Resume Red Flags

When reviewing resumes, it’s essential to look for red flags that could indicate issues with a candidate’s qualifications, experience, or fit for the role.

Here are some typical resume red flags to watch out for:

  1. Unexplained Employment Gaps: Frequent or unexplained gaps in a candidate’s employment history might raise questions about their consistency or reliability.
  2. Frequent Job Changes: While job changes are expected, excessive short-term positions could indicate a lack of commitment or difficulty working within teams or organizations.
  3. Lack of Relevant Experience: If a candidate’s experience doesn’t align with the job requirements or is heavily skewed towards unrelated roles, they might not be well-suited for the position.
  4. Inconsistent Dates: Mismatched dates for education, employment, or other sections could indicate inaccuracies or potential dishonesty.
  5. Overemphasis on Soft Skills: While soft skills are important, an overly vague or excessive focus on them might be an attempt to compensate for a lack of relevant technical or job-specific skills.
  6. Exaggerated Responsibilities and Achievements: If a candidate’s accomplishments seem too grandiose or lack context, they could stretch the truth or inflate their contributions.
  7. Lack of Quantifiable Achievements: Vague statements without specific accomplishments or quantifiable results can indicate a lack of impact in previous roles.
  8. Mismatched Job Titles: If a candidate’s job titles don’t align with their level of responsibility or the roles they are applying for, it could be an attempt to appear more qualified.
  9. Unprofessional Email Address: A non-professional or inappropriate email address might indicate a lack of attention to detail or professionalism.
  10. Spelling and Grammar Errors: Multiple errors in spelling and grammar can indicate a lack of attention to detail and communication skills.
  11. Incomplete Information: Missing information or incomplete sections on the resume could suggest laziness or a lack of thoroughness.
  12. Unrelated Hobbies and Interests: While personal interests can provide insight into a candidate’s personality, including irrelevant or controversial hobbies might distract from their professional qualifications.
  13. Lack of Customization: A generic resume not tailored to the specific job or company might indicate a lack of genuine interest or effort that could translate to job performance.
  14. Suspicious References: Listing references that seem too familiar or overly enthusiastic might indicate a lack of objectivity or honesty.
  15. Excessive Personal Information: Personal information such as age, marital status, or a photo isn’t relevant to job qualifications and could lead to biases in the hiring process.
  16. Technology Resumes that List Every Code Language Under the Sun: Software Engineers that display so many technologies that they are supposedly skilled at is a huge red flag. Software Engineers who are truly skilled in a certain tech stack display their tech chops in that tech stack. They don’t need to list every single technology they may have been exposed to in their educational and professional career.
  17. Job Description Resumes: Resumes that just list the job title and then proceed to rattle off the job description of the role that the professional had held can be a yellow flag when looking to hire this person. Resumes should not only be a place where experience, education, and skills are displayed, but most importantly, it is where candidates should list accomplishments. If these are missing, you will want to explore whether they can articulate what they are proud of or what they feel are accomplishments in their past experience.


Sometimes, there might be reasonable explanations for certain discrepancies or issues. If you notice any red flags, consider addressing them during the interview to understand the candidate’s background and qualifications better. Our recruiters can screen for these red flags using our technology, so you’re not wasting time sifting through countless resumes. We only bring you the most qualified candidates to fit your needs.


Five Tools to Improve Productivity

If you want to spend less time on daily tasks, we’re bringing you five productivity hacks to help you work smarter and faster. 


Stop Over checking your email. 

The average
 professional spends 28% of the workday reading and answering emails. For the average full-time worker in America, that amounts to a staggering 2.6 hours spent and 120 messages received per day. 


That’s a lot of time spent in your inbox. 


Professionals check their email on average 15 times per day, roughly every 37 minutes. Considering most people do not expect a response within that time frame: Only 11% of customers/clients and 8% of coworkers expect a response in less than an hour. At the same time, about 40% of people expect a response in about an hour. If people checked their email hourly rather than every 37 minutes, they could cut six email checks from their day and save 21 minutes. 


Turn off notifications and instead check your email hourly. We know you can do it. 


Calendars aren’t just for meetings.

study out of the University of California Irvine found that employees are interrupted, on average, once every three minutes. After an interruption, it may take people 23 minutes to refocus.


Use your calendar to time block to finish specific projects, work on strategic initiatives, or take a break. Fewer interruptions in your productivity flow can lead to more profound focus work.

Turn on the Do Not Disturb or Focus mode on your phone and laptop to pause notifications. 



Consolidate your work apps.

Overwhelmed by the number of apps you have to handle every day? And the number of tabs you have open? Reduce toggling time between apps and bring all your work into one centralized hub. You can also use app integrations to connect all your most-used apps for a seamless workflow like 
Shift. This small hack will open up more time for essential and deep work and clear your way to productivity land. 


Eat breakfast.

We know we aren’t your mom, but research shows skipping breakfast can lead to difficulty concentrating. How are you supposed to be productive if you can’t focus? According to the Harvard Business Review, food, or lack thereof, affects our cognitive performance and decision-making. 


“Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert,” psychologist Ron Friedman said. “When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused, and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.”


Short on time in the morning, plan your meals the night before. 


Stop multitasking; it’s a myth. 

Our brains aren’t wired to do more than one thing at a time. Even when it feels like you’re getting two tasks done simultaneously, you’re switching between two tasks at lightning speed. This process—called task switching—takes precious brainpower, even if you don’t realize it. 
Research showed that even these brief mental blocks due to context switching cost as much as 40% of someone’s productive time. Because it takes mental effort to switch between cognitive tasks, multitasking affects your ability to get work done efficiently and effectively. 


It’s almost always more efficient to monotask: Focus on one thing and move on when you’re done, so you don’t pay unnecessary switching taxes.

How Taking 5 to Meditate Can Improve Your Leadership Skills

From the moment the alarm goes off, you’re inundated with distractions. The pull to respond to the notifications on your phone, emails fill your inbox, and requests pile up. Within moments your attention is scattered.

As our lives have become filled with technology, the distractions we face have increased exponentially. With it, our ability to focus has diminished, but our need to think clearly to make complex decisions has not. More than ever, leaders need to train themselves to be fully present.

How can mindfulness meditation help?

Incorporating meditation into daily practice can help reduce stress, improve decision-making, increase focus, enhance creativity, and boost emotional resilience. Avoid burnout and reduce negative thinking.

The fundamental concept underlying meditation is the intentional act of being still. This can prove to be challenging in a society that values busyness, but its benefits have been scientifically proven.

Now it’s more convenient than ever to learn how to meditate on your own. Popular apps such as Headspace, Sattva, Buddhify, Calm, Healthy Minds Program, and the Mindfulness App, help those discover the benefits of this ancient old practice and guide you along the way. Its benefits have also caught the eye of the business world, as companies like Apple, Google, Ford Motor Company, Nike, McKesson, and American Express offer employees training in meditation programs to enhance leadership skills. Cloud computing giant, Salesforce created “mindfulness zones,” or quiet areas, on every floor of its building in San Francisco.


According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health report, 75% of Americans believe that workers today have more on-the-job stress than people did a generation ago. Constant anxiety increases the risk of mental and health ailments ranging from mood and sleep disorders to cardiovascular disease to musculoskeletal problems to having a negative impact on your relationships and productivity. The estimated $300 billion each year costs U.S. businesses due to absenteeism, turnover, disabilities, and reduced productivity.


David Gelles explains in his book, “Mindful Work,” that a highly stressed employee requires more healthcare spending by the company as compared to a less stressed employee. However, the implementation of mindfulness programs by companies has resulted in decreased healthcare costs.


Pause and take a breath.


Mindfulness meditation, at its origin, is a style of meditation that involves paying attention to sensations, feelings, and thoughts in a non-judgmental way. Research shows that 15 minutes of mindfulness-based meditation results in more rational thinking when making business decisions.

Leaders who focus on mindfulness at work tend to have happier employees and improved morale, according to the results found in this study. Mind training, of which meditation is one form, can change the composition of your mind. Research by Wisconsin’s Richard Davidson demonstrated a direct correlation between mindfulness and changes in the brain – away from anger and anxiety and toward a sense of

calm and well-being. UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center found meditation can improve executive functions (sustaining attention, diminishing distractibility) better than medication in many cases.


What are ways you’re incorporating mindfulness meditation into your business? We’d love to hear what kind of results you are seeing.


Latest Report Shows Despite Industry Layoffs, Hiring Rates for Tech Roles Growing Strong

Layoff rates among contingent workers over the past six months rose from 8.3% to 6.9%; however, they appear to be trending downward after reaching a four-year high in the fourth quarter, according to the  Spring 2023 U.S. Labor Market Report released this week by Magnit.

The report highlights the impact of recessionary trends and economic uncertainty on the talent landscape, including changes in employment rates and talent availability.

Despite layoffs in the tech industry, the demand for tech roles across various sectors has increased by 34% as a percentage of total hires, surpassing all other job categories. Organizations across industries rely more on IT and technology to protect and revitalize their businesses, leading to this rise in demand.

Other key takeaways from the report cited by Magnit:

  • The voluntary termination rate dropped by 24%, reaching an all-time low of 12.6% in the first quarter – less than half of what it was during the Great Resignation (29.1%).
  • Worker priorities have shifted, with a nearly 5% increase in focus on company reputation in Q1.
  • While hiring volumes increased by 39% year-over-year in 2021, wage growth turned negative and fell behind the historic growth of inflation. Over the past 12 months, year-over-year wage growth averaged 3.5%, whereas inflation averaged 7.5% among all workers.

Magnit’s report utilizes proprietary algorithms and data from various sources, including hundreds of client programs. With data on hundreds of thousands of workers and over 51,000 unique roles, the report provides insights into talent optimization and recession strategies for organizations.


Small Business Confidence Surge

Small businesses are heading into 2023 with a significant upswing in industry confidence in the face of headlines centered around layoffs, inflation, supply-chain snarls, and interest rates. It’s the most considerable confidence surge in the past two years.

CEOs still face some challenges but seek opportunities despite the uncertainty, according to the latest WSJ/Vistage Confidence Index. The index posted an 8.7% increase, rising to 84.3 in December, which was the largest month-over-month gain since March 2021.

Key driving factors include:

  • Both customer demand and rising prices drive revenues; 70% of small businesses are planning price increases in the next 12 months.
  • Tempering inflation rates have led profitability anticipations to sweeten.
  • Workforce expansion plans grow as small businesses enter the new year with new goals and budgets.

Hiring challenges has lessened for small businesses over the end of the year – 24% report hiring is more manageable as the talent pool seems to be leveling out according to the report. Yet, as small companies seek to expand their workforce, a sharp examination of salary budgets and needed volume shows having to pay higher wages (more than 80%) for similar roles offered earlier in the year.

Small businesses have an advantage with the added layoffs from big tech. More than ever, more talent is looking for jobs, and it is creating an excellent opportunity for small businesses to attract top talent. Retention still needs to remain a key area of focus, setting a solid foundation from which to maintain and grow personnel, with the quit rate still hovering over 4 million a month.

If you need help sourcing the right talent for your team contact INNOVA People today.

The December WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO survey was conducted December 5-12, 2022, and gathered 666 responses from CEOs and leaders of small businesses. 


Dice Sentiment Report: Tech Pros Likely to Take Flight

Despite concerns of a looming recession, layoffs, and hiring freezes at tech giants like Amazon, Twitter, and Meta, technologists might feel like hunkering down and holding onto their standing desks. But a new report shows tech pros are still open to changing jobs in the next 12 months.


Data released from Dice’s annual Tech Sentiment Report includes sentiment data from 950 technologists and historical trend analysis from previous sentiment and salary reports.


Here are the key takeaways that can help empower your career moves and support company leadership, HR pros, and hiring managers to build their 2023 tech talent acquisition and retention strategies.


More technologists are likely to change employers.


Technology professionals feel confident about their skills and market prospects to consider jumping employees, with 52% of respondents surveyed indicating they’re likely to switch jobs in the next year, up from 44 percent last year. The need for tech talent shows no signs of slowing, and this increase in openness to opportunity means recruiters are more likely to get a response from both active and passive candidates.

Fully remote work remains important to most technology professionals, surpassing interest in a hybrid working model.


Once seen as a temporary solution during the pandemic has remained the preferred work method in the tech world. Dice found that approximately 70% of employers plan for a hybrid future; however, only 30% of technologists prefer hybrid work. 60% of technologists surveyed ranked fully remote work as their most desired workplace setting — up from 53% in 2021. It’s hard to ignore those numbers.


Given the continuing demand for tech skills, technologists may find they have the leverage to negotiate with employers for the flexibility they want, including custom working hours and a fully remote or hybrid working model.


From an organizational standpoint — diving into why they prefer working remotely and what, if anything, would entice them to return to the office a few days a week could help retention before rolling out a return-to-the-office model. Employers will need to get creative on incentives beyond free meals and comfy office furniture to lure workers back to an office environment.


Brand, reputation, and company culture are driving factors in technology professionals’ decisions to join a new employer.


In the age of online conversation, the reputation of individuals and entities has become more critical than ever before. With the tech job market so competitive for companies seeking talent, technologists are becoming more discerning in how they view a company’s culture, reputation, and brand.


Nearly 90% of tech professionals feel an employer’s brand is essential when considering a new employer, and almost 8 in 10 said they would not apply for a higher-paying job at a company with a poor reputation. It will be challenging to attract top tech talent if you’re not investing in your brand and reputation as an employer and ensuring your company culture supports employee morale and creativity.


Time-to-hire could create more opportunities for technologists.


Dice found that most HR professionals surveyed indicated that their times-to-hire had been faster in 2022 than in 2021. That could be due to the need to fill roles, considering nearly 50% of respondents indicated that attrition rates for technology professionals in their organization are higher than in 2021.


That’s increasing pressure to find replacements and accelerating the time needed to fill roles. So technologists need to be ready not only with an updated resume and portfolio but also to consider an offer faster than seen in the past.


Salary and merit increases


Technologists know they are in demand, and they’re learning more skills than ever to increase their value at organizations and maximize their compensation packages.


While the job market for new hires rewards these skills and competes to attract talent, organizations aren’t necessarily keeping pace regarding their current employees’ salaries. In the report, Dice’s research shows that technologists received an average merit increase of only 4.8% this year versus an expected growth of 5.2%.


This salary gap could contribute to the growing openness of changing employers.


If your organization is struggling to keep up with inflation — as most companies are — offer other incentives or compensation like additional paid time off, remote and flexible work options, or training and education opportunities — all of which were ranked as important to tech professionals in the Dice 2022 Tech Salary Report.


Let our talent acquisition professionals help you elevate your career. Work with INNOVA People today.