The hiring process can eat up a lot of time for many busy businesses and combing through several dozen – or several hundred – resumes to find the perfect candidate can be mind-boggling and exhausting. The resume (or CV) is your first opportunity to learn about who you may be hiring and helps to narrow down the list for who you should interview. However, there are often big warning signs on resumes to be on the watch for that will give you a clearer idea about the credentials and abilities of your potential new hire. We’ve outlined them for you so you can save valuable time and resources while narrowing your search to find the perfect candidate.

  • Spelling, grammar & typos

If someone can’t take the time to spell-check their resume or have someone look it over for them, then that’s a big red flag that they don’t pay attention to detail or show commitment to quality work. Even if it’s a position that doesn’t require writing skills, or the person’s first language isn’t English, a resume is a special exception that documents a person’s professionality and needs to be error free.

  • Can’t follow instructions

If your job posting has specific details about what the requirements are and how to apply, then those directions need to be followed. If, for example, someone emails their resume when you asked for ‘in person’ drop-offs, or doesn’t send a cover letter or salary expectation when asked to do so, then they have chosen to blatantly disregard those requests. That’s a red flag for future work attitudes around following orders.

  • Scattered job history

Today’s job market is certainly different from the days when workers kept the same job for their entire career. While the average Canadian holds approximately 5 jobs in their life, the younger generations can expect to have 15 or even 40, according to this study. A red flag to be on the watch for, however, is seeing a resume that lists a lot of unrelated jobs across various locations for very short periods of time.

  • Unexplained gaps in employment

While taking time off work to travel, go back to school, have children or to recover from illness is understandable, large gaps in employment can be a red flag that people either couldn’t keep a job, or just weren’t motivated to work. If gaps aren’t addressed in the cover letter or initial interview, then it’s up to the employer to ask about them to gain a better understanding of their future hire.

  • The “One-size-fits-all” resume

Resumes should be carefully customized for each position to reflect how a candidate is a solid match for the job posted. The same goes for the cover letter; it should list the company name, the position, and a personalized statement about why that person is perfect for the job, while also showing that some research and care went into the process. When people just hit send on their standard, same-old resume and cover letter each time, then they are showing that you, the employer, aren’t worth their time.

  • Over-qualified candidates

If you’re hiring an entry-level position that requires 1-2 year’s experience but a former manager with 20 years applies, that might be a concern. While it does show that they are eager and are not above working below their level, the red flag is that they may not last long at the wage you are paying. If the candidate does seem promising, be sure to inquire further in the interview about why they are attracted to your posting and what their long-term goals are.

These are the top resume red flags that all employers should be on the lookout for when going through that resume pile. You need to make sure that your future employees have been honest with you about their job history, experience and credentials, and that they take the time to do quality work – even on a resume. Your best option as a busy employer in the Simcoe County region is to work with FOCUS Employment Services in Alliston or Angus. We offer free services to local employers which includes posting jobs, screening candidates, hosting job fairs and more. We’ll help you find your perfect candidate – connect with us today at 1-877-513-0187.