It is common knowledge that people tend to exaggerate a little on their resumes. However, hiring managers are reporting that there has been a significant jump in the number of people who are making outright false statements. It is becoming a growing concern among companies.
Job candidates tell outright falsehoods, or they will leave out important facts about their background or employment history. The most common falsehood is extending dates of employment to cover up gaps in work history. The job seeker believes that these gaps would reflect on them negatively.
Job candidates also will include on resumes or applications degrees or certifications they have not earned, list a college or university they have not attended, list particular technical skills they do not have or exaggerate or lie about other accomplishments.
To head off these problems, employers need to include disclaimers about making false statements or omissions and that these fraudulent statements will automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration, according to Russell Thomas, an attorney specializing in employment law. Employers also should not neglect doing background checks. Naturally, the higher level the position, the more you want to do a thorough background check on the applicant.
Another way to verify statements made by applicants is to simply look at what’s in the public record, Thomas says. With all the social media that now exist, there are plenty of places to go to do this. You can check out MySpace, Facebook or YouTube for information. These sites can confirm what is on a person’s resume, or reveal false statements a person has made on a resume.
The interview is also a key place to look for discrepancies or misleading statements and try to verify statements, Thomas says. That is why good interviewing skills are important. The best thing to do is ask the applicant questions that he or she will not expect. The interview should be set up so that the applicant is the one doing most of the talking, while the interviewer is spending most of the time listening and observing.
Whatever you do as an employer, Thomas says, avoid the urge to overlook misrepresentations on an applicant’s resume. These misleading statements could be a sign of some deeper character flaw that may affect the person’s ability to do the job.