Recruiters often come across misleading resumes with exaggerated skills during interviews. Creating fake documents or lying on the resume doesn’t benefit anyone – neither the recruiter nor the candidate applying for a vacancy. Therefore, an effective recruitment policy can reduce the risk of hiring employees who aren’t suitable for the position.
Hiring candidates based on a fake resume negatively impacts a business and lowers the morale of staff. So, it’s important to know how to identify potential red flags that can indicate that a resume isn’t genuine.
There’s nothing wrong with taking time off between switching jobs. Some people may take breaks to study, start a business venture, or focus on their personal life, but it may be a red flag when the candidate is reluctant to share information or lies about these gaps. Unexplained career gaps or extended periods of self-employment are, sometimes, the tell-tale signs that the candidate is hiding something.
A long list of unrelated skills and overloading information may indicate that the candidate might have fabricated these details. They may lie about their skills in order to increase their chances of getting an interview in the competitive market.
Strange or unique job titles with a vague description of on-job responsibilities can also be an indication of a fake resume. Some candidates may also list multiple jobs on the document with similar information about responsibilities. Many candidates that present made-up information to recruiters tend to copy-paste the resume format from an on-line source and often forget to update some information sections on the default template.
Such candidates may also refuse to provide genuine references on their resumes. Candidates need to provide reference information of former managers or employers so the company can verify their past employment details and obtain information about their behaviour and work ethics. However, some fraudulent candidates may instead share the contact information of their friends or relatives in an attempt to provide misleading positive feedback. This practice is quite common among candidates who were fired from their former jobs.
Haphazard cover letters that don’t match with the resume can also indicate that the documents may not include genuine information. The resume might share contradictory information as compared to the accompanying cover letter.
Incomplete or misleading information are also clear warning signs. These fake or exaggerated resumes may lack full contact information, former job responsibilities, or references. It can indicate the candidate is extra cautious about privacy or forgot to add some details, but you should pay attention to these red flags during the recruitment process.
Poor hiring decisions don’t only cause financial losses to businesses, but also result in lower employee productivity, reduced retention rates, loss of revenue, and the added cost of re-recruiting for the role.
Employees who lie at the initial stage of recruitment by sharing a fake or inflated resume are more likely to continue their dishonest behaviour on the job and inflict financial losses to the business by stealing office supplies or inventory. It’s also not out of the question that some of them may hurt business interests down the track by stealing confidential business information or intangible assets particularly when they are reprimanded for the failure to perform their job responsibilities.
When recruiters fail to identify fake resumes and hire a candidate who isn’t suitable, they may end up increasing the legal liabilities of the organisation. If these employees indulge in unethical online behaviour, then it may negatively impact the business reputation and may lead to legal issues or lawsuits.
It’s a major concern when the position requires the employee to directly deal with customers or clients, since lying candidates may affect business relationships with customers. Moreover, their inappropriate behaviour can affect the entire company environment if they aren’t the right fit for the organisational culture.
Further, when you hire a candidate who lied about their skills, you may overlook a quality candidate in favour of the wrong one.
It’s not always easy to distinguish fake or inflated resumes from genuine ones. The above-mentioned red flags may indicate that the candidate didn’t honestly share the information, but this strategy alone isn’t sufficient.
To identify candidates lying on their resumes, review the information on the document and look for dates that don’t add up or information that doesn’t make sense. For instance, these candidates may want to hide the employment gap or claim they left their previous job even though they may have been fired.
A well-structured interview can also prove effective in identifying dishonest candidates. You should ask them relevant and unbiased questions and give them a chance to explain if there’s any unusual information or potential red flags on the resume. However, if they unnecessarily hide details or are vague and unclear in their explanations, it may expose you to a significant risk if you hire them. You can also conduct pre-employment assessments to evaluate their skills.
Lastly, you could consider engaging a professional investigation services firm to conduct comprehensive background checks. These professionals can check records of educational institutions to verify the candidate was enrolled and completed the qualification in the given year. They can also contact former employers on your behalf to verify the employment details of potential employees.
Private investigators search the internet to investigate the online behaviour of candidates with a special focus on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. It ensures they didn’t lie about their qualifications or employment and don’t engage in unethical activities online.
Furthermore, a comprehensive criminal background check provides insights into the general activities and behaviour of candidates. It provides you with the assurance that the veracity and integrity of their resume is sound and not misleading, thus providing you with the confidence to make quality informed decisions when hiring new candidates.
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