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Top Red Flags to Look for on a Résumé

As a hiring manager, you want to ensure that you’re selecting qualified talent who will add value to your organization. Reviewing résumés is the beginning of the process. While a résumé won’t tell you about the applicant’s personality or cultural fit, it does provide their work history and other details.

Here are a few résumé red flags to look for when assessing your talent pool.

Careless Errors

Poor language skills, bad formatting, and improper grammar should be red alerts for any hiring manager. While not everyone has excellent English skills, online proofreading tools, like Grammarly or the built-in solution available in Microsoft Word, can help job seekers ensure that their résumés are error-free.

If you note many grammatical or spelling errors in a résumé, it’s a sign that the applicant doesn’t pay much attention to detail. Few jobs don’t require their employees to be detail-oriented, so sloppy mistakes are a big no-no.

Major Employment Gaps

It’s not unusual for individuals to take time away from their careers. They may spend time working toward a new degree or certification, raising children, or pursuing hobbies.

While one or two gaps are reasonable, look for regular gaps in employment that the applicant can’t explain. Most people will note what they were doing during times of unemployment in their résumé or cover letter. If they don’t, a more serious issue could be at play.

Unprofessional Contact Details

Employers expect their employees to keep a level of professionalism in the office. That professionalism begins with the submission of a résumé, including contact details.

If you receive an application from someone who uses an inappropriate email address, it should raise a red flag. Professional email addresses include an individual’s name — they aren’t meant to be funny or promote taboo topics.

Frequent Job Hopping

If the applicant’s résumé contains many short stints lasting less than a year or so, it should raise a big red flag. Either there’s something in the candidate’s behavior that other employers don’t like or the candidate has problems committing to their work.

Few workers can get away with job hopping. However, it makes more sense if they take on specific short-term assignments, like a summer internship or a short-term contract.

No Career Progression

Most employees don’t want to stay in the same position forever. Once they gain experience and knowledge, they move up the ladder. If you note that the candidate has held the same role for several years, it may indicate an issue.

The exception to this rule is working at a smaller organization. Small companies may have little room for growth and instead offer stability. However, employees can still seek to learn new skills in their off time or cross-train with coworkers.

Get Recruiting Help from Smart Staffing Solutions

If you run a homebuilding or property management organization, we know how hard it can be to find qualified talent. Smart Staffing Solutions can connect you with skilled professionals to help keep your communities running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about our human resources and people management solutions.



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