Looking to hire someone who doesn't set off any red flags? Exactly what are examples of a bad resume?

The candidate evaluation process can be challenging and time-consuming. When you review resumes, it’s fairly easy to identify and eliminate those applicants who clearly don’t have the basic job qualifications you’re seeking. But you’ll likely have some candidates who do have the credentials.

As you sift through the applicants, save yourself time by watching out for these five bad resume examples that — aside from a lack of experience, credentials or necessary skills — should make you move on to other candidates:

1. Poor attention to detail

Spelling and grammatical goofs should cause you to raise an eyebrow and definitely should cause the resume red flags to wave. 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.

“EXPERIENCE: Perfumed duties such as accounts receivable, accounts payable and data entry.”

The sweet smell of success!

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. Resume red flags? Check.

“PERSONAL INFORMATION: Single and looking.”

For a job?

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 description you've created. 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.

"OBJECTIVE: To secure a job or career."

That's what we call untargeted.

4. A demanding attitude

A what’s-in-it-for-me attitude is another possible forewarning for managers. 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.

“REQUIREMENTS: I also demand a company car — with air conditioning!”

Not cool.

5. Job hopping

While it’s no longer customary for people to work for the same organization their entire career, a history of changing 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.

"REASON FOR LEAVING: I need a new boss every year."

Keep working on that.

The exceptions, of course, are those candidates who work as contract professionals.

Meanwhile, pay attention to these examples, and you’ll be able to more efficiently zero in on the best candidates for your organization’s accounting and finance positions.



Robert Half — a leader in talent solutions, recruiting and consulting services