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How to Quickly Identify Job Board SPAM

Searching through terrible, unqualified resumes of people who had no business applying to your jobs is one of the worst parts of screening candidates. To add to that frustration, "Job Board SPAM" is increasing in submissions and, if you don't quickly identify it, it can take up a lot of your recruiting resources.

What is Job board SPAM?

Job Board SPAM is the abundance of fake resumes that at first glance look like credible and valuable candidates. After skimming through them, and possibly even interviewing some, it becomes clear that these applicants are not what they claim to be. When you speak to the person at the other end of the resume, you'll learn that they have little or no knowledge of what they claim to have and, if you proceed to the reference-check stage, those turn out to be bogus too. The resumes typically come through major job boards and are mixed in with qualified resumes that you would not want to pass over, so being able to distinguish between them is crucial.

Identifying Job Board SPAM

How can you identify these pests and pass over their resume, while being confident you don't accidentally discard a credible professional?

SPAM Attack

We have reviewed many resumes and based on our review, we have developed a list of common traits in Job Board SPAM. If a resume matches the traits below, you may want to save some time and file it in the shredder.

  • Identical resume format to a number of other submissions, usually in the form of:

    • Professional Summary

    • Technical Skills

    • Education

    • Professional Experience

  • Experience spans across large companies in multiple North American cities. This makes reference checks more difficult for you, and easier for them to fake.

  • Education is never from Canada, or any institution that's easy to research.

  • The header includes three pieces of contact information: Name, Email and Phone Number. There is no physical address and the email address usually follows the format

  • There is no link to a social media profile. (not many people include this, but if a resume does have a LinkedIn profile, you can be certain it's credible)

This is not a fail-proof checklist, but a great starting point. Also as a growing trend, this list will need to be adapted over time. Do you encounter much Job Board SPAM in your applications? Do you have another way to flag it?