Hiring new talent is a critical component to any business regardless of the size of business. There are countless hiring strategies that companies implement to weed out the good talent from the great talent specific to the college graduate and then the more senior level talent (Director and up.) The mid-level range of talent seems to get lost in the mix.
How I define mid-level talent is a candidate who has 5-7 years of experience in their particular skillset. This is enough time for the candidate to have some experience with confrontation, strategic thinking, time management and working in a team environment. They have weathered, and hopefully succeeded in, getting through work challenges that are uncomfortable but have made them better equipped to advance in their profession.
Here are my top four red flags I look for when reviewing resumes for mid-level new hires:
- Does the applicant clearly state the position he/she is applying for and why that applies to her skillset? If not, this tells me that the candidate does not possess mid-level reasoning skills. If the candidate can’t make the connection from my job posting to their skillset, why are they making me make the connection?
- The candidate has had 3 or 4 jobs in 5 years or less. I have heard all of the rationale about why this is okay. “It’s common in our industry to move around from position to position, it’s the only way to increase salary and responsibility.” This is a big red flag as the sub-meaning of moving around is “when things get tough at one job, I resign and move to the next honeymoon period with my next employer.”
- The candidate’s resume is a running list of responsibilities. What about the results? Did the candidate get any results at their previous positions? An example might look like this: “Grew and managed the <insert company name> online presence.” That’s great! By how many? One or 500? How did you grow the online presence? If you look at the candidates’ resume as if it were a report to you on project performance, there’s missing information. For example, this type of language gets my attention: “Grew <insert company name>’s online presence by 40% utilizing an integrated approach consisting of social media and promotions”
- Dare I say it? Incorrect and misspelled information on the resume. With mass resume submissions, forgetting to remove another company name where mine is supposed to go is an automatic delete. Typos in a world dominated by content? I’ll pass, thank you.