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How To Check Employment History and Uncover the Top 7 Resume Lies

By Michael Klazema on 9/24/2013
Did you know that 53 percent of resumes or job applications contain outright lies, according to research conducted by The Society of Human Resource Managers? When you expand the definition of a “lie” to include any fudging of the truth, including omissions or other deliberately misleading information, that figure goes up to 78 percent. So does this mean resumes are totally useless? Not if you know how to check employment history and education history to uncover resume and job application lies.

How To Check Employment History

Traditionally, the HR representative or manager in charge of the hiring decision would have to check all the information on a job application or resume by hand. This is a tedious and time-consuming process, and can be especially burdensome for small or understaffed companies.

Fortunately, there are now products such as Education Verification from backgroundchecks.com, which can be used to verify the dates of employment, job title, and reason for leaving for each of the job experiences listed on an individual’s resume or job application. This service provides a much easier answer to the question of how to check employment history— simply let backgroundchecks.com do it for you.

How to Check Education History

backgroundchecks.com also offers a service called Education Verification to check dates of attendance at a given institution and degrees earned. As a supplement to this service, you may wish to ask applicants to provide an unofficial transcript showing their GPA.

Other Tools for Screening Job Applicants

Depending on the nature of the position, you may also want to use other services like Reference Verification and Professional License Verification to confirm even more aspects of the job applicant’s fitness for the job in question. Like Employment and Education Verification, these services take 1 to 3 business days to complete, and compared to the costs of hiring a bad employee they are quite affordable. You may also wish to run a criminal background check, but be sure to hold off on this until after all other steps are completed in order to avoid accusations of discriminatory hiring and keep your costs down.

Uncovering the Top 7 Resume Lies and Job Application Lies

Once you know how to check employment history and education history, you’ll have all the information you need to uncover these top 7 resume and job application lies:

  1. Fake degrees or other education credentials
  2. False professional licenses or credentials
  3. Exaggerated job titles and responsibilities
  4. Inflated salaries
  5. Incorrect dates of employment
  6. Fake work experience
  7. Omission of information about a criminal background (where this information is not protected by law

Learning how to check employment history and education history properly can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your pre-employment screening process and help you recruit new staff who are truly qualified for their positions.


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    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.