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5 Resume Red Flags That Recruiters Should watch Out For

By Lourdes

Every recruiter works with the objective of selecting a great talent for their organization. But, finding the right talent can be a challenge. After posting your job descriptions on job boards, there is every possibility of receiving hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. The difficult part is to screen these resumes and then select the best ones out of them. Frankly speaking, it is important for a recruiter to note the things that the resume does not say along with the things that it does. Here are some of the resume red flags to look out for as a recruiter.

As a recruiter, if you are able to recognize these red flags while shortlisting the candidate's resume it can help you make the wise hiring decision. But, in case, if you think that you are not good at recognizing these red flags, take the help of a background verification company that can help you select the best talent. This will ensure that your organization gets the best talent out there.

1. Resumes containing spelling, grammar and punctuation errors

A recruiter should always look out for appropriate grammar, spelling and punctuation marks in the resumes. The mistakes in these details in the resume show that the candidate is indifferent towards the opening or careless. You cannot have enough faith in them to do their duties correctly when you employ them. As the candidate cannot make the right impression at the first instance, it is imperative for you as a recruiter to give them a pass.

2. Failure to pay attention to the requirements of the position to be applied

If the candidate is not attentive enough to the words that have been used in the resume by missing a couple of words or copy and paste error or by sending a cover letter with wrong name of the company, job title or the salutation of the cover letter it shows that the candidate is being highly unprofessional. If the candidate has used xxx as place markers in the dates of employment without replacing with the exact dates it can be a potential red flag for you as a recruiter.

3. Unexplained employment gaps

Employment gaps can raise your eyebrows, but never consider them as a bad omen. There are times when employees take sabbatical leaves to take care of their children or elders, spend more time with their family, continue studying or even travel the world. These can be considered to justifiable gaps. If you ask an employee about their employment gaps and get a reasonable answer there is nothing to worry. But, if the employee is not able to justify the gap then it can be considered as a red flag.

4. Inconsistent career goals

It is common for people to change their careers at least a few times in their corporate career. But, if you come across a candidate who has jumped multiple times in a variety of unrelated industries or roles within a short period of time and is not able to explain how it can be helpful in succeeding in the role applied properly then it can be considered as a red flag.

5. Discrepancies or missing information

This last reason can take a while to research as it requires you to compare the resume of the candidate with other forms of communication like their cover letter or LinkedIn profile. Also look at your organization's database to see whether the candidate has applied in the past to ensure that the information that they have provided in their original resume matches with their recent application. If you find anything missing or discrepancies in the information consider it to be a red flag.


Vivek Asrani is a content specialist at cFIRST Background Checks, one of India’s leading employee background verification companies. Vivek writes about the various aspects of recruitment technology.

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