The whole process of looking and applying for a new job is a daunting one, no matter who you are. There’s a ton of work involved, filters to slip through, interviews to pass, and on and on – but it all starts with the resume.
So, if you’re looking for a leg up when it comes to charming hiring managers across the board, here are some red flags to avoid.
13. Follow the basic directions.
One of my first Reddit arguments was with someone who said you should show up to a business you’re interested in working at and hand deliver your resume.
I worked front desk reception at the time, and I said that would only result in me putting your resume through the shredder, that we have very specific ways we hire for jobs and if you can’t follow those basic directions, you’re definitely not going to be hired.
He said if that’s how companies felt and they didn’t give him the respect he deserves, he wouldn’t want to work for that company anyway.
12. First of all, don’t lie.
Had to check a few resumes for our vacant position:
My biggest problem is lying:
Candidate says they have a lot of experience with a certain technology, but when asked, doesn’t know anything.
Dates of employment or education don’t match up. Had a guy claiming he had 4 jobs at the same time.
Experience doesn’t add up: don’t claim you have 10 years of experience with a framework created 5 years ago.
11. Sometimes HR is the problem.
This is why my company doesn’t use HR for hiring.
H.R. doesn’t work with the employees, the managers do. H.R. will weed out perfect applicants over the silliest things and give preference to people for things totally unrelated to the job. Our managers get the resumes and applications and they choose who to interview. HR then conducts background checks and verifications. Their decisions can be over-ruled by upper management.
When our company started using an HR staff to do all the hiring, we ran into a horrible staffing shortage and what new hires we did get were unworkable. The company’s profits dropped and long reliable employees quit because of the beauracracy that an HR office created. The owner fired half the HR staff and limited the remaining HR staff to compliance issues and payroll paperwork. Our managers do all the recruiting and hiring. Employees are happy and the company is thriving again.
10. That’s pretty cringe.
Still spelling engineer wrong after getting the degree.
Seriously – google that or listen to the autocorrect. I know math is your thing – not spelling, but still…
9. There’s a feather in your cap.
Someone put on their special skills that they were involved in Movember.
8. That’s a lot of experience.
I once had someone hand in a resume with 6 whole pages of job history, each one described with a paragraph of detail about the skills she’d learned and what the role involved. There must have 20 jobs on there? At least.
She had also put the dates she started and left each job…. the longest was four months face palm
7. We can all do that.
The resume saying something like “keen attention to detail” is one that always makes me roll my eyes.
Similarly, my eyes roll almost completely out of my skull when a job posting demands attention to detail, but the actual post is riddled with incorrect spelling and poor grammar.
6. Well that’s an obvious no.
Dude put “Netflix and chill” under his interests.
5. There are good reasons for that.
Not a recruiter, but I’ve read that the services that sort out resumes for businesses before HR even sees them automatically reject resumes with a gap in employment history.
4. Just give them the highlights.
Not really a red flag but a resume that’s longer than 2 pages. And unless you’ve got 10+ years of experience, 1 page is fine.
A resume should be a knock on the door. You don’t kick the door down with your resume.
3. It’s totally a thing.
Really curious to see, as (edit: the people who are currently in higher positions being) a generation that grew up with video games and D&D, if that will start being recognized as potential realistic team building/soft skills.
I had that I ran the Humans vs Zombies game on my college campus for about 3 years after graduating school and it was far and away the most asked about thing on my resume.
As well as giving me an opportunity to talk about leadership, organization etc (it was a week long enough that had over 200 students participate so it was a fairly large deal).
2. At least make it believable.
Having more tech experience with a product than it’s been out.
I had one genius claim to have a years y experience with Windows XP a week after it was released
1. That’s too much dirty laundry.
I don’t work in HR, but I have some experience reviewing resumes and job applications. Once when I was at work, a man dropped off his resume for consideration. He was polite to me and there were no problems initially.
I read his resume. His contact information was his Reddit username. He had a 4-year work and school gap with 0 explanation. He also wrote that he was molested when he was a child and that his father was murdered.
He wrote that he wanted revenge against his father’s murderers, the “evils in the pharmaceutical industry,” and his abusers.
Management decided not to interview or hire him.
I think all of these are fair, and definitely good advice.
If you’re a hiring manager, share your own red flags with us in the comments!