5 Resume Red Flags to Watch for in Your Veterinary Recruiting

Often times the most challenging part of veterinary recruiting is narrowing down your list of qualified candidates. If you’ve received a huge response for an open position and you’re finding yourself overwhelmed with the amount of applications to sift through, knowing what potential warning signs to look for can be helpful. Here are resume red flags that will help you eliminate no-gos and make your list of candidates more manageable.

Failure to Follow Directions

If an applicant fails to follow the basic instructions associated with your job listing, it can be a sign that he or she will also have difficulty following directions in a work environment. It could also be an indicator that the applicant is not qualified for the position. For instance, if you’re getting resumes with no cover letter, or applications that don’t include the requested information, such as salary history, you may want to remove those from the pile altogether. It’ll probably save you both time and aggravation.

Gaps in Employment

When an applicant has noticeable gaps in his or her employment, it could be a bad sign. For example, job hopping could indicate someone who isn’t likely to stay on for the long-haul (meaning costly turnover for your practice), while large gaps in between positions could possibly be an attempt to hide the fact that one was terminated. Employment gaps don’t necessarily mean you have to eliminate candidates, but they certainly warrant further inquiry.

Career Plateaus or Backtracking

Typically speaking, the resume of an experienced applicant will show a career progression. If a candidate’s resume shows little to no progression or evidence of a decrease in responsibilities, it could be a red flag that there were issues with performance. Of course, there could also be a reasonable explanation. For instance, an applicant who was laid off might have chosen to take on a role that they’re overqualified for just to make ends meet. Review resumes carefully and if there is a particular applicant you’re interested in who has a questionable career history, it may be worth exploring further.


If a resume leaves you with more questions than answers, it might not be worth pursuing. Many prospective employers try to mask inexperience or make themselves sound more qualified by filling their resumes and cover letters with a lot of fluff. Being ambiguous about specific skills and failing to tie those qualifications in with real results means you’re probably better off passing on those applicants. Otherwise, you risk wasting time on (and even potentially hiring) someone who isn’t right for the job.

Lack of Attention to Detail

It seems obvious, but when an applicant can’t take the time to proofread their resume and cover letter before submitting it, they’re probably not someone you’d like on your team. At the very least, it can indicate that the candidate is sloppy, careless or just plain lazy. Look for red flags like spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, punctuation problems, missing words, copy and paste errors and other things that should have been corrected prior to applying.

A resume is typically the very first impression you will get of a prospective employee. When information is missing, important details are left out or there are glaring errors found throughout, it could make your veterinary recruiting that much easier by allowing you to eliminate the applicants you don’t want so you can focus on finding the ones you do.

Of course, if you don’t have the time or patience to deal with sifting through mountains of resumes, you can leave all the legwork to Dream Team Elite. We’ll handle the nitty gritty details and provide you with a short list of qualified candidates who are the ideal fit for your practice. Click here or give us a call at 1-800-469-1871 ext 353 to learn more.