Six Red Flags Every Hiring Manager Should Know About

resume review

Hiring Manager Red Flags

As a hiring manager, I can honestly tell you I feel your pain.  I too have sat in front of a stack of resumes desperately wishing I had a glass of wine in my hands instead.  Sitting in front of a stack of hundreds of documents with more coming in every day can be a bit daunting.  Luckily, I’ve got some tips to help you weed out some of the obvious “no’s” right off the bat.  Not only will this save you a lot of time during the hiring process, it can often save your company a lot of money in the long haul.

  1. The Novel Resume

    – No matter the industry, it’s safe to say that one skill set every ideal candidate should have is efficiency. A five page, paragraph written resume does not reflect that skill.  Just imagine every time you ask a question or require a report, getting 4 times the information you need or want.  Pass!

  2. Questionable References

    – For entry level jobs, this might be a bit trickier as the applicant may not have much work experience or professional references. However, if you are vetting someone with at least a couple years of work experience and they list no references, family references, only character references, or colleague references there is a good chance there’s a major problem.  At the very least, it warrants some additional questions during the interview process.

  3. Duties/Title

    – It’s not uncommon for go getters to ask for additional responsibilities outside of the scope of their position, but keep an eye out for things that don’t add up. If a receptionist lists responsibilities such as “500k in sales” or “creating PNL reports” there might be something off.  It can happen on occasion, especially for small businesses where receptionist might also mean “marketing department” “sales rep” “accountant”, etc. but generally that is not the case.

  4. Too General

    – It’s not hard to do an online search and find general responsibilities of almost any given job title. Applicants looking to pad their resume may include positions and general responsibilities they may not actually have.  A dead giveaway is to not include any specific information.  Resume’s lacking numbers, processes, or software used are a dead giveaway that some fluff has been added.  This is especially true of upper management and specialized positions.

  5. Job Hopper

    – Employees are a time and money investment for any company. If an applicant moves jobs every couple of years, that can be a telling pattern.  This can indicate anything from lack of skills, personality or attitude issues, or even just good old-fashioned boredom.  When looking at a chronic job hopper, you have to ask yourself, “Do I want to be sorting resumes again in 6 months?”.

  6. OMG Factor –

    This is what we call a resume that has used old English or some other awful font, is printed on zebra stripe paper, and maybe even has a headshot in the corner for good measure. Rather than references, this resume has a section for non-work related hobbies and self-proclaimed character attributes.  The contact e-mail address is so obscene that the only thing more distracting is the 14 grammatical and spelling errors you’ve found so far.  For this applicant, just move on quickly. For more information on improving your hiring see our other posts on this subject.


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