What signs to look out for in a resume?
February 15, 2021

6 Red Flags to Look Out for in a Resume

Core to every business’ successful function is its ability to find the right people. At the base of every significant venture and company, innovation is someone with the drive, mindset, and willpower to see it through to its end.

Unfortunately, finding these kinds of candidates can be very difficult. The job pool is inundated with applicants to the point where a single posting can get dozens of applications or more. While this wave of interest is a good thing, it does leave the employer with one problem.

That being said, how to cut down through the massive list of potential employees and find the best one possible for your organization and your needs. Thankfully, you can look for some critical factors, particularly their resume and what red flags it may or may not have.

If you’re looking to hire for an accountant or finance position and want some extra help, AHK Accounting Recruiters are the experts. Here are the red flag and early warning signs to keep an eye out for.

Job Hopping Tendencies

A resume that appears to indicate that the potential applicant has had several short postings at a bunch of different positions is terrible news. It may mean that the person in question gets bored quickly, or for whatever reason, continually finds themselves losing work.

When you hire someone, you’re investing in them; you hope that training and time will produce someone who can provide and add value to your company. A decent percentage of job seekers nowadays tend to seek new employment within a few years at the company, but if they’re the type to leave early in every job, it doesn’t bode well for their organization’s performance.

Making Basic Mistakes

If the resume they send in is littered with grammatical errors or typos, that can be a bad sign. It shows that the candidate ignores detail, which will be a problem in the role. It also indicates the effort or lack thereof, they’ve put into the application.

If the resume’s appearance is sloppy, that’s another indication of a lack of business professionalism. You don’t want someone who’s unprofessional or who doesn’t put in the effort.

Gaps in Work History

While employment gaps on the candidate side can often be due to personal choice or external circumstances, it still means you should be cautious when you notice this issue.

Often they might trap to mask this work history gap by not including hiring days or avoiding data whatsoever. A gap in work history doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, but you likely will want the candidate to explain why they haven’t worked if you decide to bring them in for an interview.

Too Much Hype

It makes sense that the applicant will want to make themselves stand out as much as possible. After all, they want to rise above the sea of resumes and shine out as a perfect fit while demonstrating their professional advantages.

However, be wary of resumes that overhype accomplishments. For instance, if they call themselves a visionary thinker, a respected leader, or a creative problem solver, don’t take it at face value. Search for evidence that they’ve done something to deserve these titles, as otherwise, they may just be blowing smoke.

No Customization

As a result of the massive amount of applications a candidate may send out, there may be a tendency among some to avoid going through the effort of customizing their application to each job posting.

This lack of effort will show in generic and bland work summaries or broad cover letters that don’t seem to relate to the job posting. A resume without specific references indicates that the candidate didn’t bother to research your company or the position. In that case, why not hire someone who does care about your organization?

Lack of Career Growth

If an applicant has had a promising career progression, you will expect their resume to reflect this. You would likely see evidence that their jobs, in title and description, have gone up in terms of responsibility and general respect.

A sign that this is not the case may be something to watch out for. If you notice that their career responsibility has plateaued or even regressed rather than grown, you should be careful.

Of course, make sure to review the resume carefully to see if this is the case. Position titles can vary by company, and a vice director at one organization might be equivalent to a director at another.

There may also be personal reasons for this reversal, such as a desire to spend more time at home with young children. Still, if you’re unsure and there are other candidates you’re considering, then this indicator may always be a good reason to cut one resume from the pile.

Too Much Padding

Resumes should be kept short at no more than two pages. You want detail and insight, but you don’t wish for unnecessary filler.

If you get an application with tons of focus on hobbies and interests outside of work that runs past the page count you’re looking for, this might be a sign that the applicant is just trying to pad their resume.

Of course, that’s not always the case, so make sure to review the resume holistically.

Spotting Red Flags When Hiring

From problems with work history through gaps, career regression, or extensive job-hopping to more fundamental issues with presentation and grammar, there’s a lot out there to trip up the candidate.

While these red flags alone may not kill a resume, you would do well to steer clear if several of these problems exist on one application.

For more information about the red flags to watch out for when hiring, call AHK Accounting Recruiters at 833-399-1663 or contact us here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.