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Are You Ignoring These Resume Red Flags?

Pinnacle HR & Recruiting Advice, Management Best Practices Leave a Comment

“Why did I ever hire this person?”

“This employee has been so much trouble.”

“Do I need to let this person go?”

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? If so, you understand that hindsight truly is 20/20. A job candidate can easily seem like a perfect fit for a position but prove to be a pain in the neck. To prevent undue employee turnover, hiring managers should learn to spot resume red flags like the ones mentioned below.

Resume Red Flag #1 – Employment Gaps

The ability to hold down a job for a sustained period of time is an essential quality in a job candidate. Employment gaps may reveal someone’s insufficiency in this area. 5 Resume Red Flags for Employers stated,

“These gaps include dates of employment listed only in years so that the actual day and month of employment ending are masked. An employment gap is not an impossible obstacle when you are hiring an employee, but if the applicant fails to explain the gap on the resume or cover letter, ask. In fact, this is a critical question to ask in your telephone interview before you invest staff time in an interview onsite.”

Don’t jump to conclusions over a candidate’s employment gaps, but do make a mental note to ask him or her about them.

Resume Red Flag #2 – Poor Grammar and Formatting

Grammar is not everyone’s forte. Still, all those seeking a job should have their resume looked over to ensure it contains no improper grammar and is formatted correctly. When a resume is poorly constructed, it shows a lack of care on the part of a job seeker. After all, it only takes slight effort to email a resume to grammar-savvy friends who can clean it up.

Resume Red Flag #3 – Changing Jobs Frequently

If a candidate has had many jobs, and you are seeking a long-term employee, he or she may not be the best fit for your company. Although the average person will change jobs about twelve times in his or her lifetime, some people switch careers even more often than that. If indicated on a resume, this could be considered a warning sign.

Caveat: in some fields, frequent job changes are to be expected. How to Spot Red Flag Warnings on Resumes stated, “As you look at resumes you will want to get a good feel for the candidate’s stability, reliability, expectations, and maturity. There may be a very good reason for the job changes, but you won’t know for sure unless you ask.”

Resume red flags are not necessarily deal breakers, but they should be noted. At the very least, they warrant asking a few additional questions in an interview.

As a hiring manager, what resume red flags do you encounter most often?

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