How to Spot Exaggerations or Lies on an Applicant’s Resume

Lying on a Resume

You start reading an applicant’s resume. It sounds really, really good! As your eyes skip happily down the page, you can hardly believe you’ve found this gem of a candidate. Every skill and qualification they’ve listed is exactly what you’re looking for.

Then you start to think about it a little more.

This person could just be matching up their resume with your job description. After all, everything you want them to say is right there. Could it be… ?

Naw. You block the idea from your head.

But then it pops into your head again, because this applicant is almost TOO perfect. Could it be… that this person is lying?

You’re not a psychic, but your gut is telling you that when something seems too good to be true…

How can you spot lies or exaggerations on a resume? If you know what to look for, it can help you make stronger hiring matches. Just follow these tips from a source of immediate hiring jobs in Nashville TN.

Most common lies on a resume

The job market can be tough for candidates and to help themselves out, some may prefer to pad their resume a bit. These are the most common things applicants lie about or exaggerate:

  1. Skills and abilities—claiming mastery in an area where the applicant has only basic knowledge or claiming they have a required skill when they do not
  2. Previous salary—inflating it to help in negotiations at their next job
  3. Title—claiming it’s higher than it was
  4. Dates of employment—altering these
  5. Length of employment—claiming longer tenure at one job to avoid listing another (and likely less favorable) employer
  6. Reasons for leaving a job—fabricated
  7. Their degree—either claiming it’s from a more respected college or university than from where they actually graduated or claiming that they have one at all
  8. Their grade point average—claiming it’s higher than it was

Go with your instincts

If the candidate claims they’re a Harvard grad but their resume has typos and bad grammar? Red flag. If they claim to have a particular skill, but their descriptions don’t use any of the right industry terminologies? Another red flag. Does the person seem to be who they claim to be?

Always screen candidates

If you’re feeling uneasy about what an applicant claims on their resume, or even if it seems to be legit—always conduct background screenings. These should always be a part of your hiring process. If a candidate passes a screening and lands an interview, you can always administer skill, personality or intelligence tests as part of the interview process.

Check with your recruiter

Your staffing agency will help you find credible candidates and perform all screening to ensure they’re good matches. And Wood Personnel is a top choice. To learn more about our available services, contact us today!

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