Almost one-half of workers know someone who lied on resumé

Job duties, education areas embellished most often: OfficeTeam
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/03/2011

When a resumé looks too good to be true, it just might be, according to a survey released by OfficeTeam. Forty-seven per cent of managers polled believe job seekers include dishonest information on their resumés somewhat or very often.

Some workers agreed what you see isn't always what you get: Almost one-half (44 per cent) said they know someone who stretched the truth on these documents. Job duties (72 per cent) and education (41 per cent) were cited as areas that are embellished most frequently, followed by employment dates (27%), found the surveys of 304 senior managers and 648 workers.

Managers were asked: "In your opinion, how often do job applicants include dishonest or exaggerated information on their resumes?" Their responses:

Very often

12%

Somewhat often

35%

Not very often

7%

Never

7%

Don’t know/no answer

7%

"Unfortunately, employers can't always take everything on a resumé at face value," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "That's why it's so important to get to know a prospective hire by probing for specifics during the interview, conducting thorough reference checks and testing skills where appropriate."

OfficeTeam offered five tips to help employers verify information on resumés:

Watch for ambiguity. When reviewing resumés, question vague descriptions of skills (such as "familiar with" or "involved in") which may be signs a professional is trying to hide a lack of relevant work experience.

Ask once, ask twice. Pose interview questions that relate to specific skills needed. For example, if a candidate must know a particular software program, ask how he has used the technology in previous roles. If the response is ambiguous, don't be afraid to rephrase the question.

Get the facts. Ask references to confirm basic information such as the candidate's employment history, job titles, responsibilities and salary. If she’s willing to talk further, delve into her thoughts on the individual's strengths and weaknesses, interpersonal skills and ability to work on a team.

Branch out. Inquire if references know of others you can speak to about promising candidates. Also, tap your own network to find mutual acquaintances who might be able to shed light on the prospective hire's background and character.

Put them to the test. To get a true sense of a candidate's abilities, consider hiring the person on a temporary basis before extending a full-time offer. This allows both parties to assess whether the position is a fit.

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