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Can Employees Lie on Their Resume?

Clichés survive the ages because they often tell the truth. One of them goes, “Do not judge a book by its cover,” especially when one is looking at an employee’s resume.

Behind the gloss, advanced vocabulary, and fantastic formatting and layout might be a deep dark secret: the person might be lying.

How Often Employees Lie on Their Resume?

It’s prime time for companies to consider hiring job verification services as another step to narrow down the best candidates. A significant percentage of the applicants lie these days.

In a survey by Resume Lab, a whopping 93% of the respondents admitted to not telling the entire truth—or at least misrepresenting the information they provided on their resumes. In another study, over 75% who received a job offer landed the role by lying. Only 16% of those surveyed said they didn’t stretch the truth.

Resume Lab revealed that 27% often lied about their work experience. Less than 20% “improved” their job duties and skills. In another survey, over 60% claimed mastery for a skill they didn’t use often. These can include proficiency in using a particular program or knowledge in another language.

Meanwhile, nearly 50% bolstered their GPA, while 40% said that they earned a degree in a famous university even when they didn’t receive any diploma or lacked a few college credits. Around 41% misrepresented their position, saying they held a director position when they performed a managerial role.

In a UK study, the researchers found the same results. Employees would likely say untruthful things about their skills, educational background, certifications, and work experience to land a job. The question is why. Resume Lab can have some answers:

  • Over 35% said they were jobless for a long time.
  • Around 18% wanted to get a higher salary offered by the position, while the same percentage believed they wouldn’t get caught.
  • Seventeen percent revealed that they didn’t qualify for the position. Lying allows them to avoid being screened out as candidates.

row of waiting applicants

How to Catch a Lie

Honesty breeds trust, which is one of the essential foundations of a harmonious relationship in the workplace. Dishonest people should have no place in the organization, and yet not everyone who lies fails. Companies can still end up hiring 30% of them.

How can businesses then improve their application process without toiling on hundreds of resumes? Here are some ideas:

1. Pair ATS with job verification services

Many HR departments now use applicant tracking systems (ATS), which can already sort applications according to their desired qualifications. Unfortunately, many candidates nowadays are tech-savvy enough to beat the system.

Companies can add another layer for streamlining. They can hire professional job verification service providers, whose role is to double-check every reference and information on the resume.

2. Let them explain their resume

During the interview, recruiters can create different situations and allow the applicant to explain their steps in resolving the issues. Another is to let them share specific scenarios or accomplishments written in their resume, detailing how they solved the problems or achieved their desired results. This manner of asking can reveal their level of expertise in the job.

3. Give a skills test

Are you hiring a copywriter? Let them draft an ad or a press release. Are you looking for a website designer? Ask them to design a page.

Hiring a dishonest employee hurts the chances of equally skillful but honest individuals. It also demoralizes the team. Learn to screen out those who lie on their resume.

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