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Success is a choice. When we focus on the outcome of success, rather than the fear of failure, we choose to succeed by our actions.

Key Issues Flagged by Resume Readers and How to Address Them

In today’s competitive job market, having a polished resume that passes through resume readers (ATS - Applicant Tracking Systems) is crucial. Here are some common issues flagged by these systems and tips on how to address them effectively.

1. Repeated Use of Words

Issue: Resume readers often flag the repetitive use of certain words, which can make your resume seem monotonous and less engaging.

Tip: Use a thesaurus to find synonyms and vary your language. For instance, instead of repeatedly using "developed," alternate with "created," "designed," "formulated," or "engineered." This not only makes your resume more interesting but also showcases your vocabulary.

2. Repeated Sentence Structure

Issue: Using the same sentence structure throughout your resume can make it sound mechanical and boring.

Tip: Mix up your sentence structures. Start some sentences with action verbs, others with achievements or metrics. For example:

  • "Designed and implemented a new UX framework..."
  • "Achieved a 30% increase in user engagement by..."

3. Weak Verbs

Issue: Weak verbs like "was responsible for" or "handled" do not convey strong actions.

Tip: Use powerful action verbs to describe your responsibilities and achievements. Words like "led," "spearheaded," "engineered," "enhanced," and "optimized" are more impactful and convey a sense of accomplishment.

4. Personal Pronouns

Issue: Modern resumes should avoid personal pronouns like "I," "me," "my," etc., to maintain a professional tone.

Tip: Write your resume in a third-person implied style. For example, instead of "I managed a team of five," write "Managed a team of five."

5. Buzzwords

Issue: Overusing buzzwords like "innovative," "committed," and "passionate" can make your resume sound generic.

Tip: Focus on specific achievements and quantifiable results instead of generic descriptors. For instance, instead of "committed to improving user experience," write "Improved user experience by 40% through user-centered design practices."

6. Lack of Metrics

Issue: Resumes that lack quantifiable metrics can appear vague and unimpressive.

Tip: Wherever possible, include numbers and percentages to quantify your achievements. For example, "Increased sales by 25%," "Reduced processing time by 30%," or "Managed a budget of $1 million."

7. Passive Voice

Issue: Using passive voice can make your resume sound less dynamic and engaging.

Tip: Use active voice to make your resume more direct and impactful. Instead of "The project was completed by the team," write "Led the team to complete the project."

8. Inconsistent Formatting

Issue: Inconsistent fonts, bullet points, and spacing can make your resume look unprofessional.

Tip: Ensure your resume has a consistent format throughout. Use the same font type and size for headings, subheadings, and body text. Align bullet points and use consistent spacing between sections.

9. Overly Long Resumes

Issue: Resumes that are too long can lose the reader’s attention and may be cut off by ATS.

Tip: Aim for a concise resume, ideally one to two pages. Focus on the most relevant and recent experiences. Use bullet points to keep descriptions brief and to the point.

10. Lack of Keywords

Issue: Not including enough relevant keywords can result in your resume being filtered out by ATS.

Tip: Use keywords from the job description throughout your resume. Tailor your resume for each job application by incorporating relevant industry terms and skills.

Final Thoughts

By addressing these common issues, you can create a resume that not only passes through resume readers but also stands out to hiring managers. Remember to review and revise your resume regularly to ensure it stays current and relevant to the positions you’re applying for.


Feel free to adjust this article as needed or let me know if there are any specific points you'd like to add!

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