“Are your pants on fire?” How to spot resumes lies!

“Are your pants on fire?” How to spot resumes lies!

Today’s job market is fierce, no doubt about it. And to stand out from the pack, some candidates may be tempted to embellish their resumes a bit. Okay, some just flat-out lie. These lies may seem innocuous to the job seeker, but they can prove costly for your business.

Spot the resume lies!


Catching red flags on resumes prior to starting the interview process is the best way to avoid any legal liability or issues down the line. How can you spot resume lies? Here are four tips to help you sharpen your eagle eye:

  1. Use social media wisely. If you’re unsure or hesitant about something on a candidate’s resume, taking a peek at that candidate’s social media profiles may shed some light on the truth. Education, work history and other employment factors are often found on Facebook profiles, and can help you determine the truthfulness of some resume facts. But be careful – avoid any protected information, which could be present on social media sites, and could open you up to potential liability down the road.
  2. Watch the dates. Keep an eye out for strange gaps or jumps in dates on a resume. They could imply false information, or a negative blip in a candidate’s employment history. If dates look suspicious, consider calling listed employers to verify dates of employment, or ask the candidate for additional information.
  3. Look for ambitious words. If the vocabulary on a resume would make an SAT grader blush, you may have a resume counterfeiter on your hands. To mask outrageous claims of experience or education, some candidates will embellish accomplishments by adding superfluous words and outlandishly opprobrious vocabulary (see what we just did there?).
  4. Check references. Amazingly, there are still employers who do not check references. This step can prevent major headaches down the road – as well as cost – and takes very little time. Always ask for professional references, and always verify them.

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