About one-third of resumes contain false information. Past employment and education are the two most common lies found on resumes. Most hiring managers know this. However, 82 percent of resume untruths still go undetected. Here is how you can become a human polygraph:
Ask the details
Anything that looks odd on a resume, such as a long gap between jobs or big jumps in job title, deserves some elaboration. Candidates are likely to have prepared explanations for pronounced issues in their resume, but a little extra digging will often expose the truth. Taking 6 months off of work for traveling the world sounds like a dream, but if the candidate can’t go into detail about their European traverses, they likely spent that time couch surfing and collecting unemployment.
Take the opportunity to investigate the details of the trip and make sure the timeline on the resume matches the narrative. This also gives the hiring manager the opportunity to analyze the candidate’s personality and soft skills that the resume would not necessarily give them.
Investigate Inflated Titles
These days it seems like most entry-level professionals have the term manager in their title before even graduating college. While companies have become very lax in recent years about the titles they give to employees, it is vital to keep an eye out for huge jumps in titles. Interns usually do not become VPs overnight. Entry-level retail clerks do not jump straight to “National Director of Client Services,” at least not in a big company. There are exceptions to every rule, but a big jump and title can raise the flag and signal the hiring manager to probe deeper into the actual responsibilities of a particular position. A great way to check this is to look at a candidate’s social media before the interview.
Use Your Employer “Fact Checker”
LinkedIn is a powerful resource and gives employers access to a candidate’s job history. Cross-reference the candidate’s social profiles with the resume. Most candidates will know to update their LinkedIn profile but forget about others like Facebook. Because of the limited information past employers can give when calling to verify past employment, many hiring managers skip this step. Don’t make this mistake as one of the things an employer can do is verify a job title, as well as dates of employment.
Examine Body Language – NeuroLinguistics
Studies have proven time again that there is a direct correlation between body language, eye contact, and other traits that can indicate a person is telling the truth or lying.
Usually, when someone looks up and to the left, they are recalling or remembering a past experience, and typically looking up and to the right indicates they constructing a new future (lying). Lack of eye contact is a sign of being passive and falsifying facts.
Often when people are lying, their body gives them away. An example of this is called “opposite nodding.” When someone says yes but nods their head no, they are most likely lying because they are subconsciously telling the truth with the movement of their head. Dr. Paul Ekman, an American psychologist who studies emotions and their relation to facial expressions, explains that shrugging is a sign of lying because they don’t even believe what they are saying.
Constantly using filler words like um, er, ah, uh are not only signs of being underprepared but also signs of being misleading. The tone of speech, specifically an unnatural high tone, stuttering, and repetitively clearing the throat are cues to recognize when detecting a liar.
Use these techniques the next time a person seems like they may not be who they claim to be, and never EVER use these techniques on a spouse!
If you are tired of having to deal with things like falsified resumes, why not have our talented team of recruiting experts take care of this for you? For more information, just drop us a line.
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