4 Red Flags to Look for in a Candidate's CV

By Alicia Geigel on July 6, 2018

As a recruiter, sorting through resumes and CVs can be relentlessly tiring, repetitive and boring. With an average of 250 resumes received for each corporate job posting and approximately 427,000 resumes posted weekly on job search websites like Glassdoor or Monster, recruiters like you are in difficult positions when it comes to the hiring process. Receiving hundreds and even thousands of applications for a position can make it difficult to sort through worthy, potential candidates and unworthy ones. Being overwhelmed by the number of resumes and CVs your company receives is normal, and trying to effectively filter through candidates without panicking is common, but don’t worry, there is hope!

Just like every position, there are meaningful ways to not only make your job easier but also make you more successful in accomplishing your tasks! Being a recruiter or a part of a hiring staff at a company is no different, especially when it comes to going through one of the first parts of applications- CVs. For outsiders, all resumes and CVs may look the same, however, there are specific details to look for as red flags of a bad candidate for the position you are looking to fill. Are you a part of a hiring staff or a recruiter for a company? Are you having difficulty filtering through multiple CVs? Unsure of appropriate traits to look for and red flags to avoid? Check out these four red flags to spot in CVs that will hasten the hiring process and make your job a lot easier!

keyboard, escape button, keys, computer

Image via Pixabay

1. Formatting.

One of the first things to note on an applicant’s CV is formatting. The formatting of CVs can be categorized into two groups: sloppy and polished. The first red flag to spot when reviewing a CV is sloppy formatting, which can tell you a few secrets about the applicant. Firstly, it can relay that they lack self-discipline, time management, and professionalism as the individual did not take the proper time to clean up, polish and make their CV look presentable. As a recruiter, you don’t want a person who does not have the time or effort to edit their CV as apart of your company.

Additionally, UndercoverRecruiter.com notes, “Along with this, a CV that has messy formatting will make it almost impossible for a hiring manager to pick out the important information that they need, in the short time they have available to review CVs.”

2. Lack of Targeting.

Since job positions generally have different roles to be fulfilled and responsibilities to take on, the qualifications on a CV should reflect this variety in occupational duties and roles. A CV that is generalized to cover a broad range of positions makes it harder for you, as a recruiter, to spot specific traits and skills that would make that candidate a good fit for the position.

Sure, it is all well and good if a candidate has a general set of skills that could perform fine on the job, but as a recruiter, you’re looking for a specific skillset to make them (and your company) shine.

3. No Achievements.

Part of having a great CV is not just through lengthy experience, but it is also through achievements. Job history and responsibilities are certainly a significant part of a CV, however, these titles and roles don’t mean much without evidence or substance to back it up.

For example, UndercoverRecruiter.com notes that a potential candidate may have managed a team, but “How did that team perform? Did they meet deadlines? Save money for the business? Reach financial targets?” As a recruiter, a lack of achievements is definitely a red flag for the candidate you may be considering.

4. CV is Too Long.

A CV is a document designed to make a candidate stand out and shine to recruiters. Some people tend to crowd their resume with all of their work experience, all of their accomplishments, and all of their skills. While I think we can agree that as recruiters, you are interested in reading about who candidates are, you are more curious about who they are within the context of their company and the position you are seeking to fill for your company.

Someone with a long CV may demonstrate that they don’t have the best communication skills, as they may have trouble filtering out the best content or qualities about themselves and instead lump together their whole life experiences.

job, employee, employer, paper, pen

Image via Pixabay

Though it may seem difficult to effectively sort through CVs and spot the biggest red flags right away, if you consider these four tips, not only will you be successful in recruiting but you will also gain a greater understanding of how to be a better employee! The best thing to do is to be patient yet persistent in the process and trust that the right candidate is just in the next pile! As always, good luck!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | photographer | food blogger if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get College Recruiting News Monthly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format