10 Major Resume Red Flags That You Need to Avoid – Check this out

by Misbaudeen Adeshina


So, what are these 10 major resume red flags that you need to avoid? Well, these are the very types of things you should stay away from when writing your CV.

A resume is also referred to as a CV (Curriculum vitae) and it is the first thing recruiters look at when they receive a pile of applications for a specific job opening.

Each resume is unique, so a recruiter uses Major Resume Red Flags to filter out CVs that do not have what the employer is looking for. Once these resume problems are fixed, you should have no problem landing the job you want.


10 Major Resume Red Flags

The ten major resume red flags are: typography error, formatting error, employment gap, customization, job-hopping, irrelevant hobbies, achievements, unimpressive skills, inability to follow instructions, and no link between your skills and the job you are applying to.


Typography Error

Spelling errors can be one of the most Major Resume Red Flags for any employer. Many people make the mistake of using poor spelling or poor grammar when they write their CVs.

When recruiters go through a pile of CVs, each of these candidates will be compared. If recruiters see one with spelling errors, they may feel less inclined to hire that candidate, because it is certain to reflect poorly on them if the resume is not correct in the first place.


Formatting Error

Applying for a job with a poorly formatted resume would make the employer toss your resume to a virtual bin.

I understand that formatting a CV can be tricky, but you don’t want to make the mistake of having a messy resume that would prevent the employer from going through the content of the CV.


Employment Gap

An employment Gap is an empty time between your job employment. It is something you want to explain before your recruiter or hiring manager assumes the worst of where you were during those period.

You should explain in an highlighted text font what you were doing when you were not working for 5 months, it can be maybe you took some time off work to stay with your family, or you went abroad, whatever the reason might be, you should be honest with it and write it down.

If you have an employment gap without explaining it in your resume, your recruiter might assume that maybe you were fired from your previous job, serving time in the prison for a crime and a lot more assumption you probably wouldnt like.

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Recruiters look for resumes that are customized or tailored to the job they are recruiting for. One of the major resume red flags that recruiters or hiring manager look for is lack of customization to the job you are applying for.

If your resume is not customized to picture you as someone capable of doing the job you are applying for, the hiring manager would without a second thought toss your resume to the virtual bin.

Job Hopping

When a recruiter or hiring manager read from your resume that you have an history of jumping out of jobs, it would make them to toss your resume to the virtual bin.

Recruiters do not want someone that would come to their company, use some months and take off to another job. It is hard to train and invest on a worker and you realise they are out of your company to another company before the ink dried out on their contract.

If you are in this category of job seekers, you should be honest and not be deceptive about it but you have choice on the type of information you can put on your resume.


Irrelevant Hobbies

To me, a resume is a formal document that is meant to show if you are qualified to take up a job position in a company, do you think the recruiter or hiring manager cares about your hobby?

The fact is that, the hiring manager doesn’t care if you are good in a video game, a good football player except your hobbies directly or indirectly connect with the job position you are applying for, if it does not, you should not include it in your CV.


It is great to include your duties in your previous jobs, however you would leave an impression on the hiring manager if you write what your duties in your previous jobs has yielded.

Th recruiter or hiring manager would be glad to know what achievements your actions in your previous job has yielded. Stating your achievements in your previous job would increase your chance of getting the job.


Unimpressive Skills

Writing skills like microsoft words and excel skills in your resume is one of the red flags of a resume. In today’s word, skills like “I am good in microsoft word and excel” would put you at a disadvantage rather than an advantage.

If you would like to write a skill on your CV, write skills that could make your employer sees you as a skilled applicants. Having skills that are relevant to the job that you are applying for would increase your chance of securing the job.


Inability to Follow Instructions

Recruiters intentionally put up a direction or instruction that need to be followed while applying for the job, it can be a reference, or call only, or maybe text only, if you do not follow the instruction, it immediately send a red flag to the recruiter that you have a problem following an instruction.

No recruiter wants to hire such an applicant.


No Link Between Your Skills and the Job you are Applying to

One of the things recruiters look for in a resume is the link between your skills, or job experience with the job you want to apply for.

If the recruiter or hiring manager could not connect the dots between your skills and the job you are applying for, that would turn to another major resume red flag and you most definitely have your resume striked out.

No recruiter wants to spend time going through a CV that he cant connect with the job he is recruiting for.



In this post, I have written the top major resume red flags that you need to avoid. By avoiding it and not including any of it in your CV, you would appear to be the right person for the job and not some ordinary guys that are just desperate for a job.

Do you have a question or you would like to add your own major resume red flag to this post, please comment it in the comment section below and we would review it, and if it is perfect and not plagiarised, we would add it to our post with your name on it ):

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