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Resume Lies

Did you know that 58 percent of hiring managers report they have seen exaggerations and flat out lies on resumes? Find out why candidates are stretching the truth more than ever before from Kavaliro’s Lead Resource Manager David Gilcher. Don’t forget to check out his commentary in Recruiter.com, Mid-Market Pulse, CIO.com and on FOX 35’s Good Day Orlando!

Why people lie on their resume

  • Most candidates lie because they see it as a means of professional survival in a very competitive workforce. Employers are requiring more education and skills in order to even be considered. As the modern hiring process has become automated for some employers, being considered for a position has become more difficult. People know this, and may add items on their resume in order to move forward in process.

How candidates can focus on skills without embellishment

  • A big mistake many candidates make is pointing out their skills in a section on their resume and neglecting to show how and when those skills were utilized. For example, if you have experience with a certain software, don’t just put it in your skills section. List where that software was used in each of the positions you used it. Show employers your practical experience and the years of experience you have with that skill.
  • Employers want to see results and numbers. Point out highlights and accomplishments of your time with the employer. For example, if you were able to make or save the company money or improve the efficiency of a task or process, list it.

Top Lies on Resumes and How to Spot Them

Job Titles

  • Dig into the resume and see if the work they listed syncs with what someone in that type of role would do. A reference check from who they reported to and/or reported to them can be helpful to not only figure out if they actually held the title and responsibilities, but how they were in that role as a superior and as a subordinate.

Dates of Employment

  • Candidates may lie on their resume about dates of employment to address gaps in employment or to inflate their level of experience and/or tenure in a role. With a resume check, you can look for overlapping dates. If it looks irregular, dig in with the candidate to address the discrepancy. Checking their LinkedIn profile and determining if the dates listed on the profile and the resume match is another way to see if there are no irregularities. A quick employment check or reference check can do this as well.


  • Checking salaries isn’t always the easiest, but finding another candidate who worked in that company in the same role around the same timeframe can help determine if the salaries make sense. Although salaries aren’t always the same, a huge difference can help determine if a candidate may be lying. Market knowledge of salaries can be extremely helpful, as you know if what’s being asked for makes sense for the local market based on location, level of experience, technical skills associated the job, etc.

Reasons for Separation

  • Candidates often use the recession and the associated layoffs as a reason why they were let go. Is it true? Possibly. However, a couple of questions can help determine if it’s a valid reason. For example, asking how many were laid off and/or when the layoff occurred. Was it just their team or other divisions as well? Many times, a check on the company and any associated news releases about layoffs can dispel some doubts you may have. Also, you can check the job boards to see if many from the same company are leaving at the same time.

Criminal Records

  • Despite the law, employers can discriminate against candidates with criminal records silently without any real enforcement. Those with past offenses are aware of this discrimination, and they are reluctant to disclose their criminal record. In order to ease the concerns of a potential hire, you can make them aware that a criminal background check will be made as part of the hiring process and that revealing anything upfront will not be used as part of the hiring process.


  • Candidates are aware that companies may not even look at their credentials without a degree, even if he or she possesses years of practical experience. A verification of education is relatively simple by either contacting the school or asking for transcripts.

Professional Licensing

  • Some candidates may add titles such as CPA, PE, MD, RN, or PhD in order to inflate their professional standing. Thankfully, many states have verification methods that can be accessed online to verify someone’s professional licensing.

Self-Owned Businesses or Closed Companies

  • Making inquiries about the projects they have been working on and who their clients are is important. Ask for point of contacts at each of those clients to verify those projects took place and if the candidate was part of those projects. If they reluctant to provide that information, then you should not move forward with that candidate.

Kavaliro Employment Agency has offices in Tampa, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Orlando, Fla., Washington, D.C., and Jacksonville, Fla. and can make sure you find the right people for this important role. We are ready and waiting to help you anytime and look forward to hearing from you.

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