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Resume Red Flags to Look for When Looking to Hire

In the current market, finding the right candidate involves sifting through countless resumes. While navigating the sea of qualifications and experiences, certain resume red flags should signal potential concerns about a candidate.

Identifying these red flags early in the hiring process can save time and resources, as well as prevent future headaches. If you’re not sure what to watch out for, here’s a look at some resume red flags you shouldn’t ignore.

Frequent Job Changes Without Progression

One of the most telling resume red flags is a history of frequent job changes without any clear progression in roles or responsibilities. While the modern career path can include various positions across different industries, a resume that displays a pattern of short stints at multiple companies without upward mobility may indicate a lack of commitment or an inability to grow within a role.

It’s essential to distinguish between a candidate who seeks diverse experiences to build skills and one who leaves positions due to performance issues or dissatisfaction. Take time to see if the job seeker has grown with every transition, and if not, exercise caution before pursuing them.

Unexplained Employment Gaps

Gaps in employment aren’t uncommon, so the occasional blank spot isn’t inherently problematic. However, several unexplained gaps or repeated and lengthy absences from the workforce can be a red flag.

Candidates should ideally address these gaps in their cover letter or resume, providing context and demonstrating how they used the time productively, such as through upskilling, volunteering, or other constructive activities. A lack of explanation should raise questions, at least triggering additional inquiries if you pursue them further.

Lack of Customization and Personalization

A resume that appears generic or lacks customization for the specific role can indicate a lack of effort or genuine interest in the position. In today’s competitive job market, candidates typically tailor their resumes to highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the job they’re trying to land.

If a resume fails to align with the job description or address the company’s specific needs, that could indicate that the candidate is not fully engaged in the job search process. It may also be a sign of a lack of attention to detail, which is also problematic.

Not Following Directions

If your company has clear directions for candidates applying for open positions and a job seeker doesn’t follow them, that’s a red flag. This is another potential indicator of a lack of attention to detail. It may also signal that the candidate doesn’t think the rules apply to them, and that could make them challenging to deal with if they’re hired.

Poor Formatting and Errors

A resume that is poorly formatted, difficult to read, or riddled with spelling and grammatical errors can indicate a lack of professionalism and attention to detail. In a document that serves as a candidate’s first impression, errors of that nature shouldn’t be ignored. Typically, job seekers are trying to put their best foot forward when applying to open positions, and if this represents the candidate’s best, then it’s wise to worry about how they may perform if hired.

Ultimately, all of the red flags above are something to watch for when reviewing resumes. If you’d like to learn more or want to partner with a recruiter to find exceptional candidates for your open positions, Premier Staffing Inc. wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

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