6 Red Flags to Avoid on your Resume

November 17, 2021

Drew Kartes VP, Talent – West Coast

Inc.com published an article stating that every posted job gets an average of 250 candidate submissions. Out of those 250 submissions, only 4 to 6 people will be called for an interview, and only 1 person will get the job.  So, in this crazy time where you are competing with hundreds of other candidates, how do you make yourself stand out from the competition?  

Avoid these 6 red flags on your resume to showcase your experience better and get to the next step in the hiring process faster:

1. Be concise in your working history:  Hiring managers are more concerned with your current experience, including your career path  over the past 10 years. Recruiters and hiring managers consider your work experience, skills, and technical proficiency performed over the last 10 years to be the most pertinent.  Removing any additional items before  that time span helps keep the resume more concise and avoids the possibility of exposing a candidate to age bias.

2. Avoid using too many bullet points for each role: Keeping with the mind set of simplifying your resume and making it concise to showcase your skills and experience, be very mindful of the amount of bullet points you add for each previous role. Try to keep it to 5-6 bullet points max and be very strategic with the information that you enter. The best use of these bullet points is to have tangible numbers or goals that you’ve achieved during a set time period.  

3. Address gaps in your employment: It is very important to include the months and years that you worked at each organization.  Hiring managers and recruiters will look very quickly at gaps in employment.  If there are such gaps, be prepared to discuss those areas transparently instead of trying to talk around them.  If a candidate is not able to properly communicate the reasoning behind these gaps, this could raise red flags for moving forward with opportunity.

4. Avoid spelling and grammatical errors: Spelling and grammar mistakes can make the candidate appear non-detail oriented and sloppy.  With tools such as spell check, Grammarly, Language Tool, SlickWrite and ProWriting Aid, there is really no excuse for such errors.  To further avoid these common errors, it is also recommended to have another trusted person check your resume as they may be able to find some items you may have missed.  Just remember, these resumes are your first opportunity to present yourself to an organization and you want to put yourself in the best light possible.

5. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for: If your resume is too generic, it can be interpreted that you are sending out en masse to get noticed. Take a little extra time to tailor your message and highlight any skillsets that match the job you are applying for.  Remember, it’s always better to send out a few strong resumes that fit the roles and organization you want instead of 20+generic resumes for a wide variety of opportunities.

6. Avoid lengthy resumes:  Try to condense your resume down to 1 page, if possible, and really be strategic in highlighting your experiences and contributions.  If more than one page, it could indicate that the candidate isn’t tailoring their resume to the particular role or would only be needed if they have over 10 years of experience.

At Blend360, our Talent Solutions team has 40+ years of experience to help candidates get noticed and get hired.  The Blend360 Talent Solutions team knows what it’s like to look for a career.  Our success is a direct result of our passion for advancing the careers of the talented people we work with every day by helping to connect you with multiple meaningful opportunities, being your advocate with interview preparation and providing feedback and continued support after the candidate is hire.

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