Shady Resume? Look For These Things!


Veteran recruiters develop a Spidey-sense when it comes to resumes. Sometimes it just takes a glance to feel the vibe, good or bad. Elaborate formats and a Glamour Shots are instant visual disqualifiers for many. For those with developing sensory skills, here are five quick things to look for to confirm the hair standing on the back of your neck.

Jack Of All Trades

You may encounter this resume faux paw from a Desperate Candidate. Eager to appeal to as many job opportunities as possible, this candidate comes across as a jack of all trades, but is probably a master of none. Beware of the candidate with a talent for marketing…and 59,000 other things.

The Blowhard

These resumes ooze embellishment, exaggeration, fluff and elaborate wording. These resumes require a thesaurus, dictionary and a decoding ring to understand. Are they lying? Typically not, however beware of words like consultant, analyst, engineer, manager and director especially when they are hitched to awkward occupations. A Vision Clearance Engineer is still a window washer.

Just The Facts, Ma’am

Boasting about increasing sales or operational efficiency without quantitative data is a big fat red flag! Resumes chocked full of grandiose accomplishments without timelines, figures and specifics are really good for lining your bird cage.


Resumes that don’t add up with dates, job titles or job responsibilities really set off the Spidey-senses. Many candidates do not understand the size and significance of their social media footprint and smart recruiters compare new resumes to old, and hunt through social media like a lioness in the Serengeti.

Fortune Cookies

Resumes that are vague with starting and ending employment dates are like, ‘the fortune you seek is in another cookie.’ Conversely, resumes that include the month and year of previous employment stints feel like, ‘tonight you will meet a beautiful and wealthy stranger.’

In conclusion, it takes time and experience to develop your resume sixth-sense but until you do, follow these tips. Remember: The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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