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Spot the Lie: How to Screen Potential Employees

Getting through the hiring process typically results in finding the perfect employee for your company out of a huge stack of resumes. While most companies do at least one interview, for most organizations, it starts with a simple paper document. When you’re looking at a sheaf of paper and trying to discern individual traits, it can be challenging – especially when job candidates aren’t exactly being truthful on their resume.

 

46 percent of resumes contain at least some false information. Even more unsettling, 70 percent of college students were willing to lie on a resume to get a job they wanted. These “untruths” may not be out-and-out lies, but they can be damaging nonetheless. When you’re looking through resumes, you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for these signs a job candidate could be attempting to pull the wool over your eyes:

 

  • Avoiding specifics when it comes to previous jobs they’ve held
  • Using overly-general wording about past positions
  • Leaving gaps in their resume (though there can be legitimate reasons for this as well)
  • Labeling positions in years, rather than including the specific month

 

Fortunately, you can try out a few strategies for seeing through these problematic resume issues, such as:

Using their references wisely

Getting references from your job candidates isn’t just a way to ensure that they’re good at what they do. It can also help you uncover the truth behind a misleading resume. Use reference to verify anything on the resume that you’re unsure of, or that sounds too good to be true. If they really were that good at their previous job, their references will likely want to talk about it.

 

Learning the most common falsehoods

One of the best ways to ensure you can spot a resume embellishment is to be familiar with the most common falsehoods people use. Keep in mind, many people don’t outright lie on their resume, but they may stretch the truth just a little too far. In the name of “salesmanship” when finding a job, many people will “enhance” their skills, past job titles, and degrees.

 

Getting professional background screening checks

One of the simplest ways to catch people who might be pushing the truth a little further than you’d like is to get background screening checks on any candidates you’re interested in. That way, you’ll be able to tell for sure whether they actually graduated from Harvard, or just dropped out three credits shy of a diploma.

 

Learning how to screen potential employees is a challenge for anybody. If you’re not sure whether or not your latest batch of job candidates is legitimate, try these tactics for ensuring that you get honest, dependable employees.

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