Human Resources News & Insights

The 3 resume lies HR pros are seeing with alarming regularity

For HR pros, the hiring process is not only about finding the most-qualified candidates, it’s also about exposing dishonest ones.

That’s because nearly half of respondents from a recent OfficeTeam report said they “knew someone” who’d lied on a resume.

And a separate report by HireRight found that 85% of employers uncovered lies on job applicants’ resumes.

With this trend in mind, HR pros should approach the resume pile with a careful eye for red flags. One way to do this is by looking out for common fabrications and outright lies. Here are three of the most common, courtesy of Fast Company:

1. Inflated roles

According to the OfficeTeam report, 76% of candidates embellished job experience, and 55% exaggerated their job duties.

In an effort get to where they want to go career-wise, job-seekers will put down the titles of jobs they believed they deserved as opposed to their actual work roles.

What to look for: Vague descriptions of skills that aren’t consistent with what your job posting actually demands.

2. Suspicious dates

Job-seekers know gaps in employment tend to raise red flags for recruiters and HR pros. As a result, they tend to get creative in covering up those gaps.

Example: Date blocks that only include the year, instead of the starting/ending month.

3. Lack of degree specificity

Education is a huge area for misrepresentation. While there are a few brazen folks who have the guts to put down big-name schools they never even attended, that type of lie generally isn’t what you have have to worry about.

A far more common fib comes from candidates that put down degrees they never earned or fell just short of earning.

What to look for: Incomplete degree names. For example, someone may put bachelors degree instead of bachelor of science (BS) or bachelor of fine arts (BFA).

To be safe, you’ll want to make sure all degree specs were met and that the candidate isn’t among the individuals who lie about something that they never actually completed.

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  • Thanks for the informative article. I agree, resume lies and “inflation” are far too common; which raises the question, how useful are resumes when making hiring decisions? Additional measures, like interviews, reference checks, and a well-designed candidate assessment process comprised of the appropriate personality, cognitive, etc. tests are necessary to avoid costly hiring mistakes.

  • Lady Dee

    That’s why we conduct background cheques and ask for certified copies of the degrees, to counter these falsehoods.

  • Sumit Kumar

    Keep it up guys..very informative blog. https://www.thecareermuse.co.in/