April Fool’s Day can be fun, thanks to harmless office pranks and the like. What isn’t fun is when employers get fooled into hiring less-than-qualified people, thanks to resume fraud. With more candidates jockeying for interview time, you are likely to come across resumes containing white lies – or even downright fraudulent information. Undetected resume fraud can cost you, your team and even your company down the road. Here are warning signs to watch for so it doesn’t happen on your watch. While many of a candidate’s claims can be verified with background checks, these checks aren’t usually conducted until late in the hiring process, after you have invested time and energy in interviewing the candidate – and your team is most likely invested in their future colleague. Here’s what to look out for so that the joke’s not on you:
Stretching Degree of Education – Getting into a university and graduating from said university with a degree are two very different things. Some candidates may try to blur the line by stating the years they attended school, with the hope that you assume they completed their degree. When you come across this kind of academic vagueness, make a note to ask the candidate for more details during your initial phone conversation. While not a deal breaker, a college degree is required in some positions, so verify before you go farther in to the hiring process.
Embellishing Job Titles – When reviewing resumes, check if the career progression makes sense. Sudden jumps in job titles (Front Desk Associate to Director of Marketing, for instance), or odd skips into different industries (Warehouse Clerk to Project Manager) aren’t impossible, but should still be looked into. Contacting previous employers is one way you can check for veracity.
Exaggerated Accomplishments – When it comes to hiring, who would not want to hire a winner who has received many accolades and awards? While awards may be a good way to measure performance, not all awards and recognitions are valid. In fact, there is a growing number of companies offering plaques of recognition, snazzy trophies and other tokens of excellence. Depending on what’s relevant to you or the position, look for awards from recognizable or at least verifiable organizations.