4 Red Flags to Look out for on a Candidate’s Resume

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Let’s be honest, interviewing job applicants can be a pain. No offense to the eager, fresh-faced hopefuls who just want to impress, but hearing similar answers to the same questions for hours on end can be tedious. Anything that can be done to weed out the most unpromising applicants is an important step toward improved productivity.

With that in mind, it is crucial to develop a keen sense of a person from their resume. Becoming an excellent interpreter of the subtle hints people are sharing on the resumes will save time later and avoid wasteful, and even embarrassing, encounters in the interview session.

As a step in that direction, here are four key resume red flags to look for:


  1. Frequent Job Switches

The days when a person would stick with one company for an entire career are probably long over. It’s reasonable to expect a fair amount of job hopping these days. But at a certain point, it becomes extreme. An applicant who makes a habit of aggressive job switching will probably come in with one foot already out the door. They may never end up providing enough value to make up for the expense of training them and integrating them into the position – not to mention the expense and hassle of starting the hiring process all over again when they leave.


  1. Gaps in Employment

There are lots of legitimate reasons why someone might take a timeout from their career – raising a family, taking care of a sick relative, pursuing a lifelong dream (who doesn’t have a half-finished screenplay on a jump drive somewhere). But being away from an industry for a significant period can create some challenges. The candidate might not be up to date on the latest technological advancements or might be a little behind on current best practices. This isn’t an immediate disqualification, but it is something that employers should keep in mind.


  1. Problems in the Resume Details

Beyond the information in the resume, the resume itself can serve as a glimpse into an applicant’s work habits. Imagine the resume is a work report, or a sales email to a customer. Would you find it acceptable? If not, the candidate probably isn’t worth a further look. Grammar mistakes, punctuation errors, misspellings, odd syntax or other blatant errors can signal a general lack of attention. A typical resume is only a few hundred words at best, so expecting a high level of accuracy isn’t a matter of nit-picking.


  1. Lack of Specifics

When you hire someone, you are hiring an individual. You aren’t just bringing in a person to handle a job. Hopefully, you are hiring someone who brings special qualities to the position. A resume that is all boilerplate – job descriptions, dates, position titles – suggests a candidate brings little extra to the position. A quality resume will have individual accomplishments and points of differentiation.


Looking For Your Next Great Candidate?

If you are really looking to avoid the grind of searching through resumes, a good place to go is a staffing agency. Experts like those at Qualified Staffing can help you pick the best candidate for your company more efficiently than you would acting alone. Contact us today!