Identifying Red Flags in CVs

Resourcing is always a challenge – finding the best ways to promote the job, making sure that you interview the best candidates, finding the person with the right skills and experience, who is a good fit for the existing team and culture in your organisation.

So how can you filter out the bad eggs by identifying which CV red flags to look out for?

Unqualified or unusual employment history or gaps in employment

Gaps in employment happen for many reasons, and at various times – and often aren’t a negative; but a gap in employment history that isn’t explained in the CV is an issue. Unemployment isn’t intrinsically a negative – but without an explanation of why the gap is there, it could mean that the applicant is trying to hide something negative.

Equally, someone who has moved around a lot and had a high number of jobs may have a great explanation that makes sense of their patchy work history – but it’s also possible that they are a nightmare employee who gets fired a lot!

Bad skills match or over skilled

If the skills don’t match what you’re looking for, chances are the applicant has sent their CV out willy-nilly to as many places as possible and isn’t actually interested specifically in your role; filter who you take to interview by checking their skills against your needs.

If someone seems overqualified for the role, there’s a chance that they are seeking something quick, and might move on just as quickly if something more suited to their experience (and thus higher salary expectations) comes along, meaning you’re back to where you started, having invested time in training and bedding in a new employee who may jump ship within weeks.

Poor attention to detail, bad grammar and spelling mistakes and skipping information you’ve asked for

A sloppy or rushed CV, littered with errors and poor attention to detail, shows the standard of someone’s work. Their application should be showing them in their best light – and if they make a mess of their first impression, chances are it doesn’t get any better; sloppy work will carry into their employment.

If you’ve asked for specific information, and they don’t include it – or they apply without including a cover letter when you’ve asked for one – they either haven’t read the listing properly, or just don’t want to make the effort – neither of which reflects well.

Lack of growth or development

Loyalty to a company is a great benefit – but someone who has never progressed, advanced or grown in their role, built on their skills and experience, or tried to climb the ladder may simply lack the ambition and drive you need.

Abusing or taking advantage of current or previous employers

If the application includes some blatant criticism or disrespect for previous (or current!) employers, there’s a good chance that the candidate would be equally verbal about your team in future – and it’s unprofessional, as well as distasteful, to include that kind of information in an application. If there were issues with former employers, these should be disclosed more discreetly in interview, if it impacts their employment history.

If the application has come from a work email address, or sent during their working time, then they are clearly job seeking whilst being paid to work elsewhere, which is taking advantage of their current employer – and shows a distinct lack of respect for their role.

The Cento vision; to provide intelligent resource solutions.

Here at Cento, we are proud to be the only building services recruitment business founded and run by industry professionals; As such we understand the people in the sector, the routes to market and the culture.

With over 4 decades of experience in our niche sectors, we have experience in creating the kind of job specifications and adverts that attract the right people and filtering out applicants whose CV’s are littered with these red flags. Don’t waste your time on unsuitable interviewers; let us take the strain and find you the best person for the job.

Our team of dedicated resourcing consultants are trained to an exceptional level, enabling them to source for top talent and match them with market leading companies within the building services sector.

Our success goes beyond simply filling vacancies, meaning highly rated job satisfaction for employees and excellent staff retention rates for companies.

Call us now on 01509 615 290 or email to discuss how we could help your business.