When reviewing an applicant’s information be sure to look closely at the candidate’s resume, application, and cover letter to be sure the person you’re interviewing:

  • Does in fact meet your requirements, with valid credentials.
  • First and foremost, take a close look and make sure the information lines up, especially the dates of their work history.

Shocking Fact:  According to Balance Careers, you must assume that 20 – 50% of applicants lie to embellish their credentials. 

How to Decipher the Truth

Top 5 Red Flags to Consider on a Candidate’s Resume

1. Employment Gaps

Balance Careers states, that finding an employee without an employment gap is almost impossible.

Take a look at whether or not a candidate lists the month, date and year that they were employed or simply just the month and year. When candidates only disclose the month and year, it can indicate employment gaps. 

PRO TIP: If you are conducting an initial phone screening, ask the candidate for more details before you decide to bring the candidate in to meet with more staff for an in person interview.

2. Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

When looking at a resume, be sure to check the spelling, punctation and grammar as this can be is huge clue as to their attention to detail and what to expect from them should you move forward and hire them as your employee.

If a candidate can’t double-check their work and make it right when it is imperative that they need to make a positive impression, why would they get it right when you employ them?

3. Integrity Check

When you receive an application or resume from a candidate that is emailed from a current employer’s email address, that is a big red flag to look for.

The applicant is likely, not only careless, but also unwise and lacks integrity. They are likely searching for a new position on their current company’s time.

Additionally, if your online application takes an hour to fill out and the applicant submits their application, take a close look at the time stamp.  If it shows it was submitted during business hours, then this will let you know that the applicant is taking advantage of their current employer’s time, and they will likely take advantage of your time as well.

4. Job Hopping

During the recruitment process, you will likely come across a few candidates whose resumes list multiple jobs that last no more than a few months each.  Even if the applicant may be a solid worker who has fallen against hard times, this is a reason to be concerned when searching for a long-term employee.

5. Vaguely Worded Job Summaries

If a resume lists vague words such as, participated in or familiar with, it may show that the candidate doesn’t have the exact skills they are listing. It may be that they simply assisted with an aspect of the project, rather than spearheaded it.

If you interview a candidate with vague job descriptions, you will want to be sure you ask for more details on what they did.

PRO-TIP: A lot of clarity is gained when references are received from previous employers. Although some companies feel this is an outdated or an un-needed part of the hiring process, we highly recommend checking references to the verify information on their application and resume.

What You Will Gain

When reviewing candidates’ resumes, if you keep in mind these 5 red flags to look out for, this will help you prescreen out difficult potential employees, and on a basic level these are indicative of the candidates’ work habits and characteristics. The goal is always to hire right the first time to save you time, and money.