November 29th, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions
Uncovering Résumé Lies
Your résumé is your first-step to getting a new job. It’s how potential employers “see” you (similar to your first impression) and your qualifications until you meet in person. Job hunters use a variety of résumé types and styles to sell themselves and their past work. However, it has been found that a résumé doesn’t always tell the truth about a candidate’s job or educational experience. With an increasingly competitive job market, applicants are searching for ways to compete with each other and one of the more common ways is by giving their résumé a makeover (oftentimes through padding, embellishing, exaggerating, stretching the truth or downright lying). In fact, 53% of résumés and job applications contain falsifications and 70% of college students surveyed said they would lie on their résumé to get the job they wanted.
While a résumé might look great on the surface, it might not always be as accurate as you’d think. These lies can be minor embellishments to complete fabrications on qualifications and experience. Job seekers could extend employment dates to cover up being out of work for an extended amount of time, remove graduation dates to prevent ageism or even raise grade point averages to look better to the reader. Some common résumé lies found by employers include:
- Exaggerated job titles and responsibilities
- Falsification of education credentials
- Covering up criminal records
- Inflated salaries
- Misrepresentation of dates of employment
- Falsification of professional license
- Erroneous claims of financial responsibility or asset management
- Falsely states they are eligible to work in the United States
Benefits of Employment Verification
When employers begin to investigate by doing a background check on the candidate’s résumé and experience, it was found that 46% of employment education and/or credential reference checks conducted revealed discrepancies between what the applicant provided and what the source reported. Background checks bring to light the truth about candidates, good or bad, and help employers make educated hiring decisions. Employment and educational verification, reference checks and credit checks are all parts of a background screening program that can be used by a company in order to verify information on an application or a résumé.
- Credit Bureau Checks – Credit Bureau checks can reveal a history of missed payments, bad debt write-offs, collections or fraudulent banking as well as providing insight into whether or not your applicant can responsibly manage a company’s assets.
- Digital I-9 Solution – A digital, paperless Form I-9 or E-verify solution determines whether or not the individual is eligible for employment in the United States.
- Employment Verification – Employment verifications authenticates job titles, dates of employment, confirmation of salary, reason for leaving and eligibility for rehire. The employment verification uncovers any exaggerated employment claims such as inflated titles or incorrect dates that may be covering up a termination.
- Educational Verification – Educational verifications confirms degree type and date of completion directly with the school registrar. This check can also determine if a degree is valid or purchased via a diploma mill.
- Professional Credentials – Professional credential checks verify if the candidate actually holds the designation they claim while also making sure that the job candidate is in good standing with the affiliated regulatory body.
- Criminal Background Check – A criminal background check can be run for potential job candidates based on residence, employment and educational history. Employers can run county, state and/or federal district court searches to verify records.
Due Diligence When Hiring
Hiring an employee requires a lot of time and money, so it is important to perform due diligence with employment and education verifications. Taking the time to verify résumé information will give you peace of mind that you are hiring the best candidate with “real” qualifications for the position. Selecting the wrong applicant based on falsified experience or credentials can be a costly mistake and result in poor performance, low employee morale, reduced productivity, negligence lawsuits and bad PR for the company. Learn more about the many aspects of background screening and how performing a check can find potential errors in a résumé by downloading our eBook, Background Screening 101.
This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.