I’ve reviewed 800 resumes in 65 hours to finish the second Resume Marathon

Here are common mistakes and how to fix them

OCTOBER 15 — NOVEMBER 1:

Hey everyone, I hope your day is amazing. I’ve finished checking 800 resumes and here are 6 insights that may help you to upgrade your resume

I find these mistakes pretty often during reviews:

1. Lack of quantifiable achievements (85% of resumes had this issue)

2. Repetition of action verbs (72%)

3. Weak action verbs (56%)

4. Responsibilities are not accomplishments (32%)

5. Resume length is too short/long (17%)

6. Couldn’t parse data (2.5% will never be seen by recruiters)

Here’s how to fix them. Six easy rules will do it:

💡 Quantify each bullet point (if you can), e.g. “Deployed XYZ at 90+ Telecom operators in 80+ countries; processed 1 Billion+ messages per year”

DON’T describe your experience without giving numbers, percentages or values

DO: Quantify your biggest achievements

💡 Be creative and use synonyms, instead of saying “developed” multiple times, consider using “designed”, “innovated”, “advanced”, “automated” etc.

DON’T duplicate action verbs or make it verbose

DO: Use strong action verbs and make it straight to the point

💡 Start with a strong action verb, e.g. “Improved“, “Led”, “Managed”, “Spearheaded” etc., say “Improved X by 10% doing Y and Z”

DON’T use weak verbs that describe processes rather than achievements

DO: Use verbs that demonstrate your quantifiable impact

💡 Your resume is a story about the results, not responsibilities. Put the most exciting bullet points on top

DON’T describe what were your responsibilities

DO: Demonstrate your impact and start with the most important achievements

💡 Cut back everything that’s irrelevant to getting the job. A recommended size of a resume is 450–650 words

DON’T use long paragraphs of text, this is not an essay

DO: Use 2–5 bullet points (1–3 lines each)

💡 Use correct section titles, e.g. “Work Experience”, instead of “Work Experience >6.5 years” or “Professional Exposure“. Never use tables, charts, icons or images of any kind

DON’T use tables, charts, icons or images of any kind

DO: Show multiple dimensions of your experience: product, engineering and leadership

All applicants should receive a reply from me by now, please check your mailbox. Otherwise, contact me. I organize Marathons eventually, please follow my updates on LinkedIn

Here are the results and overall scores 0–100:

Mean: 59.7/100, Mode: 72/100, Median: 65/100, Standard Deviation: 21.9

85th percentile — 82, 90th percentile — 85, 95th percentile — 89, 99th percentile — 93.5

If you need my premium resume reviews and ATS/keyword optimization to make your resume shine, please submit the form on my website (www.eugenehayden.com/marathon2), please scroll to the bottom. And I will follow up with quotes, a timeline and ideas on how I can make it better.

For those, who joined the Marathon, thanks for your participation!

Eugene is passionate about advanced analytics, business intelligence, strategy, and operations.

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