Screening CVs may feel like second nature to recruiters, but it is essential that you do the job well in order to save hiring managers from disastrous interviews.  There are certain red flags which could pop up on candidate CVs which are good indicators that the candidate may not be a suitable hire.  These are some of those red flags.

1. Bad Formatting

One red flag is bad formatting – this gives you an idea of how professional the candidate will be.  Bad formatting shows that not a lot of care was taken when writing the CV, and this is something which might carry through to the way they work.  Also, bad formatting makes it more difficult to look through and find key information for hiring managers.

2. Too Long

Similarly, is a CV is too long then it could highlight poor communication skills.  If a candidate can’t keep their CV short, sharp and relevant, then it is likely that they will have similar problems in their work.  On the other hand, a CV which is too short suggests a lack of experience, which would limit the candidate’s suitability for any role.

3. Lack of Achievements

A lack of achievements suggests that they have not done a great job, no matter what position they were in.  While a candidate might be promoting the fact that they have managed a team, it is important that you find out how the team performed, and whether targets or deadlines were met.

4. Gaps in Employment

One of the biggest red flags is unexplained gaps in employment.  While gaps in employment are not necessarily red flags (such as career breaks to travel, study, start a family, etc.), unexplained gaps are a worry for hiring managers.  This is a red flag because it calls into question what they have been doing – so it is important to clarify what they have been up to before shortlisting them.  Hopefully a candidate will have pre-empted this situation and provided details of their employment gaps in their CV.

These are four of the key red flags to look for on candidate CVs in order to avoid any awkward interviews or hiring mistakes.  Of course, it is important to remember that these things might be accidental, so discussing problems with candidates can be a helpful way to aid both of you in the recruitment process.