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10 Things Every Manager Should Look for On Resumes

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10 Things Every Manager Should Look for On Resumes

When you become a manager in your office, you’ll find yourself responsible for overseeing the recruitment process. It’s natural to be slightly overwhelmed once those resumes start hitting your inbox. It’s normal for one position to receive dozens (if not sometimes hundreds!) of applications. You want to look through the resumes to determine which ones are worth considering and remove those that aren’t suitable for the position. We’ve rounded up ten things every manager should look out for on a candidate’s resume.

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1. A Lack of Attention to Detail.

A resume should be something that a candidate triple checks, so any obvious typos or grammatical errors are a red flag. You can assume they made the application in a rush and without attention to the finer details.

2. Employment Gaps.

This point is not always a red flag, but they should address it in the cover letter. Employments gaps can be the result of health issues, education, or looking after children. If there’s no reason given, you could treat it as an issue of concern.

3. Longer Than Two Pages.

Unless you’re hiring in an area where a portfolio is necessary, a resume should only be two pages. If you come across an excessively long application, you can usually set it aside. These resumes tend to be too personal focused and show an inability to summarize or write professionally.

4. Vague Job Summarizes.

A strong candidate will quantify their CV by giving practical examples of achievements from their previous jobs. If you can see obvious filler and vagueness in the job description, they’re likely exaggerating.

5. They’ve Jumped Around Between Jobs

While it’s becoming more common for people to take short term contracts, if you spot a candidate who seems to stay in one job no longer than a few months, you should have double-think. Excess job-hopping raises questions about their level of commitment and dedication to their career progression.

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6. A Copy and Pasted Resume.

When most people are applying for jobs, they’re sending in multiple applications a day. Candidates should still include a specific reference to the job description or your company in their cover letter.

7. Failed to Follow Instructions.

If you’re hiring for a specialist job, you might have included essential criteria in your job listing. If the candidate hasn’t included these or explained a suitable alternative, it’s a sign that they didn’t pay close attention to the description.

8. Using a Work E-Mail Address.

This point is more about manners and business etiquette. Job applications should come from a personal email address, so if you notice one landing into your inbox from a company email, it should be a red flag.

9. A Curious Employment History.

Not everyone has the same career progression, and people experience setbacks and change paths for many reasons. Candidates will usually explain their career change in their cover letter. If this is absent, it raises questions.

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10. Discrepancies.

Once you start narrowing down your resumes, you want to check if there are discrepancies between what they’ve included and what you can find online. LinkedIn is the ideal place to look, as most people will list their entire work history and education. If you see something is missing between the two, it can make you wonder why.


About the Author

Simon Chou is the Vice President of Operations and Growth at BCjobs.ca. Over the course of his career, he carved a niche in brand development, marketing strategy, and online presence for startups. Prior to joining BCJobs.ca, Simon was an advisor for several global blockchain projects including Litecoin, NEM, and Ripple. In the past, he also worked with Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare space through SM Digital—a global marketing agency.

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