How to Spot Lies on a Resume

By Brittany Loeffler on March 7, 2019

The job market is cutthroat, which can lead to applicants adding lies on a resume in an effort to make them stand out in the pile upon your desk. As a recruiter or hiring manager, it is your job to find the perfect candidate to fill a company’s position. So, with job applicants embellishing and putting lies on a resume, how are you supposed to know who is and who isn’t qualified for the position? Here are a few ways to spot lies on a resume to help you find the right fit for your company.

lies on a resume

via Pixabay

Take a Closer Look

Going through a pile of resumes can be a daunting task. Typically, a recruiter or hiring manager spends mere seconds glancing at a resume before deciding whether the applicant may be qualified or not. Once you have your pile of potentially qualified applicants, make sure to take a much closer look at the resumes. See that dates match up and the job description matches the title along with achievements and skills. Taking a closer look will help you spot lies on a resume much easier.

Too Detailed Job Descriptions

There are two types of liars out there, the overly detailed liars and the vague liars. When you notice a job description with overly detailed achievements and tasks completed, you may want to dig deeper into that resume. While some applicants may add details about their achievements, when you see too many statistics or bullet points under a job title, it should raise some red flags that signal there are lies on a resume. These detailed job descriptions may mean that the applicant is trying to embellish what they actually did in this job position.

Too Vague Job Descriptions

The second thing to look for is a job description that is just a little too vague. This could mean that the applicant made up the job position entirely. Make sure to check with their references and do some research about the company they claim that they worked for.

Compare the Resume to LinkedIn

The chances of an applicant lying on both the resume you received and their LinkedIn profile are slim. Typically, job applicants will tailor their resume to match the position they are applying for. They won’t do this for their online profile, though. So, if you see something that looks a little suspicious, just match up their experiences or skills with their profile to find out the truth.

Call References

When you notice some dates that look just too perfect, never hesitate to call a reference and confirm that the applicant worked with them for the amount of time stated on their resume. There are many instances where applicants lie about the time spent working because they don’t want recruiters to see that they had a gap in their work history. These may be the most common lies on a resume.

Specific Certifications

If the certifications and skill set of a job applicant seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are times when applicants will say that they have a certification on their resume with the intention to get it after they receive the job. While learning on the job is great and sometimes the new hire needs some training, it isn’t in good character to put lies on a resume.

Inflated Job Titles

Be sure that the job description matches the job title on a resume. Sometimes applicants will trump up their job title to make their position sound more important than it actually was. For instance, a social media manager may put on their resume that they were the “Director of Digital Marketing.” While this lie doesn’t hurt anyone, it isn’t in good character and you don’t want to hire someone who isn’t genuine or trustworthy.

Question the Applicant During a Phone Interview

Even after reviewing an applicant and maybe spotting some lies on a resume, you may want to chat with them over the phone to clear up any questions. Phone interviews are the best, most efficient way to screen potential candidates and narrow down your search. Question them about the lies they may have put on their resume and see how they react and answer. Can you tell that they are lying over the phone?

Spot Lies on a Resume Like a Pro

It’s hard to get a good idea of a person just from a piece of paper with bullet points and bold lettering. By taking a closer look at the job description, job title, and dates and comparing it to the applicant’s LinkedIn profile, you can easily spot lies. Don’t hesitate to question the applicant about confusing or potentially untrue information on their resume during a phone interview too. You only want to hire the best for your company and that starts with spotting lies on a resume.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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