Resume Red Flags and Green Flags for Choosing the Right Employee

A well-crafted resume offers an employer a glimpse into the professional life of a potential new hire. A small business is only as good as the individuals it employs, and all small business owners must be careful to choose the right new employee. Our small business law attorneys at the the Gierach Law Firm have compiled this useful list of resume red flags and green flags in order to help you choose the perfect employee for the job.

Resume Green Flags

Resume green flags are those kernels of information contained within a resume that will help you determine whether a candidate is the right person for the job. Some important resume green flags include:

Foreign Language Skills: In this day and age, such as Illinois have significant foreign populations. An employee who can communicate with customers and clients in their native tongue is a great hiring bonus. Even if language skills are not required today, such skills may become an asset down the line. However, be careful to ensure that a potential hire is not just padding their resume with bogus foreign language skills. There is inexpensive software that can be purchased to test and rate a potential hire’s foreign language skills and capabilities;

Consistent Career Progression: Look at job titles contained within a resume in order to determine whether a progression of career promotions exists. Even if career progression occurs at different companies, this indicates that the employee is an in-demand commodity in their particular profession and/or field; and

Short and Sweet: A potential hire that can craft an informative one-page resume is the ultimate green flag. This indicates a potential hire’s exceptional communication skills and the fact that the potential hire possesses a true grasp on what they have to offer as an employee.

Resume Red Flags

Resume red flags are indications within a potential hire’s resume that demonstrate that the individual would not be the right person for the job. Some of the resume red flags you should look for include:

Employment Stagnation: Has the potential hire been working at the same place for years, but experienced no upward mobility? It is one thing if the employee only worked at the business in question for a year or two without any promotion. But it may be a red flag if they’ve been in the same position for five years or more without any professional mobility, as this could indicate a true lack of professional growth and/or capabilities;

Winding Career Path Without Destination: Have successive job switches occurred since the beginning of the potential hire’s career? It’s important to realize that in the modern age, employees don’t stay with the same company or career until retirement. However, excessive job changes are easy to identify on a resume, and may serve as an indication that the potential hire could just as quickly leave your company for greener pastures even after extensive time and effort was expended during the hiring process;

Geographic Confusion: If you’re dealing with a resume full of positions outside of your businesses’ geographic location, make sure that your potential hire has illustrated a real intention to relocate within their cover letter. There’s one thing to have a potential hire who is willing to relocate for the position. However, if the potential hire has already made extreme moves for positions, this may indicate they may be just as willing to pick up and leave your business if a better position elsewhere arises; and

Resume Sloppiness: The ultimate red flag is the presence of typos and unfinished thoughts or sentences within a resume. A good employee must be a proper communicator, and resume sloppiness is a clear indication of underdeveloped communication skills, and ultimately, a lack of attention to detail and accuracy.

Hopefully this list of red flags and green flags will make the resume review process for new employees a little easier. Contact the small business law attorneys here at the Gierach Law Firm in Naperville, Illinois for all of your small business law questions or issues.

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Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.

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