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How to Identify and Overcome The Red Flags in Your Resume

After the global pandemic and economic crisis, it is hard to find jobs in a situation like this. And it becomes even more difficult when you have a resume bleeding red. Before sending your resume, you need to find the red flags and create a contingency plan before it decreases your chances of getting hired.

So, here are some of the common red flags that push your resume to the bottom of the list of desired candidates.

1- Employment Gaps in Your Resume : One of the biggest red flags that can raise a false alarm is the employment gaps in your resume. The unexplained lengthy ones are much worse. This gives a feeling that you’ve had a hard time finding jobs in the past which further indicates that you’ve been performing poorly, or there are other lapses.

There are times when the interviewer might see the gap as a red flag making you look like an unreliable candidate, but these gaps can also be used to showcase some valid reason. Taking time off for upskilling, reskilling, taking care of yourself and your family can be explained. It can also include paternity leave or parental leave. These can also include unemployment due to a pandemic (which is the current prevalent scenario), recession, or any other external factor that can be a legitimate reason.

You can approach this situation in two ways. You can either fill in the gaps with a professionally relevant activity such as a short course, online workshops, or weekly classes. Another option is to add the experience of work that you did with a contractor or freelance work. Even though you cannot get employed full-time, you can still beef up your resume with such work.

2-Frequent Drop Outs : Frequent dropout or Job Hopping, as many would say it, is considered to be the next red flag for a candidate. This means that the candidate has frequently changed multiple jobs in a short period. It can give a negative impact on the interviewer. Questions like “will this candidate be able to commit to the organization or not” or “does he have chronic choices when it comes to roles and responsibilities” can arise. Either of these can reduce your chances of being the preferred candidature.

To avoid your interviewer’s concerns, you can mention the growth and development in your career and skills due to working alongside different leaders. You can also focus on the numerous achievements and benchmarks that you’ve set in each role. You can also share details about the varied experiences that you’ve had and how it has led to an increase in the depth of your knowledge and expertise.

3- Unplanned Exits : Unplanned exits can make your resume look spotty. A lot of hiring managers prefer candidates who are serving a notice period or are aligned with their previous employers. This gives a sense that you have a storm candidature and commitment.

An uncertain departure might lay a landmine in the job search process as you’ll be bombarded with questions regarding the reason why you left. Whether you were laid off, fired, or you chose to resign voluntarily.

Instead of carrying a bitter feeling with your previous employer, try to focus on what you’ve learned and the goals that you accomplished. Talk about the kind of environment that you prefer to work in. If it is a high-growth company, working under deadlines or pressure, or a focus on innovation. Try to convey these dynamic needs and the interviewer will understand how the previous companies missed out on these features. Thus, making you a desired candidate.

Reflect on the lessons learned in the previous firms and explain how it has contributed to your overall growth and skill development.

Considering the current situation that has led to unemployment and job loss, candidates need to keep them in the best light possible. Although, there is no such thing as a perfect resume there are important precautions that should be taken by candidates who have a history of early or unplanned departures from companies or employment gaps.

With the above-mentioned strategies, candidates can develop a sense of confidence and trust with their new employers to help them get the desired job.


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