Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » 3 Techniques to Avoid a Boring, Never-Gets-Read Resume

Writing resumes can be tedious—and even stressful at times.  If any of us could help it, we’d probably write one resume, create a blanket e-mail that read, “Here I am!  Hire me!”, add the e-mail address of every hiring manager on the planet, and then hit send.

But we know this isn’t the way to go—which is why we create different resumes for each job.  The problem is, that oftentimes our resumes manage to look the same anyway because we don’t take the time to personalize each one.  If your resume looks like a boring laundry list, it’s time to make some changes—and fast!  Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you write:

Duty-Oriented Phrases Aren’t the Way to Go

A resume can easily turn into a boring laundry list if duty-oriented phrases are used.  What’s a duty-oriented phrase?  They typically read like this: “Duties included …” or “I was responsible for …”

There are two problems with using these phrases.  The first is that they don’t say what you actually did; they just say what others told you to do.  The other is … they’re boring!

To fix this problem, it’s good to use action words that tell what you did—like designed, guided, edited, marketed, researched, composed, etc.  The more descriptive you are in your wording, the easier it is to avoid the laundry list look.

A Master Resume Helps You Expand

If you’re not familiar with a master resume, now’s the time to get acquainted with this great organizational tool.  It allows you to list all aspects of your career in one place so that when it’s time to create resumes based on specific skills, you can just pull what you need from this one location.

A master resume works wonders in helping you avoid a laundry list-style resume.  Since you will already have access to all of your past skills, you’ll have less remembering to do and more time to creatively match those skills to the position for which you’re applying.

Really Think About Why You’re Applying

It’s really important as a job seeker to sit down and think about why you’re applying for a job—every single time you apply for a new one.  Sure, you may want to have an income, but you’d better come up with something more than this if you want to be hired.

Ask yourself why you’re really applying for this job and take time to think about what you can contribute.  If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to convince an employer that they should hire you.

Hopefully you can find inspiration during your resume-writing process to help you avoid creating a laundry list.  The last thing you want is for a hiring manager to doze off while reading.  Or worse, toss your resume right into the “You’re Rejected” stack.

Global resume authority Jessica Hernandez of is a former HR Manager who partners with professional- and executive-level candidates to create authentic, branded resumes and cover letters.  An international resume columnist and resume expert for JobTalkAmerica radio, her work opens doors to lucrative positions at Fortune 500 companies.


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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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