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Detecting Resume Red Flags

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Quality hires are the backbone of any business and the single biggest contributing factor to its success. Hiring managers looking to maximize their shrinking days need only to take a close look at resumes to separate questionable candidates from potential hires. Here are some ways hiring managers can “read between the lines” of resumes so they reduce mistakes that can come back to haunt them later.

Fish Tales

Exaggerations, embellishments and mistruths come in all shapes and sizes on resumes. According to a recent national survey, between 10%-30% of job seekers either stretch the truth or outright lie on their resumes. Previous salary and the number of years in a job are areas where job seekers most commonly get creative. During reference checks for former employees, many companies now only provide employment dates and job titles. However, personal reference checks can sometimes turn up misrepresentations. Comparing the information on an application against a resume is another way to spot candidates who may be resume rigging.

Oblivious To The Obvious

Misspellings, bad grammar and typos are the most glaring red flags. These are quality assurance indicators that speak volumes about a candidate’s work habits and attention to detail. An applicant only has one impression to make with a resume, and even one mistake is cause for concern. Consider that they are not under deadline to submit a resume and once you are paying them to meet deadlines, these mistakes will most likely multiply.

Time Between Jobs and Job Hopping

Skipping small periods of inactivity on a resume is understandable, but candidates who are constantly experiencing long periods between jobs could suggest possible problems. Chronic job hoppers may turn out to be constantly itching to move on—don’t count on your company being the exception.

Job hopping used to have bad connotations, but according to the Department of Labor the average worker stays at a position for only three years. Some fields (like technology) have more turnaround and it’s natural for professionals to job hop.

Qualification vs. Chronological

Qualification resumes are not as common as chronological ones and they are sometimes used because people are trying to hide their lack of experience or stability. A qualification resume usually doesn’t tell where a candidate got the experience or for how long they have done something. These types of resumes can be designed so that internships, school projects and volunteer work appear as actual work experience.

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