4 Resume Red Flags For Employers
This week on the Grantham University blog, we're approaching the topic of how to succeed in a difficult job market from the perspective of the employer.
Monday, we examined five prized degrees that employers are really looking for. On Tuesday, we broke down the four most important skills that employers are seeking in job candidates.
Today, we tackle another phase of the employment process: avoiding big mistakes on resumes.
From an employer's point of view, here are four resume red flags that will make an organization think twice before considering you for an interview (or worse, not consider you at all):
1. Gaps in employment
If the job applicant fails to mention specific dates and years when listing previous jobs, it could be a red flag for the employer. To be fair, there are instances when an employment gap is by choice (because of family obligations, for instance) or completely out of the job seeker's control. In these cases, specify the reason in the cover letter. It's better to give the employer an idea of why the employment gap occurred rather than to avoid it altogether and leave question marks dangling in the air.
2. Poor grammar
Job seekers don't have to major in English in order to present an error-free resume to the employer. A plethora of resume gaffes will lead to the employer raising red flags. To avoid this situation, proofread your resume numerous times. Furthermore, have a friend, relative or professional mentor look at the document, just to be safe. You can't have too many people proofread your resume.
3. Taking advantage of the current employer
Avoid any statement that puts your current employer in a negative light. Speaking negatively of your current employer may cause recruiters to wave the red flag. Instead, focus on your personal goals and your desire for career growth with this new opportunity.
Furthermore, watch from where you send your job application. For instance, you probably don't want to submit a resume using an email address from your current employer. This could give recruiters the idea that you're using work time to do other things. Also be careful about sending applications in the mail using your current employer's envelopes or stationery. Recruiters could view this practice as disrespectful to your current employer.
If your resume is cluttered, difficult to read or unorganized, it could be a red flag for potential employers. One way to better organize your resume is to utilize bullet points for previous work experience. The main sections of your resume should be easy to locate. If recruiters want to skip ahead and read the education section first, they should be able to locate that section without hesitation. A messy resume could be a sign that the job seeker is unorganized and lazy.
It's not always easy in this competitive job market to receive a call back after submitting your resume. For more tips on how stand out, check out our brand new, free military-to-civilian transition eBook - "" - by clicking the image below:
About the author: Eric Sorrentino joined Grantham University as Social Media Manager in October 2011. Prior to that, he blogged about Big 12 Conference athletics for KUsports.com and was a sports copy editor for the Lawrence Journal-World. Eric received his bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.