4 Biggest Resume Lies Candidates Tell

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The candidate looked great on paper, until you hired him and then…well, you know how this story ends.

The fact of the matter is that in today’s economy and tight job market, many candidates look great on paper because they embellish their career and education histories. And with the cost of a hiring mistake estimated to be anywhere from one to five times the salary of the individual, thoroughly vetting a candidate has become more important than ever.

So what are some of the biggest lies candidates tell? Here’s a look at four of them:

1. Bachelor’s, MBA, PhD

Lies about degrees or certifications earned are a biggie. In some cases, candidates will make it look like they have a degree from a certain school, only to have gone there for a couple of semesters, without graduating. The easiest way to overcome this lie is to call the schools and verify education records of the top few finalists you select.

2. $150k Base Salary

Another popular lie candidates tell occurs when you ask for salary history. Candidates want the highest salary possible, so some inflate their salary history in order to get it. To confirm salary history, simply require candidates to supply you with W-2 forms.

3. Director of Marketing

In addition to exaggerating their salary history, some candidates go so far as to inflate their job title as well in order to gain a higher position. The last thing you want is to hire someone who has been the administrative assistant to a Director of Marketing when you need someone with a proven track record in a leadership role.

A more subtle – but no less dishonest – way that a candidate might falsify their resume is by including the word “Senior” in front of their true job title, such as “Senior Accountant.” Regardless, to verify job titles, simply contact the employer.

4. 2008 – 2009

Some candidates include only the years they were employed, not the months and years. If they did, then a more accurate date would be December 2008 – January 2009, which would obviously raise some red flags. Again, a quick phone call to past employers will provide you with the information you need.


Need Help Vetting Candidates?

If you do, let us know. As one of Winnipeg’s leading staffing agencies, Pinnacle will work closely with you to understand your culture, strategy, and key business drivers so that we can connect you with top talent. Please contact Pinnacle today to learn more.

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