You can’t blame these on the age of alternative facts and fake news. Lying on a resume represents an age-old job-search tradition. To some extent, a little exaggeration is expected. It’s one of those things – like advertising copy or a sales pitch – where a little fudging and a bit of spin is par for the course.
However, we’re not talking about slight flourishes and tiny liberties that turn coffee-fetching interns into “associate project facilitators.” We’re talking full-on, no-doubt, perjury-if-you-said-it-in-court, Pinocchio nose-growing lies. The kind of thing that if it came out post-hire, it might force you to terminate the new recruit.
Fake credentials. Made-up employers. Non-existent degrees. Complete fabrications.
Here are four common red flags that information on a resume could be a lie, and the steps to take to find out the truth:
Dates Don’t Add Up
In interrogations, police detectives will ask the same questions over and over, often focusing on seemingly innocuous information. By drilling down on mundane details, they are looking for holes in a suspect’s story. They are trying to figure out: Does the timeline add up?
You don’t need to break out the bright lights or the good-cop-bad-cop routine. But keep an eye on the mundane details – especially the dates of employment.
To do this kind of investigation, look at different sources. Double-check the information on the candidate’s submitted resume with what they have on LinkedIn and other social media sites. If you start to see discrepancies, they might be altering information in different forums to highlight different experiences.
Like a politician describing an unpopular policy, job applicants often pick their words very carefully. Look out for these intentionally vague descriptions on a resume.
They might include an overly broad job description or an unclear outline of their responsibilities. The goal might be to paint their position as more important than it was or imply they have a skill they don’t actually possess. These should throw up a red flag.
Remember, a red flag doesn’t necessarily mean a lie. Don’t throw out a candidate over an unsubstantiated suspicion. But don’t let a potential lie go unchallenged either. Make a note of your concern and address it in the interview. Also, follow up with references to find out more details from a second source
Former Employers Are Hard to Find
Most of the lies on a resume represent a kind of exaggeration. Candidates claim to hold a job longer than they did. They say they have learned skills they didn’t actually learn. Or they inflate their contribution to important projects.
But sometimes, they just make stuff up. They list fictional companies to pad their resumes or provide phony educational accomplishments. Discovering these frauds takes a little sleuthing.
For candidates who have made the first cut, take a few minutes to look up their previous employers and schools. Make sure they have websites and see what kind of other mentions they have throughout the web. Real places will leave some trail.
Work with Qualified Staffing!
All of this investigation can become time-consuming. Why not let someone else handle it? By bringing in a recruiting partner, you can ensure you have the best due diligence on the workers you hire, without all the hassle. Contact Qualified Staffing to find out how.