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How to Spot 5 Common Resume Lies

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By Edward Tan, JD on May 08, 2012 6:57 AM

Every entrepreneur dreams of the day they'll be able to expand their business to beyond just them. But hiring in this economy can be tricky. Applicants are getting desperate and fudging on resumes is a common way for them to tip the scales in their favor.

While it goes without saying that slight exaggerations are to be expected in all resumes, sometimes people go overboard.

So if you don't want to end up with an illiterate IT manager, be sure to watch out for the following five common resume lies:

1) Falsifying Grades and Degrees

It doesn't matter how distinguished a person's actual educational achievements may be, they'll always think there's room for improvement.

Though you probably won't run into many fake degree holders, buffed-up GPAs can be pretty common. Combat this problem by requiring school transcripts be sent along with resumes. It might not be fool-proof, but at least it's a start.

2) Changing Graduation Dates

There's a natural impulse to want to be the young hip guy or gal. Job hunters can sometimes feel the age pressure and bump up their graduation dates.

While it's not as bad as lying about one's grades, it can be pretty telling of a person's moral character. Once again, requiring transcripts at least helps minimize the risk.

3) Exaggerated Job Experience and Titles

Bloated work experience and titles can be common for desperate job seekers. This is harder to vet during interviews, but is easily catchable by talking to an applicant's references. Just make sure you get permission to contact their old supervisor first.

4) Phony Language Fluency

Fibbing about languages is common because multilingual applicants are often viewed as preferable. They seem better rounded, both culturally and professionally.

So watch out for all language specialties, esoteric or otherwise. And if you're worried about a potential liar, learn a few phrases before hand and try them out on your applicant. You can also get a fluent friend to sit in, as well.

5) Fake Technical Abilities

Much like with languages, faking computer skills is a common resume lie. Before you hire, tip the scales back in your favor by testing them. There are plenty of free technical exam resources online that you can use for your next interview.

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