Honesty the best policy

Fibs on your resume, CV or LinkedIn site?

Can a prospective employer detect whether a resume and LinkedIn profile contains lies? I wrote about it in Smart Company some years ago.

People will always talk up their qualifications and brag about their abilities. This is the hyper competitive job market we’re talking about!

Want to talk dodgy? Talk to the CEO’s who fronted the Financial Services Royal Commission or the victims of wage theft. But I digress.

If you tell lies on your resume or LinkedIn site sooner or later, you’ll get caught.

The most common section for fraud is academic credentials. A degree from Bond University isn’t unusual. A degree from the Bluetooth Institute of Technology is. There’s no such institute.

Australian degrees or TAFE qualifications are frequently checked. Did they really get that PhD at 20 years of age?

If the applicants comes from Africa or eastern Europe, they need to provide third party bona fides, usually from the Federal Government or a professional association.

If they can’t produce that documentation, they’re a non-starter.

Recruiters sometimes check the chronology of the resume against the LinkedIn profile. If there are major discrepancies, that’s a red flag.

There can be a few gaps here and there but where dates have been moved around or where there are major holes, that can be problematic.

Are the companies they worked for hard to verify? If they’re Australian, recruiters will go to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and see if they were ever listed.

It’s a sea of titles out there but if an applicant says they were a “managing director”, recruiters frequently check. People too easily appropriate titles and therefore seniority—but that can bring them down.

If the resume reads like blocks of it have been copied and pasted from a position description, that’s a red flag (especially for senior positions). Position descriptions are easy to access on the web.

Diligent recruiters will do a Google search on referees. Are they bona fide people who will give a reliable reference or are they mates backing up the application for a slab of beer?

Keep the resume, CV or LinkedIn site honest. Lies are hard to remember.


Put your best foot forward

Malcolm builds expert resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, which unleash an unbeatable business case to promote you as a ‘must have’ asset to an employer.