How to identify red flags in a CV

By Robert Half International | Thursday, 10 Jan 2019

As an HR manager, sure you know what to look for in a resume. But there are something you don’t want to see in a good CV. After you've identified those candidates with the most relevant industry skills and experience, make sure you scan their CV and cover letter for any potential deal-breakers.

You can assume that a CV reflects the highest level of professionalism that you’ll see from a candidate should he or she become an employee. It presents applicants with a chance to put their best foot forward, with ample time to craft a flawless submission — a situation that is not always possible on the job.

Be wary of CVs that are not well-organised or contain careless mistakes, such as typos and spelling errors. The use of clichés, buzzwords, or information that is irrelevant to the job description can also indicate a lack of professionalism. Look for language that is clear, personalised, confident and optimistic.

Lots of job changes over a short period may suggest that a candidate won’t stick around very long at your company either, so don't feel too bad about removing them from the shortlist. As you’re reviewing their job history, also look for employment gaps. While these may not rule out an otherwise stellar applicant, candidates should be able to adequately explain them in the interview.

Spotting these red flags will allow you to do your due diligence in less time and with fewer hassles.

Robert Half International

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