Whether you are a management professional, chef, engineer or jewelery designer, each one of us is lured to fake our resume to get the dream job. Some people call it “absolutely unethical”, whereas some people feel that is “fine” to fake one’s resume.
When we graduate, we are on a warpath, ready to take up the challenges and face the world with whatever we have. But when reality bites, the picture seems a lot more different and we are willing to do whatever it takes to make things work. There could be several reasons which force a person to fake the resume – the # 1 is of course, financial crunch.
A report in SHRM stated that almost 53% of resumes have some kind of lies in them. In March, 2008, Chef Robert Irvine, of the Food Network's show "Dinner: Impossible” was asked to leave since he had faked his resume. Similarly, this year, a consulting firm was exposed since it was caught faking the resumes of software engineers to get them jobs. I have seen several instances of people who are actually just 24, but are portrayed to have almost 7-8 years of post-graduate experience. Funny, that the company who hires them is unable to realize this anomaly. Makes one think the corporate world is equally at fault as the applicant! Faking resumes is especially rampant in software industry. Applicants are forced to learn their resumes before applying and are expected to understand and read in detail about the skill sets required for the applied job.
What, as recruiters, can we do to put an end to this? Here are a few pointers, which I thought can definitely help:
1. Once you look at the resume and feel that it the candidate is a good fit, instead of having a telephone conversation, make it a point to meet the person and judge him/her.
2. A technical interview combined with a stress interview is the best way to get the candidate sweating.
3. Outsource employee verification to companies who specialize in the same. These companies verify candidates’ educational qualifications, previous employers and other relevant details.
4. Check social networking sites. One of the recent cases that I came across was of a software engineer who had details on linkedin which did not match with the resume. Being on linkedin, twitter and facebook definitely helps.
5. Have at least 2 reference checks – both professional.
6. Rather than ignoring otherwise irrelevant irregularities, pay attention to the minute details on the resume and cross question the candidate regarding the same.
Faking resumes might be a very casual thing for some, but it might cost genuine candidates a lot. Not only is it unethical, but the companies who hire such candidates will also suffer in the long run, since nothing can replace experience. It is a vicious cycle, which will need efforts from all of us to break through.