Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » 5 Elements of a Mediocre Resume – Hello Again, Trash Can …

Has a lackluster resume response rate left you wondering if your resume or the job market is to blame for your shortage of interviews? Take a quick look at my list of five basics of a mediocre resume to help determine if your resume is to blame for your interview famine.

Mediocre Resume Component #1 – A vanilla, undistinguished introduction or profile. If the introductory statement on your resume could describe someone else—anyone else besides you—then you haven’t branded or customized your introductory statement well enough.

Mediocre Resume Component #2 – An omitted job target or job title. By neglecting to include a job title or target job position at the beginning of your resume you’re making the employer guess which position you’re applying to and what you’re qualified to do.

Mediocre Resume Component #3 – A schizophrenic keyword issue. A keyword, core competency/core skills section that lists out keywords in bulleted form at the top of the resume is great. Unless those keywords bounce between multiple industries and positions. In which case you’re just confusing the hiring manager. Confusing resumes end up in the trash can.

Mediocre Resume Component #4 – Unremarkable, run-of-the-mill content. Even the best performance and greatest results can look unexceptional when written in passive terms. Avoid the trap of writing duties- and responsibility-based content. Instead, position yourself as the desirable candidate by writing challenge, action, results statements that prove your value and significance.

Mediocre Resume Component #5 – Insufficient Personal Branding. Sought-after candidates are those who best market their knowledge, skills, and abilities to the needs of the employer. Submit resumes that reveal your ability to surpass the need of the employer. By doing so you’re positioning yourself as the preferred candidate.

I hope you’ll take these five points and review your resume for opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, the goal is to create a resume that generates interviews for the position you want. After reviewing the list above, if you’d like an expert resume writer to position you as the sought-after candidate for the position you want contact us today. We guarantee interviews within 60 days.

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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!


  1. Rami Kaawach on January 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Short and sweet! Wonderful advice here for all active job seekers or individuals looking to dust off that resume and change a few things. Pay attention to numbers 1 and 5…those could make or break your resume!

    Thanks for sharing!

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