According to economics professor, Steven D. Levitt, who coauthored the book “Freakonomics,” at least 50 percent of people lie on their resumes and greatly embellish information provided in their cover letters. Levitt suggests the problem will only get worse as unemployment rates continue at high levels. The competition for jobs is fierce and HR managers receive numerous applications and resumes for one job. As competition for jobs continues to increase the percentage of fraudulent resumes may increase as well. In a recent survey of college students, 70 percent said they were willing to lie on a resume in order to get a job.
The most common things people lie about are their education, skills and previous job titles. Some lies are easily discoverable on fraudulent resumes. For example, one applicant claimed to be an Olympic Gold Medalist while another presented himself as “an assistant to a prime minister” of a country that has no prime minister. Other lies on fraudulent resumes are more difficult to ferret out. Many resume lies can be discovered with a comprehensive employment background verification check from a trusted employment screening provider.
One fraudulent resume lying scandal from 2007 involved the dean of admissions at MIT. The dean had held the position at the prestigious school for 10 years and had worked for MIT in other capacities beginning in 1978. Despite winning awards for her outstanding work, the dean was fired when the school discovered she had lied on her initial resume about her academic credentials. She claimed to have three degrees from three separate schools. In fact, she had no degree. The scandal could have been avoided if the school had originally engaged in an employment background verification check.
A more recent scandal that has been in the news focused on a basketball coached hired by the University of South Florida under a five year contract for which he would be paid $1 million a year. The job depended on verifying his representation that he graduated from University of Kentucky. When it was discovered that the coach never graduated, the job offer was rescinded.
In a case like the one at University of South Florida, an employment background verification check could have helped to avoid hiring the coach in the first place and the negative public relations the university received. An employment background verification check can verify the educational credentials represented on a resume. In addition to verification services that help uncover fraudulent resumes, employers should perform pre-employment screening criminal background checks on job applicants to identify past criminal activity.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide professional or legal advice regarding actions to take in any situation.