5 Biggest Red Flags in a Resume

There are a lot of resources available when it comes to crafting a good resume. However, there’s more to creating a resume than what it should contain.

Having processed hundreds to thousands of resumes, hiring personnel all over the world already know how to read between the lines. There are certain red flags that they watch out for when looking at a resume. If yours have any of them, they may hurt your chances of getting invited for an interview.

To make sure that your resume works to the best of your advantage, avoid these five resume red flags.

1. Glaring spelling and grammar mistakes

Even if you’re not applying to be a writer or English teacher, you should still make an effort to show that you have basic written communication skills. You can easily make that point with your resume. Furthermore, a clear and well-written and formatted resume shows that you take your job hunting seriously. Sending a resume done haphazardly may make you seem lazy and careless.

2. Previous positions are unrelated to each other

After checking out the format and general look of your resume, the hiring personnel will proceed to scan your experience to see if you may be a good fit for the position. Experience is more than just having multiple jobs in the past. It should show how much you’ve practiced a certain specialization. So, your previous work experiences should be connected to each other in a way that they can also be connected to the post you’re applying to.

3. Job hopping history

If your resume shows that you have a history of jumping from one job to another, each within short periods, it may be viewed negatively. You could have been a victim of wrong employment choices, forcing you to leave previous jobs. However, in the HR’s perspective, they might see it as you have a habit of leaving jobs impulsively. 

You might be wondering how can you not show such information if that is the truth. True enough, you should not be deceptive. Fortunately, you can choose which information to put in your resume. For instance, if you’ve had a series of contract or project-based jobs before, make that information clear. If you were freelancing for several clients or employers for a time, you can group those experiences into one.

4. Unfamiliar job titles

Almost all recruitment staff nowadays search for candidates online. To find potential applicants, they will use keywords related to the position they’re looking to fill. If you have your resume uploaded on a job search site or platform, it may not come up in the search results if your job titles are not like the usual used in the industry. For instance, instead of “content wizard”, simply put “content writer”. Even if your previous company has a flair for giving fancy job titles, you’ll have to tweak your titles to make it more search-friendly. 

5. Long gaps between employments

No matter how qualified you think you are for the position you’re applying to, you don’t want the HR personnel to think that something is amiss with your resume. If you have gaps between employments that you think the recruiter might wonder about, you can choose to give a brief explanation. This way, you can avoid having the recruiter think that you are withholding some information about your job history.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. If you’re looking for jobs in the Philippines or abroad, sign up now and start applying!

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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