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5 More Red Flags to Look For in a Resume

Posted by Erin Borgerson on April 15, 2015


5 More Red Flags to Look For in a Resume

A resume is the window to a potential candidate’s soul. In fact, you can tell a lot about a candidate simply based on what they choose to include and leave out on their resume. If you’re a hiring manager or are involved in the hiring process in any way, there’s a good chance you’ve seen at least one or two of red flags on a candidates’ resume - here are just a few examples:

  1. Signs of an unstable career path

Odds are your business is looking to hire on a dedicated employee who wants to grow with your company, or at least one that will stay past the six month mark. If you notice that an applicant’s resume is all over the place with short stints at varying career fields – you may want to raise a red flag. Applicants who’ve held multiple short-term jobs across industries are probably still unsure of their career path and might be inclined to jump ship before giving themselves the proper time to get adjusted.

Look for candidates who’ve had longer stints within similar industries. You want the peace of mind that comes with hiring someone who is committed and serious about their career choice. 

  1. Too Personal

If an applicant is delving in too deep into their personal life and hobbies, it might be a sign that the applicant’s interests lie outside your business. There is a clear difference between putting a personal touch on a resume and oversharing and it is up to the applicant to appropriately tread that line.

 Perhaps the candidate is just trying to give you a better understanding of who they are, but if their sharing has nothing to do with the position then that it is definitely a red flag.      

  1. Current and past salary information

Simply put, providing unsolicited past salary information is unprofessional. Past salary information isn’t relevant at this point in the interview process and it shows that the candidate is more interested in an increase in pay rather than the position itself. 

  1. Irrelevant work experience

If an applicant hands you a resume full of irrelevant work experience - that’s a red flag. Maybe they are trying to pad their resume to make it seem more impressive, but what they are really saying is that they don’t have much experience in your field. 

Not having enough on-the-job experience isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does depend on how the applicant positions themselves. If they are able to take their irrelevant work experience and tailor it to the open position by listing similar aspects, then that demonstrates their understanding of what the job entails. However, if they just listed experience without any rhyme or reason, you’re better off looking elsewhere. 

  1. Longer than a page

The “one-page rule” has been the accepted norm for as long as there have been resumes. As a hiring manager, you probably wear many hats in your organization and you barley have time to look through a one-page resume, let alone anything longer. If the resume is longer than a page, odds are the content is not completely relevant and the candidate is wasting your time with other red flags (see numbers 2 and 4 above).

Resumes are a great tool to help you determine if a candidate is the right fit for your business as well as help you weed out those who aren’t. These were just a few examples of things to watch out for, to see the full list check out our eBook titled 15 Red Flags to look for on Resumes to help give you insights into which resumes are worth your time.

For more information on how Hireology can help your businesses hiring needs, contact us today

15 red flags on resumes

Franchise Hiring, Hiring Tips, Hiring

Erin Borgerson

About the Author

Erin is the Director of Marketing, Crisis Controller and Culture Ambassador (the last two titles she gave to herself) who joined the Hireology team in April of 2012. As a certified Inbound Marketer, Erin manages Hireology's marketing department, the Hireology Blog, and media relations. She is also a co-leader of the Chicago Hubspot User Group which brings together Hubspot users from around the Chicagoland area. Erin set off to Chicago after graduating from Western Michigan University. In her spare time she can be found shaking it in a Zumba class, reading a bestseller, or drinking a craft beer on her Wrigleyville porch.