How to Spot a Lie on a Resume

Studies show most people (72%) have lied on their resumes at some point. In today’s competitive job market, crafting a standout resume is crucial. However, some candidates resort to embellishments or outright lies to enhance their chances of landing a position in your company. As a recruiter or hiring manager, it’s essential to sharpen your skills in detecting falsehoods on resumes to ensure you’re making informed decisions. Here are some key strategies to help you spot a lie on a resume.

Inconsistencies and Discrepancies

One of the most straightforward ways to identify lies on a resume is by scrutinizing for inconsistencies. Discrepancies in dates of employment, job titles, or educational qualifications should raise red flags. Cross-reference information provided on the resume with other sources such as LinkedIn profiles or references to validate its accuracy.

Vague or Generic Language

Pay close attention to the language used in the resume. Vague statements or generic phrases that lack specificity could indicate an attempt to conceal gaps in employment history or lack of genuine qualifications. Genuine accomplishments are typically detailed with specific metrics or examples.

Unverifiable Information

Lies often involve fabricating experiences or credentials that cannot be verified. Be wary of claims about achievements or responsibilities in previous roles that seem implausible or lack substantiating evidence. Verify certifications, licenses, and accreditations through official channels whenever possible.

Exaggerated Skills or Abilities

While it’s common for candidates to highlight their strengths, exaggerated claims about skills or abilities should be examined closely. Look for evidence of these skills in the candidate’s work experience or achievements. Additionally, be cautious of candidates who list numerous skills without demonstrating proficiency in any particular area.

Also, it is very common to claim an achievement that was achieved as a team. Almost all major achievements (Company growth, new clients, etc.) are the result of a team effort. As a counter measure, ask the candidate to explain their specific role in the achievement and ask follow up questions on how exactly they did it.

Incomplete Employment History

Gaps in employment history are not uncommon, but unexplained or prolonged gaps may indicate attempts to conceal unfavorable experiences. Inquire about these gaps during the interview to clarify the candidate’s work history. Be wary of candidates who provide evasive or inconsistent explanations.

Lack of References or Refusal to Provide Them

A candidate’s reluctance to provide references or inability to furnish contacts for previous employers should raise suspicions. References play a crucial role in validating the candidate’s qualifications and character. Request references from earlier supervisors or colleagues to gain insights into the candidate’s performance and credibility.

Overemphasis On Job Titles

Some candidates may inflate their importance or responsibility levels by exaggerating job titles. Verify the candidate’s actual duties and achievements in previous roles to ascertain the accuracy of their claims. Focus on the substance of their work rather than solely relying on job titles. In many companies, job titles are hyper inflated. It is also important to realize that job titles don’t compare well across different industries.

Trust Your Instincts

As a recruiter or hiring manager, trust your instincts when assessing resumes. If something seems too good to be true or doesn’t quite add up, delve deeper into the candidate’s background during the interview process. Listen attentively to their responses and observe their demeanor for signs of dishonesty.

Create a Better Screening Process

Recruiters and hiring managers can effectively identify deceptive practices and make informed hiring decisions. Remember, integrity and honesty are fundamental qualities in any candidate, and diligence in vetting resumes ensures that the right candidates are selected for the job.

PrideStaff Thousand Oaks is a full-service recruiting agency with a wealth of experience around finding the best candidates for our clients. If you’re worried about the risks inherent in hiring, why not contact us? Our professionals can help streamline your hiring process.