While reviewing resumes recruiters and managers look at your background and experience, they also keep an eye out for red flags. It’s important to know what the red flags are and how to overcome them.
How to avoid red flags on your resume:
Gaps – Employment gaps can be a big red flag as an employer reviews your resume. I knew one hiring manager who used a red marker and circle gaps and if there too many, the person was toast. Sometimes gaps can be explained; you took care of sick parent or went back to school, etc. Cover letters can be helpful to explain some gaps. For an interview; it’s important to be prepared and be honest when you explain the gaps. Have a short detailed answer (no rambling please).
Sloppy resume – Resumes with formatting errors, typos, spelling and grammar errors, different fonts show a lack of attention to detail and is a big red flag. Not taking the time to prepare a good resume makes an employer wonder what else you might not prepare for.
Words with no substance – I recently spoke to a candidate who had great experience but you’d never know it from his resume. The words he used were vague and didn’t highlight what he could do. Hiring managers care about substance – How have you impacted the company/practice? Numbers, specifics are what they are looking for. Saw patients vs. Saw 15 patients daily. Performed surgery vs. performed ‘x’ number of ‘type’ of surgery. Flowery words are a red flag that you might not have the experience they need. Be specific.
Vague – When your bullets or descriptions are not clear, employers wonder. There’s not enough information to see if you’re a fit. Try tailoring your resume for a specific job. It can make a difference. Providing enough information shows the employer you can do the job. Keywords highlighting your background can be helpful too.
No achievements – Detail your accomplishments. Potential employers like results, so show them.
To fix the issue, you should review your resume, look for the red flags then rewrite and revise. It’s worth the time to have a resume that stands out.