Resumes and Red Flags

Have you ever worried that your resume might have ended up in the trash can instead of in the stack of resumes to be thoroughly read?

Some resumes really do end up in the trash can. Those are the resumes that raise red flags during the first quick scan.

Resumes and red flags are two words you do not want to use in the same sentence.

Is your resume passing the recruiter's first scan or is it ending up in the "round file" before you ever get a chance to really prove yourself? Or is your resume raising red flags?



The fact is that most resumes are scanned for 30 seconds or less. That is all the time you have to make a favorable impression on the resume screener. What the employer is looking for in that first scan is ANYTHING that will eliminate you from being further considered. The resume screener is looking for any kind of red flag that will make weeding through the resumes easier. Typo? Red flag. Wordy? Red flag. Spelling error? Red flag.

Resumes and red flags are real

If you have been sending out a lot of resumes, but not receiving any phone calls for interviews, there is a good reason for it. Most likely, there is something wrong with your resume. The question becomes one of determining what is disqualifying you from making the desired impact you are trying to make on the prospective employer. It could be something simple or it could be a variety of things.

Recruiters and hiring managers do not have an easy job. They are trying to find the best people to fill vacant positions at their corporations. While there are almost always more candidates than there are jobs available, the candidate pool is sometimes watered down with individuals who present a "less-than-admirable" picture of themselves. In short, their resumes are not prepared well.

What are some of the reasons that job candidates do not make it past that first 30 second scan? Here is a list of things you have to guard against:

  1. typos and spelling errors
  2. grammatical errors
  3. too much information (no white space on resume)
  4. to many details (get to the point)
  5. resume is not targeted
  6. inappropriate information (political and/or religious affiliations, etc)
  7. credentials do not match the job opening
  8. not enough verifiable information
  9. tense inconsistencies (worked on this, working on that).
As you can see, there is a lot that can take a resume out of contention right away. Make sure that your resume avoids these mistakes and you will be much more likely to make a positive impression on the employer.

A hiring manager does not have a lot of time to review resumes. As mentioned above, resumes initially do not get more than a cursory glance. Perhaps you already knew that. Here's something you might not have known, though. Sometimes those resumes are looked at during office hours. More often than not, they are viewed at home because there has not been enough time to look at them in the office. Can your resume stand up to the test of being read at 10:00pm after a long day?

Review your resume and make sure it can stand up to the 30 second scan – even the 30 second scan at 10:00pm. After all, you want to make a good enough impression to get called for an interview, right?

To read more about other issued with Resumes and Red Flags, follow this link to Resume Mistakes

Once you're finished reading that, you can review this Resume Checklist to ensure your resume is in excellent shape

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