3 Surprising Resume Red Flags for Millennial Hiring Managers

Much has been written about how to attract and hire millennials. But, as more and more members of this generation take on leadership roles, they are the ones doing the hiring. Millennials are changing the culture of the workplace, and they are also starting to change the way we look at hiring.

As a group, millennials are tech-savvy, collaborative multitaskers who value work-life balance and look for meaning in their work. In order to attract them, companies are becoming more flexible, feedback-oriented and values-driven.

The traditional hiring process is based on the conventional wisdom that the “ideal” resume presents someone that meets the criteria outlined in the in job description, has taken a clear and stable career path, and follows direction. We are trained to scan resumes for the perfect combination of credentials and experience, while weeding out any red flags.

As millennials take over the role of hiring manager, however, the red flags are changing. While old habits die hard, here are some examples where the Millennial mindset is having an impact.


Traditional: Job hopping
Millennial: Staying in one place too long

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker stays at each job for 4.4 years. By contrast, Millennials expect to change jobs at least every three years, according to the “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey from Future Workplace.

Job hopping has traditionally been a red flag for employers, as it can be a sign of instability, low motivation or inability to get along with others.

However, Millennials don’t see the need to “pay their dues” in one company. They seek out opportunities to grow and develop their skills while doing interesting work. To this group, staying with the same company, and especially the same role, for too long can be a red flag. Instead of loyalty and longevity, millennial hiring managers can see this as a sign of complacency, low motivation or lack of initiative.


Traditional: Omitting information
Millennial: Providing too much detail

On a traditional resume, job seekers often struggle to fit the details of their education and experience to provide complete and complete account of their work history to prospective employers. Omitting information on a resume is a red flag to traditional hiring managers, who wonder what else you could be hiding.

Millennial hiring managers, on the other hand, tend to be more concerned with what you can do for THEIR company. This group prefers concise and relevant communication.


Traditional: Gaps in employment
Millennials: Lack of balance between work and outside interests/volunteerism

In traditional hiring, job seekers often struggle to minimize or justify gaps in employment on their resume. Hiring managers see these gaps as a red flag and don’t always take the opportunity to get more information. Even when the gaps are explainable – taking time off to raise children, caring for an elderly parent, spending a year abroad – they are not always viewed in a positive light.

The millennial hiring manager, even more so than in a traditional hiring process, is looking for someone that fits with the values of their company’s culture. Millennials tend to place a higher value on work-life balance and flexibility. Explainable gaps in employment are less of an issue for Millennial hiring managers, especially if the gaps relate to their values – family, personal enrichment, volunteering.

In closing, job seekers should know that hiring executives will have many different opinions and perspectives on their experience and how it is represented digitally as well as in person interviews. Do not feel the need to apologize for staying in a job too long or too short. Just be able to accurately articulate your true capabilities and reasons for your career decisions. At the end of the day, we recommend doing your best to gauge the audience while keeping in mind the company culture and potential for different perspectives as more and more millennials become decision-makers.

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