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9 Resume Red Flags to Look Out For

By Marga Salvador on April 22, 2016

We're all aware of the resume headaches that come in the form of juvenile email addresses, spelling errors, and impractical fonts. It's an automatic response for recruiters to give demerits for basic mistakes like those but they aren't necessarily deal breakers. Furthermore, sneaky jobseekers know better than to fall victim to such amateur errors.  They've found ways to make sure their resume slips through the cracks and with the number of resumes that recruiters need to review, it's not an impossible feat.

Watch out for these 9 resume red flags hiding beneath the text.

1. Stating everything but accomplishments

(Source: imgflip)

The candidate can describe his job, great. But that isn't what you need to know. You want to see what s/he is capable of and what s/he can accomplish. If they omit that kind of information, it could mean 1) they don't have accomplishments to list down or 2) they're hiding something. Jobseekers want the information on their resume to land them an interview, it only makes sense to omit application detractors.

2. TMI

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There are worse things than sharing too much information but when a candidate shares excessieve personal information on their resume, which will be assessed and evaluated by strangers, it speaks of their ability (or lack thereof) to separate the necessary from the superfluous. It's not a deal breaker but it's not a deal maker either.

3. "Forgetting" to include dates

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Unless you are a serial job hopper, it's not likely that you would forget the dates (or range of dates) when you worked at previous jobs.  When candidates "forget" to list them down, it looks like they're trying to hide something. Relevant dates are a must on any resume.

4. Too many jobs

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Some people might think that this is desirable and that having many jobs equates to wide experience and skills. While this might be true, it could also be a clear indicator of a serial job hopper and if you hire one, you can also expect to (eventually) lose them too.

5. "Proficient in Microsoft Office"

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When applicants list this down, they are stalling. In this day and age, everyone is proficient in Microsoft Office and if you actually aren't, then there's a problem.

6. Vague wording

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We don't have time for beating around the bush. In college, students use big words that make them sound smart and it takes a while for them to understand that this isn't sustainable. They might be trying to impress potential employers but they end up communicating nothing instead of getting the point across.

7. Objectives

(Source: memegenerator)
(Source: memegenerator)

"I already know your objective is to get a job at my company -- that’s why you sent in your resume. If you have a different objective, don’t tell me. We sometimes see objectives for jobs other than the one in question. If you want to be a newscaster, why are you applying to my startup?"

-Zach Clayton, Three Ships Media

8. References

(Source: anitaclew)
(Source: anitaclew)

When a candidate doesn't list immediate supervisors, they might have had bad working relationships or trouble getting along with them. It's important to look at who candidates are referring to you. As the potential employer, it's of great relevance to know how candidates are as, well, workers.

9. Two Pages


"If you can't fit your accomplishments on a single page, then I am worried about your ability to be concise with any task."

-Josh Weiss, Bluegala

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