The Warning Signs of a Falsified Resume

Unfortunately, not everyone is honest on their resume. Almost half of all workers (46 percent) polled by staffing firm Office Team knew of someone who lied on their resume. This is a 25 percent jump from the company’s 2011 survey, with 77 percent lying about job experience and 55 percent lying about the duties performed. The problem is: how do you spot someone who lies on their resume? It might be exhausting, but it’s not unfeasible. All you need to know is what to look for. Maybe someone who is young or seems inexperienced has already claimed to be quite high up in a company. Or maybe someone has exaggerated about the length of time they worked somewhere.

Whatever the case is, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for, especially as a staffing agency. Sometimes you’re not just hiring a temporary employee for the agency, you’re also hiring directly for another company. Hiring the wrong person, particularly someone who does not have the necessary skills or experience to succeed in the position, will at best be a waste of time and finances for your firm and your client company, and can at worst lead to costly staffing insurance claims. These are the warning signs of a falsified or exaggerated resume.

Extended Periods of Self Employment

Given the recent rise of the “gig economy” and contract work, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being self-employed. However, it can be a telltale sign of someone lying on their resume, particularly if they can’t back up their claims. Freelancers may work alone, but any freelancer should be able to show you the things that they’ve worked on. There should be websites and other sources proving that they’ve done the work that they’ve claimed to do on their resume, and whomever contracted their services should also be able to verify their work.

Some people also put their volunteer work on their resumes and stretch it to make it seem like a legitimate job. Stretching the truth on a resume can be proven, so it’s best to not do it.

Problems With Employment Dates

If the month and date is missing from the resume, then there’s something that the candidate is hiding. It’s important to have those time frames on a resume. Without them, it’s too easy to stretch the truth on paper, or make it misleading.

Embellished Job Titles

Some people will say they’ve been in a management position when they actually haven’t. It’s imperative to weave through those people. If the job responsibilities listed don’t match up with the job title, then there’s something up. Ask them specifically about what they’ve done in their position, especially if their resumes lists leadership roles.

Vague Responses During Interview

Some candidates might be shy or nervous in job interviews, but it they don’t seem to be able to give concrete descriptions of their past work, something might be up. Someone who has really been in the job positions that they claim should be able to actively talk about them. If they can’t, then that means they are most likely lying about that particular job experience.

Other Giveaways

For example, if someone claims to speak a second language, test them on it. If the employers listed on the resume have no contact information, then that’s another telltale sign that something’s off. Another thing to look out for is if the applicant mispronounces the name of one of the companies they worked for, as well as technical terms that they should know. It’s easy to read between the lines once you know what you’re looking for. 


About World Wide Specialty Programs

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.