Hiring managers scan hundreds of resumes in a day and the screening process – even for a single position – can often be a lengthy process. While skilled recruiters are adept at reading, analyzing and looking for pertinent information, the process is often time-consuming. However, manually scanning resumes for errors is still a crucial step towards shortlisting candidates for the next step in the hiring process.


Recruiters should learn to look out for resume mistakes that often signal red flags. Confusing flow of content, unwarranted overconfidence and too many clichés are all warning signs of unsuitable resumes. What’s more, if you know what red flags to look out for, you can shortlist the best candidates quickly and reduce the chances of a bad hire.


Identifying errors in resumes helps streamline the hiring process and select candidates who are a good fit for the job.


Red Flags in Resumes That Every Recruiter Should Look Out For


Overly Lengthy CVs

Reading through a long resume is not only tedious, it also shows the applicant lacks concise communication skills and is unlikely to fit in with a team environment.


Vague or Generic Resumes

Inadequate, bland or non-existent job descriptions count as a big red flag as the resume fails to provide information regarding roles, responsibilities and specific experience.


Unexplained Employment Gaps

While employment gaps often happen for legitimate reasons, unexplained gaps could signal deeper issues. The candidate may have the requisite qualifications but may lack up-to-date skills or the training required. Make further inquiries to find out the context before making a decision.


Poor Formatting Grammar or Spelling

Poor formatting – a prominent red flag – indicates lack of attention, care and professionalism. A resume should be easy to read, legible and error-free.


Lack of Achievements and Accomplishments 

An interested candidate should be able to highlight specific metrics, achievements and results to support their candidacy.


Learn to Read Between the Lines and Follow up Where Necessary


In order to ensure you make a good hire, you must review every resume and cover letter carefully. What’s more, you want to ensure your applicants’ credentials match the job requirements. Look for concise content, longevity in job roles and focus on key skills. Early identification of irregularities also helps highlight personal and professional strengths, weaknesses, attitudes and characteristics of the candidate.

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