Many people are tempted to provide falsified resumes due to their perceived
competition for the job that they are applying for. Even if there are few
applicants, there is perception that jobs are in short supply, and that all
employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications.
Mostly, this takes the form of an exaggeration of periods of qualifications
or positions held, and these are fairly harmless attempts at having themselves
considered before those who, in reality, have the better claim. In fact,
it is the perception rather than the fact that prompts these exaggerations, and
they are generally found out during the interview or pre-employment screening
While exaggeration may seem a rather amusing amateur attempt to affect the
selection decisions, falsified resumes are totally different kettles of
fish. Falsification suggests a more sinister objective. It suggests
an attempt by people not qualified for a job to attain it. A doctor, for
example, without professional qualifications; in fact not a doctor. This is not
uncommon. Or somebody with a secret to hide that they do not want to be
known, since it would affect their chance of employment.
Somebody with a criminal record, or who has a long period of unemployment,
may very well offer a falsified resume. They will be hoping that
employers will not carry out sufficient background checks to find them
out. This, unfortunately, happens all too often with sometimes tragic
For example, criminals move from state to state since there is no national
criminal record database that members of the public can access, even if they
are professional background researchers. The only national criminal record
database is run by the FBI and there is no way that Honest Joe is going to ever
get in there!
State records are incomplete since not all counties send their own records
to the state database. The only reliable sources of criminal records are
the individual county courthouse records which are not always in digital
form. It takes a personal manual search through the record books to find
the information you are looking for, and this takes time. Little wonder than
falsified resumes can pass through undetected.
However, a professional researcher has the know-how to do this, and
employing a professional is sometimes the only way to be sure that you are
meeting your obligations of carrying out a reasonable background check and
avoid a negligible hiring lawsuit. What is involved is to carry out a
residential investigation over at least seven years. People submitting
falsified resumes are not going to provide a true residential history if they
have a criminal record, since they are aware of the county record system.
They will make it as hard as possible for an employer to trace their
residences, and hence county of conviction. They will be working on the
assumption that eventually they will come across an employer that will not
bother carrying out the full range of checks. And they are right.
Some don’t. Records and statistics indicate that a large number of people
with criminal records are employed, when due diligence would have shown that
they had falsified their resumes.
As an employer you have a duty of care to your employees to ensure that they
will be safe while at work. This applies to injury inflicted by other
employees, and many falsified resumes hide a record of violence in other
employment. Job applicants may exclude these jobs from their resumes and
falsely extend their employment period with other companies. It is
important, therefore, that all references are taken up and all previous
employment, at least over the past seven years, is ratified.
If background employment checks have been carried out properly this sort of
falsification should easily be spotted. The interview should be able to
confirm this once the initial investigations have been carried out. The only
problem could be with employers who refuse to provide information other than
employment chronology, but this can sometimes be overcome after discussion with
the previous employer when you believe that something is being hidden.
Employers are not obliged to provide reasons for severance, but cannot tell
lies. Ask the right questions and you will get the answer you are looking
The penalties for negligent hiring can be so high that you should take all
steps possible to smoke out those who have submitted falsified resumes, and
ensure that you do not hire them. People who lie in their resumes frequently
forget the details of the lie. An employment review prior to the interview,
whereby you request the applicant to complete an application just prior to the
interview, can often provide you with the proof you need. If the
application has anomalies when compared with the original resume, you can
follow up on this during the interview.
Such reviews are very effective in proving falsified resumes, and if you carry
them out properly, and also ensure that your employment background checks are
completed professionally, you should not be in a position to be accused of