So how can you tell the real resumes from the electronically enhanced? Start with your gut feeling.
Unfamiliar Schools or Businesses
Some employers will require transcripts or even a copy of a candidate’s diploma with their application packet. However, if a resume highlights a degree from a school you’ve never heard of, take a couple minutes to check it out. If a quick Google search comes back empty, you may need to ask the candidate directly about the educational facility, or just move on to the next applicant. Same goes for a company. If a resume details years of successful employment with one particular business, but you can’t so much as find an address for the company, you may have a career history con artist.
Extended Employment Dates
Many companies require that candidates explain gaps in their employment history, so applicants will try to stretch their employment dates to span more time than was actually worked at a given company. It’s one thing to be off by a couple of days when it comes to a hire date, but tacking on 10 or 12 extra months to cover unemployment, embarrassing legal matters, or even time away to raise a family is all too common on a resume. The good news is, this is an easy check with just a phone call to previous employers.
There are so many ways to exaggerate the education area of a resume. From outright claiming an earned diploma that wasn’t actually received to the “Expected Graduation Date” that will never really come because the 12 college credits the candidate has earned are from five years ago. Requiring transcripts or other proof when you make an offer has grown communal, but checking out the candidate and their claims before you get that far in the hiring process can save a lot of time and frustration.
In hopes of making a giant leap in income, many candidates will exaggerate their pay from previous employers thinking you will at least start your offer in that same pay range. Is their salary relatable to their achievements? If the candidate makes claims about their astounding professional accomplishments, they should be able to back them up with precise, tangible examples.
The bottom line: do your homework on any candidate to whom you plan to make an offer.
- Use online and social media tools. You’ll be amazed at what you can find by simply typing a candidate’s name into Google. LinkedIn may be particularly helpful when it comes to validating professional achievements. And, while it may seem old-school, use Facebook to get a general idea of the candidate’s personality. What are they willing to post about themselves (or other topics) on social media?
- Talk to them. If you notice an area of concern on an applicant’s resume, screen them through a phone conversation, or bring them in to get a better feel with an in-person interview.
- Put them to the test. The open ended “Tell me about a time in your work history when…” can be very revealing with a potential candidate. Are they open and engaging with their story? Are they hesitant to share any particular instance and use general language instead? Pre-employment testing can also help to decide if the candidate actually has the skills and experience they claim. Background checks also help secure claimed personal information.
- Spot the “Professional Interviewee.” If the candidate seems overqualified for the position or otherwise too good to be true, explore further before making a pledge to the applicant.
- Rely on Hoss Hire. At Hoss, we will identify and prescreen candidates for you, greatly reducing your risk of making a regrettable hire. In addition, we offer a 90 day replacement guarantee for all candidates.