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Resume Red Flags

August 13, 2019
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Recruiters have to spend hours looking through resumes, to help fast track this process there are certain Red Flags that these recruiters look for. These red flags help weed out resumes that don’t fit the role or are considered unprofessional. Some red flags are obvious, but there are a few that many applicants without knowing.

Avoid these simple red flags and find yourself more likely to move to the next stage in the application process.

Unappealing formatting

There is often not enough emphasis put on the importance of format, having a messy and unattractive resume is less likely to be read by the recruiter. It doesn’t matter that the resume made it past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) if the resume is so basic and unattractive, it ends up in the no pile.

Stick to no more than three to five dot points per work experience, keep it basic with a heading font and a body font, use a simple F shaped template, stick to two or three colours for backgrounds and titles only.

Employment Gaps

This can be a real issue when returning to the workforce after having children. It is confronting when you have a gap spanning a few years, and you don’t know what to put down.

Don’t just leave this space blank, an unexplained employment gap will raise more questions. It is best, to be honest, and upfront and let the recruiter know that you are returning to the workforce. While you are on leave if you have a little time, it is excellent to invest in some part-time education and volunteer work. These added skills can help to close the gap in your resume and are looked upon favourably by recruiters.

Resume Length

A resume’s length isn’t super important, but you can bet a recruiter doesn’t want to spend hours reading pages upon pages. In saying that you also don’t want the resume to be too short and lack the appropriate information.

A perfect resume length is usually 2 pages. This provides enough room to add 5 previous places of employment, extra room for references and a good-sized paragraph at the beginning of the resume for a professional profile.


Keywords are essential when applying for a position, they are little hidden gems that prove you are the right applicant for the role. Recruiters will be looking for specific keywords that will include both hard and soft skills relevant to the position.

Search the application and pick out the keywords that seem to be listed a few times and then include them in your resume, ensuring that they are relevant to your experience.

Actionable results

These days recruiters want to see tangible ways that you have applied your experience and knowledge. Having no actionable results leaves questions about your actual skill level and expertise.

When writing your work experience, include results that you have achieved. Think about using the ARTA (Achieved Result by Taking Action) method. List the results and then work backwards and display what steps you took to achieve those results.

 What do you think of these resume red flags?

Do you have another red flags applicants should be aware of?

Leave a comment down below and let the team at Hunting Hired know your thoughts.

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