Throughout the world of hiring managers, recruiters, and human resources there is a common feeling of mistrust when a red flag is encountered on a candidate’s resume. These red flags may indicate or be interpreted as unprofessionalism, a failure to disclose pertinent information, disloyalty, or many other negativities. If your resume includes any of these red flags it does not bode well for your chances of landing the job. The list below is not all inclusive but covers some of the most common red flags seen on resumes.
Omitting dates from your resume. Someone that omits the dates from their resume immediately sets off warning bells with the reader. Why are there no dates? What is this person trying to hide? Maybe they are a job hopper? And although age discrimination is illegal the omission of dates can raise the question of whether or not you are trying to disguise your age for some reason.
Gaps in your career history. Of all the red flags having gaps in your career history is one of the less damaging ones. Thanks to the recent economy it has become more common to find job gaps as people struggle to find employment. For this reason, it has become more accepted among employers as they understand the widespread impact among job seekers.
A lot of jobs in a short amount of time. If your career history has you bouncing from job to job consider yourself lucky that you have managed to secure continual employment. However, there will come a time when you have one job too many and a potential employer is not going to take the time and energy to employ you if your history is any indication of how long you’ll remain in the position. Whether you chose to leave your previous positions or you were let go, both reasons will reflect poorly. Either you are not a loyal employee and have no dedication to your employer or you are an inadequate employee in general and not worth hiring.
Mistakes. Mistakes happen, it’s part of life; but when you are applying for a job your resume should be as mistake free as possible. Some hiring managers have a one and done policy when it comes to mistakes, others are more forgiving. In any case, mistakes on your resume can portray you as a sloppy, careless individual; definitely not the traits you want to display to employers.
Lack of Focus. A resume that lacks focus will leave hiring managers scratching their head and wondering what the heck you want out of your career. It’s not uncommon for individuals to explore new directions in their career but when it comes to your resume you need to pull out the comparable experiences or qualifications and combine them into a common theme. You need to show potential employers that your varied experience is a plus by creating a clearly focused resume that captures your strengths and targets your desired position.
Avoiding these red flags will help your resume impress employers, position you as the ideal candidate, and hopefully land you that job!
by Megan Koehler