The average recruiter or hiring manager spends 6 seconds looking at a resume before they decide if it is suitable or not.
On average in the US, one corporate position attracts around 250 resumes, which means that employers can immediately spot the red flags. Resumes with cluttered layouts, lack of headings, or ones that are too long or too short will more than likely not be successful.
However, if you’re looking for a new job, resume experts at CV Maker have revealed the top red flags you should avoid when creating your resume, to help you be successful in applying for your dream role. Be sure to avoid these mistakes!
1. Typos and grammatical errors
Probably the first red flag that employers look out for, mistakes on your resume show that you don't pay attention to detail. Minor mistakes shouldn’t be a cause for concern, however if a resume is full of mistakes, it immediately sends the wrong message to a recruiter or hiring manager.
Consider resending your resume if you notice multiple typos or other major mistakes after you click send. While it might feel awkward, there are professional ways to resend a resume. It’s best to include a short explanation with your updated resume. Politely explain that you are sending an updated file and to please excuse yourself for the mistake.
Make sure to use a spellchecker and have at least two people proofread your resume before you apply for a position.
2. Unprofessional email address
An unprofessional email address is another huge red flag for employers. Your resume is your professional calling card, the first impression a hiring manager creates for you before they have even met you. Make sure to get yourself a separate Gmail account for your job search and keep your account name professional.
Make sure you don’t use the email address you created when you were 15. This shows employers that you’re too lazy to create a new email address, or that you don’t value your professional career.
If you’re struggling, use your last name and first initial or first and last name. This is clear and professional.
Breaks in employment raise red flags because they could have a range of negative implications. There are exceptions, but most high performers don’t have huge gaps in their employment history. Employers might also fear you could do this again and quit the job when under pressure.
Explaining a gap in a cover letter might help. If you do get invited to an interview, be ready with an honest and clear reason for the gap.
People job search for a new career for all kinds of reasons. Increased pay, improved benefits, better work-life balance, etc. However, frequent job hopping can be a cause for concern as an employer.
Employers want to hire people they can invest in. One year, or less, isn’t enough time for an employee to become truly proficient in their role or make a meaningful impact on a company.
If you have switched positions frequently, and your resume shows this, make sure you have valid reasons for this. Don’t mention that you just “needed a change” as this can indicate that you are inconsistent or unreliable.
Some better reasons for job hopping, that you can explain in an interview, could be that you were recruited by another company, as this shows that you are a valuable team member. You could also mention that your previous role shifted from what you were initially hired to do, or even that you weren’t advancing as quickly as you’d like.
5. Too much personal information
Too much non-relevant personal information on your resume can also be a big red flag. Your resume is a document to highlight your skills, accomplishments, and work history. This needs to stay professional.
Whilst showing a little personality on a resume is a green flag, too much personal information can deter employers from hiring you. Try to keep it short and concise and wait until the interview to let your personality shine through.
The best way to show a little personality, that isn’t overbearing, is through your hobbies and interests. However, make sure these are relevant to your job role.
CV Maker is an online platform that allows users to create a strong and successful resume.