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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: What to Look for on Resumes

Posted by Natalie Pike on February 25, 2015

When hiring, a resume is typically the first thing you see dropped off on your desk or popped up in your inbox. It's the candidate's first chance to stick out and make a good (or bad) impression. Resumes are the starting point of the interview process and it's important to know exactly what you should be looking for.

The Good23043506_ml

  • One Page: Candidates should know not to take up too much of your time. Their resume should be as simple as possible. If their resume doesn't exceed one page, they're off to a good start.
  • No Objective: We all know the applicant wants the job. We don't need to know what job they're applying for. An objective is just a line that takes up space and reiterates what we already know. 
  • Accomplishment Orientated: According to Career Cup, a company that offers tools to help engineers prep for interviews, "bullets should focus on accomplishments - that is, the impact the applicant had - rather than their responsibilities."

The Bad

  • High School Jobs: These should rarely be posted on a resume. If you see a list of these, take a look at their education. The only exception to this is if they only have a high school degree. 
  • The Unprofessional Email: The Yahoo, Hotmail and AOL email addresses are red flags to look for on resumes. Okay, so I used to go by swimmingrulez@hotmail.com, but the past is the past people! They Good_the_bad_and_the_ugly_posterwere acceptable a few years back, but it's time for everyone to create a more professional email address (gmail.com) as soon as possible. 
  • A photo: This also falls into the "Bad" category because it is acceptable in some circumstances. Say you are hiring for an acting or modeling position. Obviously, you want to know what the applicant looks like. In any other case, see a photo? Toss it in the garbage.  

The Ugly

  • Poor Grammar and Misspellings: There is this functionality on all computers called Spell Check. If an applicant decides not to use it or not re-read their resume 10 times, it's their own fault. This is the #1 no-no to look for on resumes.
  • A Second Page: Refer to bullet point number one. 
  • References: This is a whole separate section of the interview process. If a candidate is listing their references on their resume, they are using them as a space filler because of their lack of experience.  

Reviewing resumes efficiently is the first step in hiring a better team. Keep all of these tips and tricks in mind when filtering through resumes. The signs of a good or bad hire are right in front of you and noticing them will make or break your next hiring decision. 

Dig deeper and find out even more red flags on resumes by reading our complimentary eBook!

15 red flags on resumes

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Interviewing Help, How to Hire, Hiring Tips, Hiring


Natalie Pike

About the Author

Natalie is Hireology's Inbound Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite topics to write about are how to hire millennials, building a strong company culture, and employee engagement. She is a Purdue University graduate (Boiler up!), social media junkie and avid iced coffee drinker.