How to recruit effectively when candidates lie on resumes.

The tendency for candidates to lie on their resumes to gain employment is common, but this is a mistake employers cannot disregard lightly. Employers must take all necessary precautions when selecting and vetting candidates, even though such dishonesty may not be the norm. The alarming rate at which such dishonesty is found among applicants makes it imperative that employers take all necessary precautions when selecting and vetting candidates.


Ah, yes, the resume. The document is supposed to honestly represent a person’s qualifications and experience. But let’s face it – candidates often lie on their resumes. From stretching the truth about their experience to outright fabricating credentials, it can be hard to know who to trust. But why do they do it? Is it because they’re desperate for a job and think they have to embellish their credentials to get one? Or is it because they feel they have to compete with other qualified candidates? Whatever the reason, the truth is that applicants are dishonest, and it’s a problem that employers need to be aware of. So how do you ensure that the person you’re considering for the job really is the best fit? We’ve got the top tips to help you sniff out the resume liars and find the right candidate for the job.

It almost seems too easy these days for job seekers to get away with lying on their resumes! According to Indeed, 40% of applicants are less than honest when it comes to their CVs. An astonishing three out of four employers have encountered unwarranted embellishments, usually relating to education, past job dates and salary. Outrageous! – no wonder recruiters have to be extra cautious during the hiring process! What’s concerning here is why employers would waste time even considering these inflated and fictitious stories in the first place! According to CNBC, a shocking 66% of hiring managers would still be open to hiring someone despite inflated claims. Of the rest of the recruiters, however, one in three would never hire someone dishonest.

My daughter’s friend Sofie had just finished college and was ready to start her career. She was extremely bright and had been accepted to an accounting and finance degree with the University of Birmingham. She was thrilled. But soon, due to an issue with her student loan, she hadn’t been able to finish her coursework and, instead, had to take a job in retail and continue taking classes at a local community college. Of course, this wasn’t anything to be ashamed of, but Sofie wanted to break into the working world as quickly as possible, so she decided to fudge her resume. She lied and said that she had graduated from the university with a degree in accounting and finance. She figured that no one would check, giving her an edge over other applicants. For a while, everything worked out just fine. She was hired by a great accounting company and was doing really well at her job. However, after a few months, she found it difficult to cope with the work and ended up making mistakes.  Subsequently one day, she was pulled into the HR office and questioned about her educational background. It turns out that the HR team figured out that Sofie had only completed a few credits at the university, not the full degree she claimed on her resume. Needless to say, she was fired immediately. Sofie was heartbroken and humiliated. She regretted that she had ever lied and wasted such a great opportunity. Furthermore, her reputation was damaged as the accounting firms in Birmingham talked to each other, and such information spread quickly.

Would you keep employed someone who lied on their resume? The truth is that there is no rule on what to do if you hire someone and later on find out that they have ‘bent the truth.’ Much depends on the size of the lie. How quickly did you discover the lie? Does it matter if the employee is doing well and has been employed for a while? Does it matter if their grades are not quite what they have claimed? It would probably be fine if the candidate got a grade lower on their A-levels, but if the candidate hasn’t worked at the company or attended the university that’s listed on their CV, this is a serious breach of trust, and you might want to fire them for it. The human resources department is within its rights to terminate the employee’s contract if, based on its evaluation, this was a particularly egregious offence.

If the resume sounds a bit too good to be true, guess what – it probably is! Here are 5 signs that may indicate that your applicant is lying:

  1. Lack of specificity – does the candidate use vague, imprecise words? Is their writing littered with jargon?
  2. Overuse of adjectives – does the application include lots of “amazing” and “incredible”?
  3. Use of meaningless terms – does the job application contain a lot of “buzzwords”?
  4. Inconsistency – does the timeline of events make sense?
  5. Unexplained gaps – are there unexplained gaps in employment?

The best way to determine if a candidate is lying on their resume is to conduct an in-person assessment of their skills. You might start by testing their typing speed and MS Office abilities. In order to determine an administrative professional’s potential workplace fit and character, it is important to evaluate them on the basis of their spelling, grammar, and word choice. Other exams can be conducted to determine a candidate’s personality. The process of testing can be complex, so if you aren’t sure about any aspect of the hiring test procedure, contact Testlify. You can choose from over 350 tests that cover a broad range of software engineering topics, such as programming languages, software engineering frameworks, databases, DevOps, finance, accounting, cloud computing, psychometry, and aptitude testing. Our deep analysis technology, which is accurate, automated, and unbiased, takes the stress out of finding the best candidate, making the recruitment process easier and less stressful. We can minimise the chances of hiring someone who has lied about their skills and abilities. We can make hiring exciting again.

Candidates are often motivated to lie on their resumes to secure a job, but this is a mistake employers cannot take lightly. While such dishonesty may not be the norm, the alarming rate at which applicants are found to be dishonest demands that employers take all necessary precautions when it comes to selecting and vetting candidates. Through testing offered by Testlify, employers can ensure that they hire the right candidate without inflated claims.

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