Resume Red Flags Every Employer Hates

The job market is competitive, in no small part because employers find themselves so overwhelmed with candidates that they don’t spend much time looking over resumes. Hiring managers say that there are obvious signs in resumes that help them cull poor candidates within seconds. Carelessness, unprofessionalism, and immaturity shows through in these candidates. For all the effort you put into your resume, a potential employer will spend an average of 30 seconds deciding whether to consider you for an interview. Avoid these red flags to keep your resume from ending up in the “no” pile.


Job Hopping

Besides being an indicator of unreliability, employers shy away from job hoppers because they are a poor investment. They’re unlikely to spend the kind of time and money it takes to train a new candidate only to have them leave the job in a year. Show consistency in your work and you will have a better chance at the position.


Unprofessional Email Addresses

No matter how polished your resume is, an email address like will land your application in the trash. Always have a backup email address that includes your first initial and last name.


Background Issues


Just because you don’t put your criminal history or radical political views on your resume doesn’t mean an employee won’t figure it out. Unless your lawyer can get your record expunged, your hit and run accident last year or your shoplifting incident at Walmart will show up on a standard background check.


Poor Writing


Believe it or not, English class was important! Poor spelling, grammar, and general writing skills are a turnoff for employers. If your resume is full of errors, they will question your attention to detail and your general competence. Always proofread and polish your resume, including any personal details. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the interview because your phone number was typed incorrectly.


Descriptions Over Achievements

Describing your past job duties is important, but highlighting your accomplishments is key to getting noticed by potential employers. They are more interested in hearing about how you increased sales by 30%, reduced turnover, or won an award for your service. Always quantify your claims and be ready to prove them if necessary.



It’s easy to give in to the temptation to be overly explanatory in a resume, but this is a mistake. Interviews will give you the opportunity to expound on job duties or gap years. In your resume, keep things as concise as possible, using bullet points where appropriate. The more easily a prospective employer can read your resume, the more likely they are to add it to the shortlist.


Remember, your resume is your first impression to a potential employer. Keep it polished and professional, and avoid the red flags, and you’ll be more likely to sit down for that first interview. Good luck!