It may come as a surprise to most of you that according to a New CareerBuilder Survey 58% of hiring managers have caught lies on a resume. This could be in the form of concealing information, embellishment of title or job responsibilities, incorrect dates of employment or even fudging the resume at various places.
However, for the experienced HR Consultant like me or a smart Recruiter, these are professional hazards we are supposed to be dealing with on a regular basis.
Types of Lies in the Resume
For a variety of reasons and motivations (obviously wrong), candidates think of concealing the correct information and facts and substitute with false data. According to the experience of Human Resource Managers and the Recruiters, the most common areas where the job seekers alter or misrepresent the facts are:
- Academic details such as name of Institution, Degree, Grades etc.
- Date of joining and / or leaving the organisation
- Organisations worked for
- Post / Job Title
- Responsibilities and work experience
- Awards / Rewards
- On the job accomplishments
Why do the candidates lie on their resumes?
“It is nothing more than a perceived short cut but a wrong one” says Sundeep Kataria CEO of ACS Consultants a leading HR Consultancy Firm. “For a coveted job for which the competition is perceived to be intense, the candidates often get tempted or rather deluded to show on paper more than what they actually are.”
For example, a person has had more than one gap in employment for no fault of his. The life can be a little harsh on anyone but if this person is unable to explain it during the interviews, he begins to get uncomfortable about mentioning it in his resume. Naturally he will resort to fabrication or twisting of facts, which is also termed as fudging of CV.
It is not done with any malicious intention or with the purpose of harming anyone but most likely the job seeker thinks that it is a little exercise to push to himself up in the eyes of the recruiter – that’s all. Such a person thinks that this is innocent lying and no employer will ever bother to check it.
But what the job seeker needs to remember is that a lie is a lie whether a small one or a short one. If caught (which most likely he is going to be sooner or later), the cost to be paid is always far more that the advantages in the short term.
How to tell if candidates are lying on their CV ?
We live in the age of information and are blessed with Information Technology. There are a number of ways to check if the candidates are lying on their CV, some of them are:
There are popular sites such as LinkedIn, Face book and Twitter where the candidates put their profiles. If there is a mismatch in the facts mentioned on Social Media Sites and the particulars given in the CV, then this calls for a reason to get suspicious.
Sometimes to show a longer period of employment with a particular company, the candidate mentions that the organisation he was working for was taken over by another company. Similarly to show a seamless working, the candidate may mention that the two organisations merged and due to merger and acquisition (M&A) his services were transferred to other company – whereas the actual position may be something else. A systematic search on the internet will let the recruiter know if there was a merger or takeover. If indeed there was something like this then when was that?
Pre Employment Form
If the candidate has been shortlisted and is being considered for the employment then the employer organisation usually asks the candidate to fill in a detailed form. This can be thoroughly perused to check for any discrepancy with the information given in the CV and also the social media profiles.
The candidate being considered for the employment is asked to furnish some references of the co-workers, bosses / supervisors in the current and the previous organisations. A thorough discussion with these persons can reveal whether the facts given by the candidate are correct or false.
Also the information from social media sites such as LinkedIn and Face book can give factual information about the co-workers, bosses / supervisor and they can be contacted too.
Employee Background Verification Agencies
There are specialized agencies who offer various kinds of services to thoroughly screen the individual employees on the following lines of Employment Background Check:
- Identity Check
- Address Verification
- Education Verification
- Reference Check
- Character check, which includes substance abuse or if there is a criminal history
To Sum Up
“Trust is very important in professional relationships, and by lying on your resume, you breach that trust from the very outset,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.
If you want to enhance your resume, it’s better to focus on:
- Present it well; if you can’t do it take the help of a professional but ethical resume writer
- Work hard and sincerely to add value to your actual experience.
- Your true worth lies in what you have contributed so far to the growth and profitability of the organisations you have worked so far.
Keep in mind that your resume doesn’t necessarily have to be the perfect fit for every organization or for every position but it needs to be relevant, honest, and accurate.
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