Just recently a potential candidate learned the repercussion of falsifying information on a resume the hard way. A candidate was pursuing a senior level network infrastructure role that would progress his career to the next level. The position was perfect, ideal location near his house, solid company with a great reputation and the opportunity to expand his leadership experience. After the in-person interview, an offer was extended by the client and the candidate immediately accepted.

During the initial screening process, it was mentioned to the candidate this client conducts highly extensive background screening on all new employees to which the candidate stated “that is not a problem; there is nothing on my background that would hinder from moving forward”. However, once the background screening began it was quickly determined the dates on the resume and job application conflicted with information obtained from previous employers.

After further in-depth review, the candidate confessed that his statement of being out of work for two months was false; he was actually out of work for two years. The client then retracted the offer based on the candidate’s falsifying information to the recruiter and during their own interviewing process. If the situation was different and the candidate did not add additional time to his gap of employment, this situation would have never happened. In fact, the candidate would have moved forward as a full time employee with this client.

It’s unfortunate that lately we’ve seen an increase in IT candidates stretching the truth as a common practice during the interview process. Why do potential candidates resort to this? Do they feel they can get away with it provided the company doesn’t perform background checks?

Clients have become more diligent in background checks, pre-employment screens and employment verification over the last few years, as the IT job market tightens. A “little white lie” can result in the retraction of a job offer or even contract or employment termination. Best policy is to be honest and address any employment concerns from the beginning conversations.

The risks to the potential candidate associated with making false claims about experience on a resume are very high, especially in such a competitive job market. Even though we conduct reference checks on our candidates (prior to job offer), it’s our experience that 9 out of 10 clients will check every reference listed and conduct extensive background checks and might even conduct searches of online activity including social media (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.).

Lying on your resume might seem appealing when the perfect opportunity is on your radar screen, but in the long-term those lies will lead you nowhere, eventually the truth will be discovered and your reputation will be tarnished. Keep it honest, your resume should be a positive statement about yourself, your experience, goals and expectations and management skills.

Most commonly reported resumes problems from clients:

  • Inaccurate job description
  • Misleading of information
  • Altered employment history dates
  • Exaggerated salary at previous employment
  • Fraudulent degrees
  • Falsifying references

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