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4 Resume Red Flags to Notice

A well-crafted job description within a snappy job posting has resulted in a bevy of resumes. Perfect. Now, to wade through the thick pile of documents highlighting each candidate’s characteristics, skills, and experience. Daunting –but necessary.

This time-honored tool (resumes) in the recruiting and hiring process means grabbing an employer’s attention via a clear, concise overview of the candidate and their qualifications. Of course, the fact is that everyone can look good on paper. Wise recruiters and hiring managers understand the need to read between the lines to unmask potential red flags and discover an accurate picture of the candidate.

Red flags such as—

1. Resume inconsistencies

To focus on the positives and shoo attention away from the negatives, a candidate may pad the resume by adding false or exaggerated information to enhance his/her credentials for a particular job. Doing so may create inconsistencies between the details highlighted on the resume and the candidate’s LinkedIn account. It could be that things seem a bit off between the cover letter and the resume as well. When possible, a recruiter should validate the information on the resume.

2. Frequent job changes

If an applicant’s resume suggests a pattern of “bouncing all over the place,” for many hiring managers, that’s a fast and immediate pass. Most feel it’s simply too costly, in both time and money, to invest in an employee who tends to seek other employment in a matter of months. At the very least, one should inquire about the reason(s) for the candidate’s history of short-term positions. A legitimate reason would be engagement in temporary assignments while waiting for a permanent position. “Things just didn’t work out . . .” should indeed raise a red flag. (We are not suggesting that you automatically ditch a resume due to frequent job changes. We are saying to bring it to the table. The reasons may be legit, and the candidate may be your best choice.)

3. Career regression or a lack of progress in a chosen field

While some workers choose to remain –and experience success – in a position at a level they enjoy, others remain stagnant or even experience demotions. Why? Often, it’s due to a lack of motivation, a lackadaisical attitude toward their responsibilities, a less-than-appealing demeanor, or a combination of all three factors. Being content and successful is one thing while a ho-hum, whatever approach should raise concerns for a potential employer.

4. A gimmicky, artsy, flashy resume

When a candidate seeks to attract attention via a resume full of color—the paper and or/the ink—pictures, fancy formatting, and the like, one has to wonder, why? Unless the open position involves graphic design, and even then, one can go overboard, there’s no reason to submit a resume that strays from the traditional, concise format. Of course, you may be dealing with a misinformed candidate trying to attract your attention, but beware –the candidate’s purpose may be to create a distraction that will draw attention away from their lack of qualifications, shady employment record, or some other negative aspect. And in that case, the red flag should be flapping mightily.

A.R. Mazzotta is Here to Help with Your Hiring Process

It’s no secret that two of the most time-consuming tasks for hiring managers are job posting and resume screening. The good news is that A.R. Mazzotta can help with both. Our resume screening and job posting services are designed for employers with limited time and resources to advertise job openings and review resumes effectively. Let our team do the legwork, so you can focus on managing the business.

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