Create Account
Sign In Create Account

Finding the Biggest Resume Red Flags in the Application Process

September 16th, 2020

Human Resources

3 min read

Here’s
the thing: anybody can write a resume. In short, this is why you need to be
extra vigilant in the recruitment process. It’s up to you as the recruiter to
read between the lines and get to the bottom of any inconsistencies you may
find. And sometimes, there can be plenty of them — trust us.

Think
of it a bit like detective work. You have all this information in front of you,
but you need to sift through it all to find out the truth. Of course, these
don’t have to be sinister discoveries. That said, the goal of analyzing a
resume is as much about identifying what you don’t like versus what you do.

A
resume can tell you so much about a candidate before they even sit down for the
interview. Because of that, the resume should act as a barrier of sorts. A
preliminary background check, if you will. Whichever way you read the resume
will determine if an applicant is qualified for an interview. No pressure,
right? Luckily, we’re here to help to run down some of the biggest resume red
flags in the application process.

Gaps In Employment

Most working adults have a consistent resume that spans
seamlessly from one job to the next. Generally speaking, they’ll have another
job within a month or two of their previous one. Some cases are a little
different, though. If there's a significant period of time between their dates
of employment — that may be a red flag.

Some
resumes have months and even years between employment dates and that could be
an issue. Why were they out of the workforce for so long? What were they doing
in those periods without work? Was it a legal or health-related issue that came
up? Every one of these questions is valid, but the most important thing is to
make sure you ask them.

If
you don’t ask these questions, you might be missing out on a great employee as
well. Maybe they have an excellent explanation. They might've gone back to
school or were taking care of a sick relative. Several different life scenarios
can play out. This is why you need to get your answer straight from your
applicant and be direct in doing so.

Bad Grammar and Spelling

Everyone
who applies for a job isn’t going to be a wordsmith. We get it. With that in
mind, they need to show they put some genuine effort into applying. Doing a
quick computer spell check or getting a friend to read a resume over isn’t that
difficult. In 2019, there’s really no excuse for a resume with poor grammar and
spelling.

In
fact, it looks sloppy.
If you know grammar and spelling aren’t your greatest strengths, get some help.
From a recruiter’s perspective, it looks like the applicant didn’t even try if
the grammar and spelling are a mess. A candidate with excellent grammar and
spelling will immediately stand out as a professional and well-calculated candidate.

Failure to Follow the Application Process

Every
company has a different way of handling its recruitment process. To be
considered for a particular role, an applicant has to follow that process. It
usually starts with a job posting asking for specifics like a resume, cover
letter, and portfolio. It’s not always those three, but you get the idea.

You'd
be shocked to know just how many applicants breeze through these details.
Instead, they’ll give you a resume and a random website link with no explanation.
A cover letter and nothing else. And so on and so forth. If they didn’t bother
to take the time to read over the posting carefully, why should you give their
application a shot? It’s a failure to follow your application guidelines and
disrespectful to the other applicants who did.

Once you’ve found a resume to your liking, Certn can help you run a comprehensive background check to make sure you have the right candidate. Sign up for a free account today!

About the author:

Andrew McLeod is a C3O of Certn, a leading global data company specializing in lightning fast background checks. In addition to running one of the fastest growing tech start-ups in Canada, he advises leaders on how to thrive in the current era of disruptive technological change and how to go from idea to $1M in ARR while “living the dream”. Andrew previously disrupted the rent payment space with RentMoola, pioneered Canadian online classifieds (2007 Exit) and was a Forbes 30 Under 30 Nominee. He holds a BBA and a Masters of International Business and Law.

Related articles

Certn Lime: The Background Check Solution for SMBs

Certn Lime is a background check solution designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that issue a lower volume of checks annually. Our services have always
2 min read

The Certn Background Check Process

  Background checks can be known as inconvenient. The long waits, the pointless trips to the RCMP station and the paperwork that comes along with completing your RCMP Criminal
3 min read

6 Retail Recruitment Strategy Tips For 2021

If you’re reading this, take a deep breath - you’ve made it through 2020; arguably one of the most paradigm shifting years of recent human history. The pandemic put our global
4 min read

The Do's & Don’ts of Successfully Hiring Millennials

Hiring millennials is easier said than done. A lot of businesses think they can wave some ping pong and pizza in their face and call it a day. While their view of the corporate
3 min read

Performing Streamlined Background Checks in Australia

In 2018 the Australian Crime Commission Regulations 2018 reported: “The police history checking service plays an important role in ensuring that bodies such as charities,
2 min read

3 Questions to Ask a Candidate's References

Companies lose an average of $14,900 on each bad hire from the previous year. Let that really sink in for a second. That’s a good chunk of change, no matter how you slice it. As
2 min read

3 Reasons Why You’re Having a Tough Time Finding the Right Candidate

As a recruiter, finding the perfect candidate to fit a particular role can often be the bane of your existence. Sure there are candidates, but how many of them are actually the
3 min read

Background Checks & The Future Work - The Gig Economy

In many respects, the future of work is already here. Amid the headlines exclaiming the predicted loss of jobs due to automation and other changes brought by artificial
1 min read

Criminal Record Checks for the Cannabis Industry: Choosing the Right Provider

Employment in the marijuana industry in Canada is growing. Last year, Canada introduced legalized recreational cannabis to the nation, and employment in the sector has
3 min read

Certn Launches Industry’s Foremost Background Check Service in the U.S.

Firm Appoints HR Superstar Steve Cadigan to Board to Bolster Growth and Build Opportunity Menlo Park, CA, April 9, 2019 — In the world of “people screening,” speed and accuracy
3 min read

Fight Unconscious Bias During Recruitment with These Tips

As much as we hate to admit it, we all have biases. We're biased when it comes to sports teams, food, and nearly every aspect of our everyday life. We can’t help ourselves. Most
2 min read

Hockey Season is Coming - Police Check Turnaround Times are at All-Time Highs

Tis the season where if you’re planning to coach hockey, you should be thinking about getting your annual background check! However, many leagues run on volunteers and one thing
1 min read

How AI is revolutionizing recruitment

As workplace technologies have become more advanced and sophisticated, HR recruiters have followed suit. The recruitment process is being streamlined through the introduction of
2 min read

How technology is revolutionizing recruitment

Technology’s impact on the modern workplace is undeniable. We live in a time when people can work just as well from home as they can from a downtown office. Because of the
2 min read

Qualities of the World’s Greatest Teams and How to Recreate Them

The core values in all great teams are drilled into athletes on elite teams can be the difference between a SuperBowl and disappointment. There are countless teams in business and
3 min read

The truth about social media screening

The sheer amount of information you can access about someone through social media is dizzying. As people continue to maximize their digital footprints through platforms like
2 min read

The Dos & Don’ts of Successfully Hiring Millennials

Hiring Millennials is easier said than done. A lot of businesses think they can wave some ping pong and pizza in their face and call it a day. While their view of the corporate
3 min read

Why you should always screen your freelancers

As the gig economy continues to grow with 43% of the current workforce expected to be self-employed by 2020, it’s time for recruiters to take freelancers seriously. We’ve seen the
2 min read

Three Secrets to Hiring the Best Talent Even Amidst a Crisis

At the time of writing, the whole world is in the grip of a global pandemic that has forced entire countries into full lockdowns. This is not the time to cower, though. This is
1 min read

The Gig Economy Revolution: Preparing for the Inevitable Future

There’s a revolution happening. The shape of labor itself is shifting. Whatever the reasons for this, the question is...is your company ready for it? The gig economy is known for
3 min read

Certn Signs a New Partnership with JobAdder

As one of the leaders in the HR industry, we pride ourselves offering the best and fastest background check services. Certn provides every check you would ever need in your
2 min read

Why you need to screen your potential hires

As anyone who’s taken part in the recruitment process already knows — finding the right hire is a massive undertaking. It’s not as simple as putting out a job posting and picking
2 min read

DHR International - Client Spotlight

 

Client Spotlight: Beacon HR