marital status, age, religion, and anything else of a personal nature. This information will only distract employers from your key messages and open the door to unnecessary prejudices. On top of that, your photo might send your resume to the trash since ATS can’t understand the format.

3. Irrelevant experience:

The key to a strong resume? "Less is More." Do not include experience If all of your past jobs are relevant but located in your home country, leave out their location in your resume.

4. Mentioning work authorization:

You might want to be straightforward about your visa status, but some employers are hesitant to hire international students and are not willing to go through the sponsorship procedure. They might just turn your resume down without considering your ability and potential. Do not mention work authorization in your resume or during interviews. You are authorized to work with your CPT and OPT. Just use them and do not bring up the H1B requirement until you have landed a job.

5. Typos and grammar mistakes:

First, make sure you use past tense for all past jobs and present tense for your current job. Try to construct grammatically correct sentences. You might want to go to your school’s career management center or writing center, or hire a professional editor to proofread your resume, before uploading it.


Actually, there are the other seven tips that I'd like you to learn.

Please go to our Mini Course and take the course for free!

All the best with your career search in the U.S.!

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