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come in we're hiring sign on windowIf you’re having problems filling job openings — and surveys show that many employers are — maybe it’s time to rethink some of the red flags that automatically get job applications tossed into the “No” pile. According to Riia O’Donnell at HR Dive, a lot of employers already are.

“Some are re-evaluating whether four-year degrees are really necessary for certain jobs; others are hiring workers without experience and training them themselves,” she writes.

“Employers are asking themselves whether some things just aren’t worth disqualifying an otherwise qualified candidate over. But which ones can go? And which ones should still be ‘red flags’ today?”

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Things like job-hopping and gaps in someone’s work history may simply reflect the way the workplace has changed. Workers have shorter stays at individual companies, and many are taking time off to raise a family or be a caregiver.

Some red flags could be reconsidered in the context of changing laws. With many states legalizing marijuana, an idea that’s receiving serious consideration in New Jersey, should marijuana use be the automatic disqualifier it once was? Many more states, including New Jersey, have “ban the box laws” that prohibit employers from asking about criminal histories, at least in the early part of the job application process.

Of course, some things never change. Sloppy resumes, rambling cover letters or badmouthing a former employer are still deal breakers for a lot of companies.

“Resume lies remain a deal breaker for most, too,” O’Donnell says. “According to some surveys, up to 85 percent of resumes contain lies and exaggerations.” A small discrepancy on dates might be inadvertent, but falsifying academic credentials just won’t fly.

And of course, accusations of misconduct, like sexual harassment, should always be taken seriously.

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