Red flags that you should watch out for in CV/Resume writing

A CV/resume is a very important document when it comes to applying for jobs. It could be the one thing that lands you that dream job or pushes you further away from it so you need to make sure it is as perfect as it could be.

Here are the red flags that you should watch out for when CV/Resume writing:



Employment Gaps

Having a few gaps in your CV is understandable but having multiple ones will definitely be a cause for suspicion. Multiple gaps in your CV could mean a lot of things to a recruiter or a hiring manager. It could mean that you were fired from the majority of your jobs, you have resigned from a lot of your jobs, or that your skills must have deteriorated from not having worked for a long time.



Spelling and grammatical mistakes could be an indicator of you not being an attentive person. Always proofread your resumes before sending them out.


Not identifying achievements

Do not just talk about what you have done also talk about the impact and outcome of your actions. Focusing on the successes and achievements you have brought will appeal more to someone whose reading your CV.


Unprofessional email address

We’ve all had that one strange Gmail account that was composed of odd words that we used to create a Facebook account when we were young. Sadly [email protected] will not get the recruiter/hiring manager to take you seriously, try using a professional one preferably one with both your names.


Failure to follow directions

Always take your time to read job descriptions and highlight important parts. Some job descriptions may ask you to attach your cover letter, salary history, or even a professional photo. Not doing so will show that you are not good at following instructions.


Inconsistent dates

Overlapping dates do not make sense unless you were working two jobs at the same time in which case you should give a clear reason.


Formatting issues

The recruiter/hiring manager should be able to read through your resume easily. Having a disorganized or crowded resume may discourage them from going through it. Opt for a clean format that has everything arranged neatly.


No career progression

Growth is a big factor that most employers look for in an employee. Demotions and stagnation in your career journey could be the thing that would cost you a job.


Lack of customization

Tailor your resume to the company/organization's expectations. This will show them that you've taken the time to understand their expectations of you and that you are determined to impress them.



This article is published as part of the opportunity recommendation service. The opportunity recommendation service helps our users achieve their dreams and self-actualize in anything that they pursue, this can be in the form of grants, jobs, scholarships, or even residencies. We also help you with your applications and CVs through the Application/CV drop-in clinic held every other Sunday from 6 pm-7 pm (East Africa Timezone). For inquiry, please message us on the 'QAN Community Admin' account.

QAN Community Admin

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