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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers! Have a question you’d like to ask? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in the next installment of Recruiter Q&A!

This Week’s Question: When you’re hunting for a new hire, what are some of the red flags that will disqualify a candidate immediately? Whether they’re resume mistakes, interview etiquette faux pas, or something else entirely, what deal-breakers should candidates be aware of?


steven1. Excessive Job Hopping

Candidates who have changed employers three or more times in the last 3-4 years will likely be seen as job hoppers and eliminated from the hiring process, unless there is a clear and favorable explanation, such as job loss due to downsizing, accepting a higher-level position, receiving better compensation, improved working conditions, or some other favorable explanation.

Steven Lindner, The WorkPlace Group

Miles2. A Lifeless Resume

The Constitution is referred to as a ‘living document’ because it is open to constant change — your resume needs to be, too. Every time you apply to a job, make sure to amend your resume according to the particular job to which you are applying. Tailor it. Make sure to at least change up your “objective” or “summary” section. If these sections aren’t specific to the job to which you are applying, it’s a quick way to kill your chances.

Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

Giovanni3. A Lack of Product Knowledge

If a candidate gets to the interview and hasn’t even signed up on our platform, I know they have no particular interest in what we’re doing.

Giovanni Casinelli, BonAppatour

Shane4. No Follow-Up

Follow-up after a phone interview or onsite interview is critical. A thank-you note is a classy touch. It shows employers you care, it shows professionalism and maturity, and most of all, it shows how you will present yourself if they hire you. Follow-up is everything

Shane Bernstein, Q

Jen5. Misspelling the Company’s Name

If a candidate spells our company name wrong in an introductory email or cover letter, we automatically tag them as ‘No.’

Jen Salamandick, Kick Point

Diane6. Lateness

Arriving late, walking in with a cup of Starbucks – blaming traffic or getting lost. If you aren’t savvy enough to plan your route, check out traffic ahead of time, and drink your coffee before you get to the interview, you are probably applying for the wrong job.

Diane Gottsman, Etiquette Expert

Courtney7. A Poor Grasp of Writing Conventions

When a candidate has typos or misspellings on their resume or application, they are knocked out of the running immediately. If they won’t take care to proofread their own resume, we cannot trust them to be diligent and attentive with our clients’ books.

Courtney Barbee, The Bookkeeper

Angela8. An Inaccurate Resume

The most obvious mistake is including inaccurate information on your resume or LinkedIn profile. A less obvious, but related, misstep that many people make is using an address on their resume that is not correct. It seems harmless to include an address from another state where you wish to move, but if you start off by telling the employer something untrue, what else can they expect from you? Be honest from the start.

Angela Copeland, Copeland Coaching


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