As a recruiter, hiring manager or HR, it is essential that you can screen candidate CV’s effectively and decipher any red flags in the early stages of the recruitment process.

CV irregularities can indicate a candidate’s suitability for the role or brand you are recruiting for. This can save time for all involved, as any potential issues are foreseen.

Common RED FLAGS when reviewing CV’s…

Unorganised Format

A CV with an incoherent format can suggest a number of issues with suitability and professionalism. Statistics show that an employer will spend between 5-7 seconds reviewing a CV, so presentation really is key, as it is often the first impression a potential employer will receive of you.

Lack of Targets

Each employment opportunity requires a different skillset, therefore a generic CV will not make the cut if a candidate is applying for a range of roles. A CV should showcase the skills and qualifications relevant for the role they are applying for. If a candidate presents a CV with common interest, but fails to provide a level of focus, then there is every possibility that the candidate is not suitable.

Absence of achievement

A candidate may have included relevant responsibilities in their CV, but it is the achievements following from these that hold importance. Without actions, facts and figures to support the duties, hiring managers may question the reliability and honesty of the candidate. Challenging questions, as listed below, can help an employer identify the extent to which a candidate has assumed responsibility effectively in their role.

  • How did you/your team perform?
  • Did you all reach financial targets?
  • Were projects completed on time?

Lengthy Paragraphs

A CV should be concise, with clearly communicated information. If you are sifting through a CV with huge quantities of text and information you may assume the candidate has poor written communication skills. If the candidate is unaware of their audience, you may be inclined to question their communication skills In general!

Unidentified Gaps in Employment

Many successful candidates will take career breaks to travel, dedicate time to family or study. However, if there are many with gaps on their CV with little explanation as to what the candidate has achieved during this time, many managers display concern. It is important to identify what the candidate has accomplished during the gap of employment, and if the candidate has not prempted such questions, or cannot provide a detailed account of their actions during this time, perhaps reconsider…

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