You’re probably not surprised to hear that some folks “embellish” on their resumes. But you’d likely be surprised by just how often they do it.
And on what important things they lie about.
More than half (58%) of employers have caught a lie on a resume, finds a recent survey from the folks at CareerBuilder.
And who knows how many lies have slipped through undetected?
That doesn’t bode well for your recruiting process. But if you know what to be on the lookout for, you can increase your odds that you won’t get stuck with a bum hire in your finance department.
The top things they’re lying about
There’s no shortage of opportunities to pump up their resumes. Take a look at the main ways people admit to doing it in the CareerBuilder survey:
- 57% have embellished on their real skill sets
- 55% have pumped up the responsibilities they’ve handled
- 42% have fiddled with their dates of employment
- 34% have made their job title sound more impressive
- 33% have exaggerated their academic degree
- 26% have lied about the companies they’ve worked for, and
- 18% have made up accolades or awards.
Some of these are easy enough to prove (or disprove): degrees, job titles, places worked.
Others, not so much.
Which is why you and your other finance supervisors with hiring power will want to make sure you delve into a candidate’s skills and responsibilities during the interview process.
A few strategies to do this:
- Ask for anecdotes. Have candidates relate stories from their past jobs. The level of detail in the accounts can help you determine whether the person really has the experience he or she claims.
- Conduct several rounds of interviews. If you have different members of your team meet the candidate, the odds of something not matching up are greater.
- Don’t skip the reference check. Many of your peers ask for references from candidates but never verify them. In light of this survey data, this is one step no company can afford to overlook. A five minute phone call can avoid a ton of grief down the road.
Who’s most vulnerable
Of course no one is immune from this phenomenon. The survey conductors found it happened across all job types and levels. So everyone needs to keep his or her radar up.
But certain industries caught more resume lies than others. And they hit close to home for many CFOs.
The CareerBuilder survey found that the industries that spotted the most lies are:
- Financial Services (73%)
- Leisure and Hospitality (71%)
- Information Technology (63%)
- Health Care, with more than 50 employees (63%), and
- Retail (59%).
If you’re in any of these industries and have plans to increase headcount in your finance department, you’ll want to be more vigilant than ever.
There are great candidates out there – you just might have to work extra hard to find them.