Ask Our Corporate Recruiter: Red Flags for Recruiters on Resumes

red flags on resumeEven though hiring managers take only a few seconds to review your resume, they still can spot red flags that may hinder your candidacy for an opportunity. We asked Carrie, our Senior Corporate Recruiter, some questions about these red flags, so you know what to look out for when writing and editing your resume. Here is what she had to say: 

“In your opinion, what is the biggest red flag on a resume?”

“There could be a number of things recruiters and hiring managers will see as red flags on a resume, but in my opinion, number one would be a resume with an objective statement that targets a completely different role than the one you are applying to at that time. We see this a lot in recruiting, so be sure to tailor your resume to the specific roles you are trying to land!”

“Are employment gaps deal-breakers? Even in this job market?”

“Employment gaps are not deal-breakers, but you do need to explain them. The easiest way to explain a gap is to fill it with what you have been doing while searching. For example, continuing education, part-time positions, volunteering or running a household. All of those opportunities give you a chance to highlight the transferable skills you learned or gained while being unemployed. For example, if you were the PTA Treasurer at your children’s school, you can highlight running budgets, leading meetings and helping your school achieve goals. If you do not have this option, then you should explain the gap in a cover letter, and if the gap is lengthy, I would use a functional resume. This is a document that highlights all of your experience and strengths while showing your work history toward the end.”

“What if I fib a little bit on my past job responsibilities? What would happen if recruiters find out I exaggerated?” 

“You should NEVER lie on a resume! The resume is there to show not only what you did, but how you accomplished the task. Always be honest; integrity is something we all look for in candidates!”

“Are there certain phrases I should avoid including on my resume?”

“Again, tailoring your resume to the position is key. I would not advise my candidates to use one general resume for everything, because that is where common phrases hold no value. The more time and effort you put into your resume, the more likely you are to land a position.”

“Can things like spelling and grammar errors be red flags for hiring managers?”

“Yes, especially spelling mistakes! A candidate needs to reread his/her resume, and pay special attention to the details, like spelling and grammar. These little errors can chip away at your credibility as a professional.”

Thank you for your insight, Carrie! Should you have additional questions for her, please leave us a comment!

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