Thirty-eight percent of employees have embellished their job responsibilities at some point, and 18 percent have lied about their skills, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Other common lies surrounded information about employment start and end dates, academic degrees, previous employers and job titles.
Here are six ways employers might be evaluating your résumé in today's digital world. These are not only good reminders that you shouldn't lie, but they'll also help you avoid mistakes that might make hiring managers question your honesty.
1. They're performing a standard background check. Employers check on things such as work history, residences, dates of employment, etc. Managers look for discrepancies between what the candidate submitted and what the reports reveal.
2. They're checking for red flags. Unexplained gaps in employment, a reluctance to explain the reason for leaving and unusual periods of self-employment can be a tip-off to false employment history. Since even references can be fake, employers might check the websites of previous employers and use the phone numbers found online for employment verification.
3. They're using social networking sites. Social networking profiles contain public information that may help employers verify certain information such as a candidate's work history or education credentials. Both job seekers and employers should be aware of the possible legal ramifications of using social media to screen applicants.
4. They're testing your skills. Knowing that employers use keyword searching to find and qualify their résumés, applicants may include keywords for all skills required for the job -- regardless of whether they have them or not. To confirm any embellishment, employers might ask specific technical questions about the candidate's stated skills or test the candidate's computer skills.
5. They're willing to hear an explanation. Mistakes and misunderstandings do happen. If managers find a discrepancy, they might give the candidate an opportunity to explain. If this happens, have a good explanation for the error.
6. They're following their intuition. When it comes to the difficult task of hiring a new employee, employers have to trust their intuition and experience. If something doesn't seem right, they'll probably follow up on it.