Home > Run and Grow > Human Resources > 3 Big Red Flags to Watch for When Reviewing Resumes

3 Big Red Flags to Watch for When Reviewing Resumes

By: Parker Davis


Red Flags When Reviewing Resumes

If your team is growing, it’s likely you’ve already looked at a few resumes. If you’re anything like the common recruiter, you’re only reviewing applicants’ resumes for 6 seconds before judging them and making a decision.

Here are 3 resume mistakes that indicate you should eliminate an application from your consideration.

No customization? Don’t follow up

Customization is key when it comes to finding the right applicant. More likely than not, you can tell when you get a canned response that 20+ other hiring companies did.

Make sure you read thoroughly through a resume. Look for keywords you included in your job description; if your applicant is smart, they will go out of their way to use them.

Another key is a cover letter. Including one shows a willingness to go the extra step and indicates genuine interest in the position. Make sure to pay close attention to this, as well. If the cover letter feels like the applicant just used CTRL F to switch out a job title, then they probably did.

Do they demonstrate their previous experience with real examples about how it can apply to your position? Do they show some personality in their copy? The applicant should have done some research about your company culture; do they reflect that knowledge in their application?

Look for someone who took that extra time. You’ll be happy about the results.

Be wary of padded resumes

Customization is important, but you should look for applicants with straightforward information on their resumes.

A bad sign is a resume that goes over 2 pages. Professionals with years of work experience can keep their resumes on 1 page, so anything more than indicates skill padding. (Everyone knows how to use Microsoft Office, but you’ll probably see it a lot on resumes. That’s a bad sign!)

Skills should be clear and demonstrate direct value at previous positions. Numbers and measurable results are excellent; vague statements are not. If a job position has more than 3 bullet points, the applicant is probably stalling.

Oversharing is a bad sign

This tip sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many resumes include social media information. That information should make or break it for applicants. If someone includes it on their resume, absolutely check those accounts before moving forward.

After all, this person might be representing your company in the future. A public account that shows off their weekend volunteering is one thing, but snapshots from a night out say something very different.

Make sure that their online presence is in line with your company’s culture and values. (If social media handles aren’t included, still Google every applicant you’re seriously considering! At the very least, you’ll find their LinkedIn profile and can get a better sense of their personality from there.)

Another example: there’s a popular resume template floating around that has you rate your skills. I’ve seen resumes that list skills like data entry, copywriting, market analysis and then give a rating for each like “good,” “very good,” or “excellent.”

This should warrant a full stop. The candidate essentially just told you their weak spots! If you think this is something that can be worked around, that’s a different story, but overall it indicates poor judgement and lack of foresight.

Find your perfect candidate

Hiring is stressful enough! Eliminate some of the guess work by keeping your eye out for these mistakes. They indicate inexperience, poor judgement, or laziness, and I assume those are not traits you want in your newest team member.

Finding the right candidate is challenging, but it’ll be worth it when you do.

Published: November 22, 2019

Trending Articles

Stay up to date with
Parker Davis

Parker Davis

Parker Davis is the CEO of Nexa, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Nexa achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him on Twitter @callnexa and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Related Articles