How to Spot Lies on a Resume

These days, just about everyone believes that people exaggerate accomplishments on their resumes. But the number of actual falsehoods may even be worse than people imagine. Recent surveys show that outright falsehoods on resumes appear to be on the rise.

About half of the people surveyed recently said they know of someone who lied on a resume, according to a California staffing agency that conducted the polling. That is a 25 point increase from six years ago. The area where people gave false information most frequently was work experience.

About half of hiring manager believe job candidates exaggerate on their resumes, while almost 40 percent said they have eliminated someone from consideration for a job because he or she lied on a resume.

Career counselors advise job candidates to resist the urge to exaggerate because even small misrepresentations can cause applicants to be dropped. Conversely, human resource professionals counsel hiring managers to conduct comprehensive interviews, reference checks and skill evaluations.

Here are some indications that a person is fabricating things on a resume.

1. Vague descriptions
When talking about skills, the person uses words like “familiar with,” or “dealt with,” or “involved with,” making it difficult to assess exactly what skill level he or she has. One way around this is to test the person’s skill set.

2. Dates are unclear
There might be large periods of time between jobs that are unaccounted for, or the person may only give years when listing previous jobs, rather than including month and year. These should raise red flags. To clear up these issues, the interviewer should talk with the candidate about his or her job history and get accurate information. Also, when talking to references, have them verify the candidate’s dates of employment.

3. Suspicious body language
For example, at the interview, if the person avoids eye contact or looks uncomfortable when talking about the resume, these may be signs that he or she is fabricating information. As a hiring manager, however, you need to be careful not to rely solely on body language, because the person may be naturally more reserved or stressed out at the interview.

4. Background information conflicts
Some references may give you information that conflicts with others who know the candidate. This is another red flag that the job candidate is making things up.

If your company is looking for reliable, qualified workers, Opti Staffing can supply them for you. What you see is what you get because we thoroughly evaluate our job candidates to verify their backgrounds. Give Opti a call today.

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