4 Red Flags Recruiters are looking for on a Candidate’s Resume
When a candidate is applying for a job, the resume is the primary way in which they share their qualifications with you. So it only makes sense to take your time and make sure that the information stated on the resume is accurate.
Unfortunately, some people will lie about their skills, work history, and education in an effort to improve their chances of landing that much-dreamed-of position. While we already have a list of things you should put on your resume, today we’re going to look at 4 red flags worthy of your attention!
Frequent Job Switches
If you're like many people in today's job market, your resume will probably have several jobs listed on it. It's normal to move from one position to another, especially if you're seeking greater career satisfaction and/or advancement opportunities. But how many jobs should be listed on your resume? If there are too many, it could raise a red flag for a hiring manager.
To be clear, extreme job changes are a red flag for resumes. Employers will be wary if an applicant's resume shows frequent job changes in a short period of time, as it would indicate some type of employment issues such as frequent firings or being laid off. Even if the job changes occurred a long time ago, employers may still consider them relevant and doubt your ability to remain at the company.
Trying to find work while simultaneously employed can also pose a problem on the resume since it can lead an employer to believe you are seeking new opportunities while on the clock. If you have been searching for new employment for some time, it may be best to hold off on submitting applications until you are fully committed to a new job.
Failing to include dates on jobs listed also raises suspicion as to whether or not the applicant was employed when they claim. If you worked at your last position for two years and were not promoted, do not leave this information off your resume because it does not reflect well on you. Instead, focus on achievements that can be used to bolster your candidacy for the open position and display how your role has grown over time with your employer.
But you have to be pretty skilled in recruiting people in order to clearly distinct when a person has changed jobs to often
Other reasons why someone's resume might list many job changes:
Lack of work ethic: If an employee doesn't like their current job or their boss, they may look for something new without any regard for how it will impact their performance or the company. This can be an indicator of poor work ethics.
Moving up: Many people choose to switch jobs to get promoted within the company or move into another type of position with more responsibility. This is usually a positive sign as long as someone is being promoted within the same industry or field of expertise. However, if someone moves from one unrelated career to another (for example, salesperson to bank teller), it can send up another red flag.
Gaps in Employment
Gaps in employment, especially for a younger employee, can be a red flag for an employer. They may wonder why you left your last job and whether you were fired or quit. A gap in your work history could raise questions about your ability to be reliable.
Telling an employer about a gap in employment that was due to family illness or caring for a sick family member can help alleviate their concerns. Be prepared to explain the circumstances, including the names and contact information of any doctors or social workers who can verify your story in case the prospective employer contacts them.
An extended gap in employment is usually viewed negatively, regardless of the reason. Employers assume there must be something wrong with you if you've been out of work for so long. However, if you had no choice but to leave your job (or were unable to find one) because of an unforeseen life event such as an illness or injury, they'll likely understand why it happened.
If you're having trouble finding work because of an extended gap in employment or other reasons, consider volunteering at a nonprofit organization that works with people who have disabilities similar to yours. This will not only give you something productive to do during those months but will help you demonstrate your skills and prove to potential employers that you're a valuable worker.
A weak cover letter (watch out for typos, too much fluff, shoddy formatting)
One of the main purposes of a cover letter is to entice the reader. If your cover letter is weak, you won't be able to persuade anyone that you're worth interviewing.
The single most important thing in writing a cover letter is to make it interesting enough for the hiring manager to keep reading. In today's competitive job market, that means being brief, direct and assertive. Start with a simple statement of why you are writing and what you want. Then explain how your skills fit the job and why they should hire you. Avoid long-winded introductions that go nowhere; get right to the point and give the reader a reason to continue reading.
Don't make any mistakes in spelling or grammar, either. A badly written cover letter will mark you as an amateur who can't even take care of such basic details. And if there are typos in your resume, don't expect anyone to read it carefully!
One way to make sure your cover letter has an impact is by making it look like a professional piece of correspondence. Make it look as clean as possible and don't forget basics like proper salutations and complimentary close.
Lack of any work experience or relevant work experience
If you have a degree, but no work experience, you should be able to demonstrate that you have been doing volunteer work that is relevant to the career you are applying for. For example, if you want to be a doctor, then you should have done some volunteer work in a hospital. If you want to be an engineer, then you can do some volunteer work at a construction site or with an engineering firm. This shows the employer that they can trust you with their business because you have real-life experience in the field.
Next time you’re screening resumes, keep these red flags in mind. Although they may seem common-sense at first glance, they can be easy to miss if they’re not directly in your line of sight. Analyzing a resume from start to finish can help you spot these red flags and more quickly determine whether or not a candidate would be an ideal fit for the position.