Spot Bluff & Lies On Resume: Hiring Tips For Start-ups

According to a report published by CNBC, 75% of recruiters have found lies on candidates’ resumes.

Irrespective of the profiles, candidates put some blatant lies on resumes regarding their work experience or even education and skills.

This might be due to the constant pressure of getting a job or absurd requirements posted by the companies.

However, lying on resumes doesn’t help a candidate in a long way because hiring managers are trained to detect lies and inaccuracies in resumes. There are only 12% of recruitment managers that will call a fraudulent candidate. 

Putting false information on resumes can cost a lot of time and cause wastage of resources in the long run of start-up companies.

Here are a few tips for start-ups to identify bluffs and lies on resumes:

  • Inaccurate dates

There have been instances where candidates try to include bluff dates in order to qualify the minimum experience requirement. They might use the yy – yy format instead of the mm/yy – mm/yy format to bluff the criteria of minimum experience count. 

Here is how, if the job asks for a minimum of 5 years of experience, a person might write as 2016 – 2021 instead of Dec 2016 – May 2021. This showcases a resume with gaps and helps to hide the potential gap that fall short according to the job listing.

Try to address these concerns beforehand on a telephonic or preliminary interview round.

  • Inconsistent format

The resume formats that are widely used are the reverse chronological and the functional formats. However, reverse chronological is the most prevalent format. 

The benefit of using a reverse chronological format is that it rules out the possibility of lying since it contains information in a chronological format against their responsibilities.

However, a functional format is different as it focuses on skills rather than job responsibilities.

In order to spot a lie, one can refer to the skills section to relate it with the work experience.

  • Conflicting professional qualifications details

Candidates usually lie about their educational qualifications to come across as superior to others. They lie about the college or university they have studied in, the dates, and provide false references. They might write Bachelors in the degree section without specifying their major.

With the advancement of education technology, many online ed-tech companies provide digital certification for a plethora of courses. This is beneficial for professionals who cannot attend training courses in person. But there are a lot of candidates who take undue advantage of it. 

They tend to put certifications that they have earned through forgery.

In order to catch lies, try to contact their references and corroborate the dates provided. If one sees a lot many certifications in a short period of time, pay special attention to them and ask multiple questions about them. Try to talk more about the course modules and the skills they have acquired during the course.

  • Experience with big firms

Recruiters often come across resumes that boast of working with giant firms like Amazon and Google. Even if they are internships or part-time gigs for those companies. The reason behind this is to fake experience with Tier 1 companies and negotiate a better salary.

Recruiters may even hire background check services but it may take some effort, time and without saying, an additional cost.

The ideal way to deal with this kind of situation is to ask for references from previous experiences. Recruiters can also go through the candidate’s and even references’ LinkedIn profiles to verify them. 

  • Dubious Skills

The increasing prevalence of applicant tracking systems has made people lie more about their skills to pass the first round of shortlisting. Candidates incorporate phrases from the job postings to score higher in the ATS system. 

To check the authenticity of the skills mentioned, one must refer to the professional experience section where a candidate has applied those skills to accomplish tasks.

Look over the soft skills mentioned in the resume such as interpersonal and organizational skills. Focus more on the core skills to evaluate the candidate’s efficiency.

Advice for the startup recruiters

  • Google the candidate
  • Make a LinkedIn search
  • Conduct a skills test during an interview
  • Perform phone interviews to screen candidates
  • Check references and contact alumnus
  • Ask multiple questions about a doubtful section or detail

Key Takeaways

Since it is becoming increasingly tough to catch lies on resumes, but a thorough read of the resume can help a recruiter to sense them. 

Here are the key takeaways from this article:

  • Check for the inaccuracies in the dates mentioned against each section
  • Try to figure out the inconsistencies in the resume format and ask for validation wherever required
  • Go through the education and certifications sections to catch a lie about university or certification authority
  • Seek references in case the candidate has mentioned giant firms in his work experience
  • Refer to the professional experience section to verify the skills mentioned in the resume

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