How to Eliminate Any Potential Red Flags from Your Resume

A lot hinges on your resume. It’s usually your first introduction to a prospective employer, and competition for jobs can be fierce, so you want to make sure it stands out from the rest, and not in a bad way.

Unless your resume really piques the interest of the person reviewing it, they’ll probably look at it for all of 20 seconds. That’s not a long time to make a good impression. Include some of these red flags on your resume, and the amount of time they’ll spend considering you for the job drops off dramatically.

Do you want to increase your odds of being called in for an interview? Eliminate these red flags from your resume, and you’ll have a much better shot.

Huge Gaps in Employment History

Long periods between jobs could indicate that you left a position in a hurry, without getting your ducks in a row first. Employers might wonder why you’d be so impulsive, or wonder how you were getting by in the interim.

No Cover Letter

You may have heard that business recruiters hardly ever read the cover letter, but in fact, the opposite may be true. Competition for available jobs is fierce these days, and cover letters are sometimes the only thing a hiring manager has time to read.

Your cover letter should express, in short order, why you’re the best candidate for the job, and should show why your experience and qualifications are an ideal fit.

Some hiring managers are so pressed for time that they’ll simply discard resumes that don’t include a cover letter as a matter of course. Don’t give them an excuse to toss yours.

Too Personal

Resumes that include extensive details about hobbies, religious beliefs, or personal life are a huge no-no. For one thing, the vast majority of that information is totally irrelevant to most jobs. For another, talking too much about personal interests and not enough about work experience makes it seem like you’re just trying to fill space, or to distract the reader from your lack of relevant experience. Finally, disclosing information that could expose employers to discrimination charges if they hire or fail to hire you will almost certainly cause them to move on to another candidate.


What does “sloppiness” entail? Spelling and grammatical errors, cut and paste flubs, poor organization, bad sentence structure, and an obvious lack of knowledge about the employer, are all grouped under one handy category: Sloppiness. Why? Because they all show a lack of attention to detail, and that’s a big turn-off for prospective employers.

Think about it this way: Your resume is your one shot at getting noticed by an employer. If it doesn’t wow them, then you’re out of the running. If you were serious about the job, you’d put some time into making it shine.

If you can’t be bothered to make sure your resume has it going on, then how fastidious will you be when completing your work assignments? If you’re representing the company to its clients, how much effort will you put into making sure they’re impressed, if you won’t put any work into creating a stellar resume?

Go to It!

Now that you’ve eliminated these red flags from your resume, you’ll have a much better shot at landing your dream job.