Lying on a Resume

Resumes are a well-known and vital part of the job application process. Applicants will strive to look their best on their resumes, knowing it could be the difference between getting an interview or spending another week on the job hunt. Unfortunately, this need will occasionally lead an applicant to stretch the truth about his or her work experience or education.

According to Sunny Bates, CEO of a New York recruitment firm, “40% of all résumés aren’t altogether aboveboard.” It even happens with high profile jobs; for instance, Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson resigned in May after certain falsehoods on his resume came to light. Apparently, he claimed to have a degree in computer science from a Massachusetts college which he never actually earned.

Background and criminal records checks are the best means to make sure the information you see on that stellar resume isn’t falsified. Here’s a list of the top lies you might find:

  • Amount and type of education completed – Like the Yahoo! executive, some applicants won’t be above granting themselves admission to prestigious colleges or degrees they haven’t really earned.
  • Number of years of experience – Sometimes this technique is used to cover up gaps in employment. Other times it’s used to inflate the amount of supposed real-world experience.
  • Level of knowledge or ability – It’s easy for applicants to overestimate their own technical prowess or language fluency. These exaggerations are sure to become apparent, however, should he or she be hired.
  • Inflated job title or salary – Have you ever heard of an environmental maintenance officer? You might recognize it in layman’s terms: garbage man. People aren’t above giving their more menial positions more impressive, if vague, titles. Inflated salary reports are also common, as it gives the applicant more bargaining room.

Don’t fall for these resume tricks. A thorough background check or employment screening should be able to put to rest most of your worries while simultaneously saving you valuable time and money.

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