Hunting for a job is the worst. It’s not fun at all and that extends to the entire interview and hiring process.
If you’re making your way through it right now, hoping to land a job that’s going to be a great fit, chances are you’ll take any advice that will help you with a leg up – so you’ve got to check out these red flags” from HR managers on Reddit.
1. There’s a feather in your cap.
Someone put on their special skills that they were involved in Movember.
2. That’s a lot of experience.
I once had someone hand in a resume with 6 whole pages of job history, each one described with a paragraph of detail about the skills she’d learned and what the role involved. There must have 20 jobs on there? At least.
She had also put the dates she started and left each job…. the longest was four months face palm
3. We can all do that.
The resume saying something like “keen attention to detail” is one that always makes me roll my eyes.
Similarly, my eyes roll almost completely out of my skull when a job posting demands attention to detail, but the actual post is riddled with incorrect spelling and poor grammar.
4. Well that’s an obvious no.
Dude put “Netflix and chill” under his interests.
5. There are good reasons for that.
Not a recruiter, but I’ve read that the services that sort out resumes for businesses before HR even sees them automatically reject resumes with a gap in employment history.
6. Just give them the highlights.
Not really a red flag but a resume that’s longer than 2 pages. And unless you’ve got 10+ years of experience, 1 page is fine.
A resume should be a knock on the door. You don’t kick the door down with your resume.
7. It’s totally a thing.
Really curious to see, as (edit: the people who are currently in higher positions being) a generation that grew up with video games and D&D, if that will start being recognized as potential realistic team building/soft skills.
I had that I ran the Humans vs Zombies game on my college campus for about 3 years after graduating school and it was far and away the most asked about thing on my resume.
As well as giving me an opportunity to talk about leadership, organization etc (it was a week long enough that had over 200 students participate so it was a fairly large deal).
8. At least make it believable.
Having more tech experience with a product than it’s been out.
I had one genius claim to have a years y experience with Windows XP a week after it was released
9. That’s too much dirty laundry.
I don’t work in HR, but I have some experience reviewing resumes and job applications. Once when I was at work, a man dropped off his resume for consideration. He was polite to me and there were no problems initially.
I read his resume. His contact information was his Reddit username. He had a 4-year work and school gap with 0 explanation. He also wrote that he was molested when he was a child and that his father was murdered.
He wrote that he wanted revenge against his father’s murderers, the “evils in the pharmaceutical industry,” and his abusers.
Management decided not to interview or hire him.
10. Follow the basic directions.
One of my first Reddit arguments was with someone who said you should show up to a business you’re interested in working at and hand deliver your resume.
I worked front desk reception at the time, and I said that would only result in me putting your resume through the shredder, that we have very specific ways we hire for jobs and if you can’t follow those basic directions, you’re definitely not going to be hired.
He said if that’s how companies felt and they didn’t give him the respect he deserves, he wouldn’t want to work for that company anyway.
11. First of all, don’t lie.
Had to check a few resumes for our vacant position:
My biggest problem is lying:
Candidate says they have a lot of experience with a certain technology, but when asked, doesn’t know anything.
Dates of employment or education don’t match up. Had a guy claiming he had 4 jobs at the same time.
Experience doesn’t add up: don’t claim you have 10 years of experience with a framework created 5 years ago.
12. Sometimes HR is the problem.
This is why my company doesn’t use HR for hiring.
H.R. doesn’t work with the employees, the managers do. H.R. will weed out perfect applicants over the silliest things and give preference to people for things totally unrelated to the job. Our managers get the resumes and applications and they choose who to interview. HR then conducts background checks and verifications. Their decisions can be over-ruled by upper management.
When our company started using an HR staff to do all the hiring, we ran into a horrible staffing shortage and what new hires we did get were unworkable. The company’s profits dropped and long reliable employees quit because of the beauracracy that an HR office created. The owner fired half the HR staff and limited the remaining HR staff to compliance issues and payroll paperwork. Our managers do all the recruiting and hiring. Employees are happy and the company is thriving again.
13. That’s pretty cringe.
Still spelling engineer wrong after getting the degree.
Seriously – google that or listen to the autocorrect. I know math is your thing – not spelling, but still…
14. Proofread, please.
Not in HR but I was recruiting nurses a few months back and had one resume that had a cover page with a large (approx A5 equiv) centered photo. I’m not fond of these in healthcare resumes.
Then on the first page of the resume was a scale where she ranked herself out of 5. She rated her communication and attention to detail as 5/5 but her teamwork as 2/5. I didn’t like the scoring and even worse I didn’t like the low teamwork score where she applied for a ward nursing job.
To top it off it was riddled with grammatical, spelling and presentation errors. Clearly attention to detail wasn’t a 5/5.
15. MLM’s beware.
When their job title says “entrepreneur” and their description just screams pyramid scheme.
16. Seriously, ask a friend to look it over!
I used to run training program, and we had about 4000 applicants for 200 positions each year. Bad grammar and spelling automatically got a resume thrown out, because the job required so much writing. Also, get the name of the agency correct! I had one applicant, who claimed she was a PhD candidate, talk about the Health and Human Cervixes. WTF?
Inappropriate email. One guy had something like Pimp69 for his email. He listed a website of his, and it had a rear nude. Dude. Just what?
17. They will Google you.
So not a recruiter, but I was helping my then manager go over resumes. We googled one dude, and the first thing that pops up is an article about someone getting tried for manslaughter or homicide for selling bad (hard drugs contaminated with something) drugs at the bar he worked at as a bartender, complete with extensive interviews from coworkers saying they were pretty sure he’d sold contaminated drugs purposely.
And we know it was the same dude, BECAUSE HE LISTED THE BAR ON HIS RESUME.
18. Keep it brief.
As someone who went through the ringers in the architecture field and now part of the hiring process . My advice is to keep resumes to one page . We really don’t have time to go through two pages of awards and merits . And portfolios that are above 10 pages really are not necessary.
We have gotten 30-40 page portfolios that are incomplete and look ugly . I rather see 5-10 good pages and a solid one page resumes .
It automatically signals fluff to us , especially when the portfolio lacks substance .
Through my career I have always done 1 page resume , 2 page portfolios, and letters of recommendation . Then on my resume or in emails I give a link to my full portfolio , and full website about my merits .
Also as of lately this whole ” google architect” is real. For example , we have seen a latest trend in work not being original . Almost blatant copies
19. A professional email.
A very unprofessional email is definitely one.
You see some insane emails. I knew someone who got an email address that had “big daddy” in it.
For anyone who needs a professional email address, personally I find any combination of your first, middle, last names, initials, and birthdate are all acceptable.
In fact any numbers but 420, 69, etc. And 123 is fine.
20. Make sure it looks nice.
Not HR, but recruited many times. Poor grammar and spelling. No relevant experience. Inconsistent fonts and layout. Too long.
A well worded resume should convey enough in two pages to elicit an interview.
21. Photos not required (or advised).
Once saw a resume (submitted for the role of Executive Director in a nonprofit) where the guy included a shirtless gym selfie and an “about me” section where he talked about working out.
22. You have to get through the automatic filters.
I worked with a professional to re-do my resume for advancement.
For private industry, one page is ideal, but if you are applying to a senior role and you have over 15 years of experience, you may use 2 pages to show your career trajectory.
That said, you may need two pages for automated resume scanners that are looking for key words. Unfortunately, there are companies that use these and being able to get in those key words is important. E.g. Hobbies “Updating my skills in Excel, PowerBI, and Tableau” to get those key words through even though you may not be an expert in Excel…
Real HR folks may have more advice on this but I was able to get through several automated filters this way in spite of having a non-traditional background.
23. Don’t oversell yourself.
We saw a guy apply for a masters degree internship in a scientific lab saying on the last page of his resume that he had invented the seventh law of magnetism or something like that followed by a nonsense description of what it was. The rest of the resume was absolutely fine, and we reminded ourselves that it is always crucial to read a resume to the end before making any decision.
And piece of advice for anyone who applies somewhere and think they have an unrecognized discovery worth a nobel prize: have it recognized before you put it on your resume.
24. They don’t have all day.
Was recruiting a while back for a couple of positions in my company. Got one cv that was 18 pages long detailing in minute detail everything this guy had done at previous jobs.
Another included a 75 page portfolio.
Suffice to say neither got an interview.
One of the guys that got the job brought a short portfolio of a few pages with plenty of pictures to the interview. Far more appropriate.
25. Make sure your resume is relevant.
My father-in-law was once involved in a hiring process and saw a resume he threw out very quickly. Not only was it chronological instead of anti-chronological (not a red flag per se, but not very practical either).
The first (and oldest) achievement the applicant put on it was her “shoe-lacing diploma”. Yes, the thing we get in kindergarten when you have learned to tie your shoes.
According to the applicant, it proved that she was a go-getter. To him, it proved that she lacked common sense.
26. Maybe the whole truth isn’t always required.
Saw this once work experience- dog walking Reason for leaving – the dog died.
27. This would disqualify you from being a human, honestly.
A headshot where they’re wearing an SS uniform
A literal red flag.
Good luck out there, friends. You can do it!
If you’re involved in hiring, add your own red flags in the comments.