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Resume Fraud – Don’t Get Caught in an Accidental Lie

January 18th, 2013

You have found what you believe to be your dream job.  You really want this job!  When writing your resume and cover letter, you are struck with the fear that on paper you don’t look as good as you think is necessary to land the position.  You are tempted to exaggerate your past titles, salaries, tenures or skills.  Don’t do it.  It isn’t if you get caught – usually, it’s when.

Sometimes, with all good intentions, you may accidently and completely innocently commit resume fraud.  Here are some items for your resume punch list too help keep your information as above board and beyond reproach as possible.

Google yourself.  Just type your name into the search and see what comes up.  This is what your potential employer is going to do.  Now follow each link.  Do you like what you see?  Are there some pictures on your Facebook page that may not paint the best portrait of you?  Is the data on your LinkedIn profile accurate, up to date, and matching the data on your paper resume?  As you sift through this online portfolio of yourself, make changes where needed so this information is as accurate and acceptable as can be.  Any inconsistencies may lead HR to believe that you are not being honest.  A reported 64 percent of HR professionals did not extend a job offer to a potential employee because they uncovered inconsistencies in dates of previous employment when conducting background checks, according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Tighten Up.  When listing dates of employment, list the month and year, not just the year.  You may unwittingly exaggerate how long you were employed at one place – it’s the difference between “2004 – 2009” which looks like 6 years, and “Nov. 2004 to Jan. 2009” which is actually more like 4 years.  If HR researches this, it will appear you were stretching the truth.  List your titles as exactly as you can.  Use the title used by the company and the accepted industry title too if they are different.  If every sales person is called “Vice President”, also list “(salesperson)” so you are not accidentally misrepresenting yourself as having held a higher position than you did.  These may seem trivial, but to HR they are anything but.

Be Proactive.  The standard listing of references is fine, but you can do better.  What you should do is reconnect with all your past supervisors and let them know of your current job search.  You should even attempt to mend any broken fences you may have in your past.  Because in today’s environment of somewhat rampant resume fraud, HR workers are not only reaching out to your listed references, but any other places you have worked.  How do they find this information?  They obtain all sorts of information about you through professional background checks.  So do your best to ensure that when they call, you will receive positive, prepared responses.  Also, have available proof of advanced certifications and education you have, transcripts and any other evidence that your skills are in fact what you are representing them to be.  This will instill confidence in HR right off the bat, and save them some time as well.

Are you in the market for a light industrial or warehouse position?  Why not start with ERG Staffing Services.  Contact us today and we will help you find a situation that best suits your particular skill set and needs.

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