The Top 3 Resume Red Flags for Recruiters

Meghan-Maher by

Why Your Resume Matters

Your resume or LinkedIn profile is a recruiter’s first impression of you. Consequently, it can make or break how seriously you are considered as a candidate. While you may have the correct experience and skills for a position, there are three primary resume red flags that could make a recruiter weary of your candidacy. To avoid being overlooked, be aware of these common deal breakers:

1) Grammatical Errors

Grammatical errors are more detrimental for some roles than others, but they are always a red flag. For instance, if you are applying for a position in writing or editing, your resume will probably be thrown out. If you are applying for a software engineer role, you may still be considered, but you will seem less professional than candidates with gleaming resumes.

2) Short Stints

Recruiters typically worry that people who have a succession of short stints on their resume will not be in it for the long term. We’ll wonder: Are you always going to be looking for the next opportunity? Do you get bored easily? Or have you consistently been laid off after a few months? Depending on the position and the company, you may still move on in the interview process, but your jumpiness is going to be something that we will dig deep into.

3) Discrepancies Between Profiles

If your LinkedIn and resume describe two different people, as a recruiter I am going to be very skeptical. For example, your LinkedIn profile could state that you are still with a company, while your resume states that you left six months ago. Another common discrepancy is having positions that show up on your resume on LinkedIn, but not the resume you provided. If I’m reviewing both profiles, you are most likely being seriously considered as a candidate. These kinds of mistakes won’t get you thrown out of the candidacy pool on their own, but they are a big red flag that makes me question your credibility.

How to Avoid These and Other Mistakes

  • Spell check and spell check again. Have a friend review your resume and make sure that there are no errors before sending it out.
  • If you were in contract roles, specify it.
  • I have seen resumes that explain the candidate’s reason for leaving each role. If you have a jumpy past, this may be a good idea to include.
  • Keep both your resume and your LinkedIn profile up to date, correct, and consistent.

Resume Wrap Up

Avoiding red flags on your resume will greatly increase your chances of moving to the next step in the interview process. After that point, it’s all up to you to impress recruiters and land that position! What are some of the mistakes that you commonly see on resumes?

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering