I seem to be on a theme this week about dishonesty in interviews. Then this popped up in my inbox from Recruiter Daily. A background screening company, First Advantage found that the number of candidates lying on their resumes is on the rise.
They claim resume fraud has increased significantly over the past few years.
Recruiter Daily reports:
“Misrepresentations about candidates’ employment history and educational qualifications have doubled since 2004. Some 40 per cent of employment history checks uncovered an inconsistency, most commonly relating to an inflated salary (13%) or a previous position held (10%). And one in every 18 applicants inflated their previous salary by more than $10,000.
First Advantage research shows that younger applicants (aged 21-30) are the most likely to falsify something on their CV, with the risk trending down for older applicants.
Banking and finance applicants are most likely to be caught out, but this possibly reflects the more comprehensive screening conducted by employers in these industries.
HR professionals are least likely to include false details on their applications.”
(Interesting that HR professionals are the least likely to include false details. Perhaps they know about the consequences of resume fabrications.)
So what does this all mean for the average job seeker?
Whatever you say on your resume or in interview, a recruiter can check out. Many recruiters will ask that they speak to at least one of your direct managers for a reference. They will also question your salary details. One head-hunter friend I know asks to see a copy of someone’s last pay review.
I’m often asked the question “what should I say if the recruiter asks me what salary I’m earning?” People want to know if they should inflate their current salary so they can ask for a higher salary. Apart from the honesty factor, I don’t really see the point. You just make it clear what you would move for, and if you need to, why you can justify that amount.
Be warned also. I’ve also seen quite a few employment contracts where someone’s continued employment is contingent on the applicant representing themselves honestly throughout the recruitment process.