How to Address Red-Flags in a Resume

How to Address Red-Flags in a Resume

Red Flags of a resume are akin to questionable remarks on the authenticity of your profile. From being too generic to wordy or personal, many suspicious red flags can jump your recruiter and reject your profile application.  Moreover, most hiring managers claim common resume red-flags are hard to shake off and pave the way to rejection!

How to Rectify Popular Red-Flags in Your Resume

According to statistics, it takes less than ten minutes for hiring managers to review the fitness of a resume for any job application. Keeping the recruiter glued to your resume takes talent. Moreover, hiring committees filter the red flags in a resume quickly, as these are warning signs that indicate the active or lack of potential of a candidate.

1. Employment Gaps

Resume coaches’ claim that candidates with unemployment record of more than 6 months in the job history are compelled to apply 3.5 times more than a candidate with work experience sans any gaps. While some recruiter’s give candidates a fair chance to explain reasons of unemployment, it is best to include the reason for the same in your cover letter, if you have visible gaps in your employment history.

Yet another red flag to watch out for are is the missing timestamp, such as in a functional resume. Using a functional format is clever and effective, only if you have serious job experience gaps that cannot be formatted with a Chronological Resume.

2. Proofreading Errors

Considered a proof of candidate’s communication skills, typographical, spelling and grammatical errors can often cost you the dream job. It is natural to skip a mistake or two when you draft the resume on your own, unwittingly. Hence, it is advised that candidates seek the assistance of a second pair of eyes to ensure that the resume is free of errors.

Moreover, most hiring managers believe that a person who cannot take 2-3 minutes to read aloud the profile for errors, cannot be trusted to represent the business as its employee.

3. Missing Vital Instruction

Skipping questions or failure to follow the recruiter’s instructions is yet another red flag in a professional resume. It is common for selective employers request exclusive salary history to detailed work experience history in the job application. Hence, if you fail to submit the requested documents, you are incompetent or disqualified for the job.

In short, search the job application for how to apply for the job and follow it stringently.

4. Short Work Experiences

Technically called Job-hopping, resume with short span of job history is proof of his or her lack of dedication and commitment to the job. It is true that short employment contracts are not always a proof of candidate’s inefficiencies such as health or familial emergencies.

However, a resume with job-hopping history is a serious red flag that will be taken into serious consideration leading to rejection. If your resume has too many brief job stints, it is better to validate the same in your cover letter without sounding too desperate.

5. Using Vague Keywords or content

Attention to detail is one of the core focuses of hiring managers as well as automatic applicant software such as ATS. Resumes with floating or vague content, instantly raises suspicions at the hiring desk.

Candidates must use keywords up to 50% specifically from the job description to pass ATS Tests for Resumes. Moreover, it is best to add numbers and quantifiable achievements to your resume to groom it for the job application. Avoid-irrelevant keywords and skills to prevent the profile from being cluttered as well.

6. Plateaued Career Development

For every professional, the resume shows how far each person has come from where they started, using Job Roles held in different career timelines. Regression of resume work history is defined as plateaued career development in a resume. If your resume has gone downhill than progressing, it is a serious red flag for employers.

Not only does regressive resume prove your incompetence, but also, your lack of dedication to make any progress as well. It is best to focus on your recent achievements to disguise your derailed career or explain the same in the cover letter.

7. Poor Design, Font and Vocabulary

Often seen in fresher resumes, impoverished designing and formatting of the resume defines the unprofessional trait of the candidate. Using indecent email addresses as well as ridiculous graphics that disturb the readability of the document are the worst errors to avoid in a resume.

Yet another important red flag is the use of serif or fancy fonts. Candidates must use sans serif font for the resume content with 12-point font size to ensure comfortable readability of the document.

8. Irrelevant References

An ideal reference in a resume is relevant to establish your candidacy as well as responsive and amiable to the recruiter’s interrogative questions about you. It is necessary to filter your references after crosschecking if they can endorse your professional and technical skills. Listing friends, family or acquaintances with irrelevant account of your professional attributes are another red flag to your resume.

Resume writing coaches recommend candidates to review each reference by intimating them about the job application for better results. Moreover, it is necessary to seek permission from your references and review their availability before listing their personal contact information as the reference.

9. Is your Resume a Novel?

Resumes with cluttered content or lengthy paragraphs are considered a red flag in a resume or proof of an incompetent resume. More often, hiring managers and ATS software directly trash extended resumes, than scan it even once. It is cardinal that candidates restrict their resumes to the standard limit of 5 MB or two pages to qualify for job applications.

10. Unnecessary Personal Information

Another red flag commonly seen on fresher resumes is the outrageous depth of personal information shared in the profile. It is necessary to mention personal hobbies and interests that prove your relevancy to the job application. However, listing immoderate content that does not establish your professional value is considered as junk to the resume.

In a Nutshell

Candidates must mandatory review their final resume for all the ten red flags to avoid disastrous suspicions from the employers. Moreover, to avoid getting rejected due to the red flag in your resume, rectify and ensure that it is flawless prior to submission.