The world is not a perfect place and fake or inflated resumes are very much a part of it. There might be many reasons why a candidate might put false information on their resumes, but whatever they maybe it is crucial to know a fake or inflated resume when we see one. Not being able to see through a fake resume might result in hiring an unsuitable candidate which can have disastrous outcomes.
Here are some telltale signs of falsification or embellishment that one should look out for in a resume
Candidates sometimes provide only the years as start and finish dates, in an effort to hide job gaps and give the impression of continuous employment. In some cases, the start and end dates do not align. While this might not be a grave falsification, it does require some digging into. Cross questioning the candidate, some social media research or asking for proof will usually weed out the lies.
Not being specific about degrees earned
Education is probably the area where the most falsification or embellishment occurs. mentioning schools, they did not attend, presenting a certificate course as a full-time degree course, exaggerating the education history, resorting to certificates from the diploma mills are a few of the lies a candidate might resort to. Not being specific about degrees earned is a red flag.
Social media profile checks, reference checks, and thorough questioning can provide a better picture.
Short stints at big names
Sometimes, people who have worked as contractors or through intermediary firms, such as staffing agencies, for large firms will cut out the middleman information and say they worked for the big firm to make their resume seem impressive.
Jumps in job titles
It is not uncommon for people give themselves the title they feel they deserve on their resume, instead of the actual title they had. If a candidate has a big jump on his or her resume—for example, from office admin to manager—in a short period of time at one firm or between two jobs, it’s a good idea to investigate.
Scant employment history/ Frequent stints of self-employment
Negligible information in a CV, where the candidate mentions a significant number of years in a certain industry, but is unable to provide details about the companies or roles and positions held, warrant some further probing. One can also cross check whether the company name and location provided by him really match. At times the company may exist, but not the location and vice-versa.
A fixed set of words to describe every job duty
A fixed set of words used for every job responsibility often can mean that the candidate has copied it from a template, which has nothing to do with his real-life experiences. Cross questioning and reference checks can prove to be very effective in such cases.
Reluctance to provide names and contact numbers of references
In most cases, there should be no genuine reason why a candidate would hesitate to provide contact numbers / emails of references and any such reluctance can be an effort to hide facts.
Lastly, and very importantly it remains to be said that misunderstandings do occur. Give the candidate a chance to explain a discrepancy that you find. Sometimes there may be genuine reasons or explanations for an area that you find dubious. Falsification of facts might range from minor overstatements to outright lies and it’s the second that poses to be a major problem. Talk, listen and use your logic, experience and intuition to distinguish between a trivial misrepresentation and a grave falsification.
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