A former Amazon recruiter says one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is putting Miss America-style statements in résumés

A former Amazon recruiter says one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is putting Miss America-style statements in résumés
Many people forget to quantify their achievements in résumés. brizmaker/Getty Images
  • An ex-Amazon recruiter says a key mistake job candidates make is writing vague statements in résumés.
  • She compares these to "Miss America answers" that don't highlight specific achievements.

A former Amazon recruiter says there’s one mistake that she keeps seeing both junior and senior employees making in their résumés: writing vague statements.

Lindsay Mustain — a former Comcast and Amazon recruiter and now CEO of Talent Paradigm — compared these statements to what she’d imagine hearing at a Miss America pageant in a recent interview with CNBC Make It.

It’s a simple response describing what you do in your role without highlighting your accomplishments, she said — using: "I had stakeholder meetings with people," as an example.

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Mustain says those types of answers make a résumé look "like a glorified job description," adding that it’s not just junior employees but C-suite execs who are also guilty of this.

Instead, she suggests quantifying your accomplishments, so you have numbers to back up how you helped a company move forward.


The "more metrics and analytics you can add to your résumé, the more impressive," she said.

Recruiters often deal with tens of thousands of applicants, so a results-based résumé is more effective as the reviewers quickly get a sense of how much value you added to a role, she said.

Eugene Hayden, who has worked at companies like Google, KPMG, and the Boston Consulting Group, previously reviewed over 800 résumés to help people in his network who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most common mistake he found in the résumés he reviewed was a lack of quantifiable achievements, with 86% of résumés having this issue, he said.

"Hiring managers and recruiters are looking for people who perfectly fit the role and are able to achieve goals and evaluate their personal impact.


The best résumé is the one that shows how you are perfectly qualified for the job to which you are applying,” he previously wrote for Business Insider.