Applicants Who Lie: Biggest Resume Lies

Applicants Who Lie: Biggest Resume Lies

Education History

There are numerous ways that job applicants can and do lie to potential employers.  One of the easiest ways is by fibbing their education history.  They make up degrees, they make up schools attended, they even make up schools!  (There’s a whole market selling fraudulent degrees from fake schools.)

Without a comprehensive background check “sleuth” on their side, most companies don’t have or take the time to verify the educational credentials of all their potential employees.  Instead, they skim over the education history section of the applicant’s resume or CV, maybe ask him or her a few questions during the interview, and then move on to other things.

Make no mistake about it — even the smartest employers have been fooled by applicants who are determined to deceive.  That’s just one of the many reasons that it’s critical to perform thorough background screening procedures on every possible employee.

Jobs Held

You’re browsing through the resume of a potential applicant and he/she looks pretty impressive on paper.  There are a number of management positions and responsibilities that he/she has held, and that’s exactly what you need for your position.  So you give him/her a call and offer a face-to-face meeting.

The interview goes supremely well, but because you know it’s critical, you perform a thorough background check that includes calling past employers, just for good measure. 

And then you find out the truth — that your “wonderful” job applicant lied.

It’s not a new scenario, and it’s not relegated to any one profession.  Lawyers, executives, salespersons, engineers can all be part of the mix.  Because many employers only conduct precursory background checks, job applicants truly believe they can “get away with” their deceptions.  (Many do!)

And as the number of jobs dwindles compares to the number of job hunters looking for positions grows, it’s happening with a greater frequency.  That’s why every company needs to be extremely focused on background screening.  Now, more than ever, it’s one of the best ways to protect an organization.


Many employers refuse to call the references listed by applicants because they assume they’ll be useless.  However, that’s certainly not the case!

At VerifyProtect, we’ve done our fair share of reference checking… and if you think that all reference checks are created equal, you’re mistaken!

Recently, we had these jaw-dropping, shaking-your-head-in-disbelief experiences:

  • Many references have phone numbers that are “disconnected” or incorrect.  (Think that’s a mistake?  Probably not.)
  • Many references claim to have no knowledge of the applicant.  (Again, this shows how bold some desperate job hunters are!)
  • One reference we contacted was for a funeral director.  When we talked to the funeral director, the director said the applicant “had been to a few funerals”.  Thus, he could give no reference.  (Guess who didn’t get the job?)
  • Another reference we checked was for an incarcerated man.  The man had been in jail for two years.  (He couldn’t be reached…)

Applicants think you’ll be lazy about checking on them and therefore won’t catch them in their lies.  And they’re right… but only if you don’t do reference checks.

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