Workers Know Someone Who Lied on Resume

09.25.2011
HR & Safety

When a resume looks too good to be true, it just might be, according to a survey by OfficeTeam of more than 1500 senior managers and workers employed in office environments.

Forty-three percent of managers polled believe job seekers include dishonest information on their resumes somewhat or very often. Some workers agree that what you see isn’t always what you get: More than one in five (21%) said they know someone who stretched the truth on resumes and application forms. Job duties (58%), education (34%), and employment dates (24%) were cited as areas that are embellished most frequently.

Unfortunately, employers can’t always take everything on a resume at face value, says OfficeTeam. That’s why it’s so important to get to know a prospective hire by probing for specifics during the interview, conducting thorough reference checks and testing skills where appropriate.

OfficeTeam offers employers these five tips for verifying information:

  • Watch for ambiguity. When reviewing resumes, question vague descriptions of skills (e.g., “familiar with, “involved in”) which may be signs that a professional is trying to hide a lack of relevant work experience.
  • Ask once, ask twice. Pose interview questions that relate to specific skills needed. For example, if a candidate must know a particular software program, ask how he or she has used the technology in previous roles. If an applicant’s response is ambiguous, don’t be afraid to rephrase the question.
  • Get the facts. Ask references to confirm basic information such as the candidate’s employment history, job titles, responsibilities, and salary. If they’re willing to talk further, delve into their thoughts on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses, interpersonal skills, and ability to work on a team.
  • Branch out. Inquire if references know of others you can speak to about promising candidates. Also, tap your own network to find mutual acquaintances who might be able to shed light on the prospective hire’s background and character.
  • Put them to the test. To get a true sense of a candidate’s abilities, consider hiring the person on a temporary basis before extending a full-time offer. This allows both parties to assess whether the position is a fit.

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