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Your Forlorn Résumé: Can You Spot The Red Flags?

Resume Red Flags

Your Forlorn Résumé: Can You Spot The Red Flags?

Your résumé is like a window into your professional soul – as such, it should be imperative that your CV be a reflection of you, the perfect hire: professional, polished, and skilled. It’s therefore always a great idea to have a sort of a ‘sanity check’ on your résumé, especially if you’ve been firing ‘em off by the hundreds without as much as an interview.

Forlorn CV, begone! We’ve compiled a list of résumé red flags – go ahead and compare it with your yours. Maybe you’ll find a section that’s badly in need of cleanup.

Resume Cleanup

Let’s clean that résumé!

Bad speling and grammer

I think I died a little bit typing that.

Seriously though, your résumé is a window into who you are as an individual, so you should want to present yourself as polished and professional. If you’re genuinely not that great at English, hire a professional résumé writer or service to take care of that for you. The fee you’ll pay will be worth not having to worry about your CV going straight to the trash because it’s poorly presented. If you really can’t afford that, reach out to friends and family who may be able to assist in proofreading your résumé for you. Or, contact us. We do résumé reviews for our candidates, and we’d love to help clean up your résumé red flags.

Resume Red Flags - Bad Grammar and Spelling

Grammar is hard :(

Employment gaps

Let’s say you had to take a year off work to care for an ailing family member. Should you address this? The answer is unequivocally yes, as chances are the gap will be noticed by hiring managers, and it’s easier to bring it up yourself so you can have the power in that conversation. We’d recommend very succinctly addressing it in one line. For example:

1/2017 – 1/2018: Primary caregiver for ailing relative.

This allows you to be able to reassure your potential employer that the gap was a one-time issue that will not repeat itself.

Employ the same strategy for any other reasons behind the gap. Did you take an unpaid maternity leave? Needed to handle a personal health crisis? All the same: this was a one-time issue that has now been addressed and will not affect future performance.

Additionally, did you do any volunteering during this gap? If so, write it down on your résumé. Volunteering is an amazing, selfless act – and no matter what you volunteer at, you’ll learn valuable skills. Having this on your résumé gives you a chance to talk about what you learned and how it can potentially benefit the company.

Irrelevant work history

This applies mostly to established workers who are 5-10 years into their career. I’m going to level with you: if you’re applying for a Director-level position, no one needs to see that your first job in high school was a Dishwasher at Joe’s Deli. Keep it relevant to your field, and keep it succinct. One page is ideal – you really needn’t have more than 3 or 4 positions on your résumé. Also, ditch the Objective. It’s useless, and it takes up precious real estate that could be used to expand on technical skills or accomplishments.

No skills listed

If you’re in the tech space (which I’m assuming you are since you’re on our website and we’re a tech recruiting agency :) ), you should have a section on your résumé with your top tech skills. If you’re a developer, list out what you can code in. While proficiency levels are nice, they’re not necessary – because really, everyone has their own scale of what an expert in X is. Proficiency scales end up muddying the waters as they can over or undersell your skills. See below for an example of what we loooove to see:

Resume Red Flags - No Skills Listed

After you clean your résumé up a bit, you’ll hopefully begin to see more traction. I know it can be a bit daunting – and even overwhelming – to go through all the info and try to figure out what to parse out and leave in/expand on. So if you’re having a ton of trouble, reach out. We can help you tailor your résumé to the kinds of jobs you’re applying for.

Roxanne Williams is the Marketing Director at Full Stack Talent, a technology staffing agency in Tampa, FL. Find her LinkedIn here.

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