The job market is as competitive now as it ever was before, as more and more job seekers hit the pavement looking for their next career. However, with so many people handing in resumes, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of industry jargon and 12-point Times New Roman font, as job seekers can so easily exaggerate their resumes to fit the career in question. That’s why it’s so important for you or your hiring manager to know how to really look at resumes and candidates to figure out what is the truth and what is a lie.


Don’t ask yes or no questions

When you get to the interview portion of the hiring process, make sure to use specific questions instead of broad open-ended questions. Instead of “tell me about your job history,” try using questions that ask for stories or specific examples to prove a candidate’s job history. Listen for specific details and really watch for anyone just re-hashing their resume to you word for word. If the responses sound canned or memorized, then they may not be truthful.


Learn how to read a resume

In a highly competitive field, most hiring managers end up with giant stacks of resumes and very little time to sift through them all. Many job seekers commonly use vague industry buzzwords to adapt their resumes to the job in question, however, in many cases, those buzzwords literally mean nothing. Instead, take the time to really look at many different resumes. It will soon become easier to identify which potential employees are actually claiming skills that can be backed up, and which are just listing jargon.


Use the straight-forward approach

What is the easiest way to tell if someone is lying? Ask. No one falsifies their resumes with the intention of getting caught, but small exaggerations happen all the time. As the interview winds down, simply let the candidate know that you’ll be looking into their resume and calling their references. Then just ask if there is anything you’ll find that doesn’t line up or that would surprise you. It’s impressive how much you can get from a potential new hire by simply giving them the opportunity to be honest.


Social media is your friend

As frustrating as social media is these days, it’s a major part of life. You can easily dig into social media to find how honest a person is on their resume. For example, you can sift through the types of posts a person is making on Facebook to see how involved they are in the industry you’re in. If the potential employee is applying for a job in marketing, but hasn’t made any marketing-related posts or shares on Facebook, then there may be some falsifying of information happening. However, be careful with what you find on social media, as some information may be illegal to hold against a candidate.

This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse


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