As a recruiter, you have to know what to look for. That means going over important details in a candidate’s resume and reading between the lines. A lot of people think, well, if I list all my skills and past jobs, everything should be okay. That’s not always the case. I’ve seen (and fixed!) a lot of resumes in my 11 years of recruiting. Here are my top 5 red flags to look for in your candidate’s resume:

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and poor grammar are the ultimate red flags. Companies see these errors as a sign of someone who does sloppy or lazy work. Remember, the resume is the first impression a company will have of the candidate. It’s important to review your candidate’s resume before sending it to your company to start them off on the right foot.

Employment Irregularities

A candidate’s resume is a timeline of their career. Large gaps in their employment or too many short stints are red flags. Your candidate may have taken time off to care for their children/an elderly parent, continue their education, or travel. That’s fine. You’re completely in-line to ask a candidate about their time off. It’s important to include that information when sending the resume to your company. Beware of the candidate who changes jobs every few months. This shows a lack of commitment that can waste your client’s time and money. Often times (especially with startups) a short stint can be easily explained. Just make sure you have that information when sending the resume.

Too Long

A resume should be one to two pages long. You have to remember most hiring managers aren’t looking at a resume for more than 15 seconds. If your resume is more than two pages your past work experience likely won’t be read. Not to mention your important accomplishments may be overlooked by other details overshadowing your resume. Keep it short and to the point.

Lack of Career Direction or Achievement

Another thing you want to see on a resume—career progression. Your candidate’s responsibilities should grow over time. If you don’t see many achievements, or their job titles are decreasing instead of increasing in importance, it raises questions. But just because it looks like a career has plateaued or gone backwards doesn’t always mean bad news. Be careful not to make assumptions too quickly. Your candidate will explain it all to you in the details, ranging from different job titles to elimination of layers of management, or taking on alternate roles instead of being laid off.

The Resume Is Not Customized

Resumes should always be customized. A candidate’s application should make a connection between the skills and experience outlined in the job posting and their qualifications. Their objective should also identify their strengths in relation to the job. After all, this is a key opportunity for them. If a candidate has researched the company, business, and industry, it shows not just knowledge, but also that they’re serious.

Interested in learning more about how you can find the right candidate for a job, every time? Follow my recruiting tips provided in The Millionaire Recruiter book and e-Course, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful tech recruiter like me in no time!