Things That Make You Go Hmmm: 5 Resume Red Flags to Watch For

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Hiring? The candidate evaluation process can be a challenging, time-consuming process. When reviewing stacks of resumes, it’s fairly easy to identify and eliminate those applicants whose credentials clearly don’t match the basic job qualifications you’re seeking. (Check out our "Resumania™" posts for some examples of epic resume errors.) But you’ll likely have a large number of candidates who could be a fit.

As you continue to sift through the applicants, save yourself time by watching out for these five resume red flags:

1. Poor attention to detail. Spelling and grammatical goofs should cause you to raise an eyebrow. If prospective employees don’t appear to have proofread their resume, you shouldn’t expect them to be any more detail-oriented once on the job.

2. Irrelevant info. Although it’s nice to have a few details about a potential employee’s interests and personality, a resume containing too much fluff and filler is cause for concern. You can identify promising applicants by their laser-like focus on their most pertinent qualifications — not their love of ballroom dancing. Simply put, it’s inappropriate and amateurish to “overshare” about one’s personal life.

3. Lack of customization. Other resume red flags include a lack of care and customization. You want to hire someone who appears highly interested in the specific job you are hiring for. Resumes should be tailored to your organization. Be wary of candidates with cookie-cutter objective statements such as, “To work in the accounting field.” These people clearly haven’t done much homework.

4. A demanding attitude. A what’s-in-it-for-me attitude is another major resume red flag. But be sure to examine the cover letter, too. If you receive application materials that include demands about salary expectations, vacation requirements or specific perks, it might be best to move on to other candidates. Someone who issues ultimatums before he or she even gets an interview is not likely a team player.

5. Job hopping. While it’s no longer customary for people to work for the same organization their entire career, a history of hopping jobs is still on the list of resume red flags. People who clearly have a restless spirit when it comes to staying in full-time roles for longer than a mere year (or less) probably aren’t going to stick around your office either. 

Pay attention to these resume red flags and you’ll be able to more efficiently zero in on the best candidates for your organization’s accounting and finance positions.