It's a fact: job seekers often lie on their resumes. According to a 2017 survey conducted by executive search firm OfficeTeam, 46 percent of workers know someone who has lied on a resume. In 2011, when the company last asked this question, only 21 percent of respondents said they knew a resume liar.
While these lies can crop up on any part of a resume, including in the education section, the OfficeTeam survey found that the two most common forms of resume dishonesty had to do with past employers: job experience and job duties or responsibilities.
The trend of resume fabrication puts employers and hiring managers in a tight spot. Most hiring decisions are grounded in matters of employment experience. Hiring managers are looking for people whose work histories show an ability to perform the job at hand. If candidates are lying about their past jobs—whether by embellishing job responsibilities, tweaking job titles to make them sound more impressive, or fabricating jobs entirely—how can employers make informed decisions about who to hire? They’re left to wonder whether a background check can reveal a candidate’s past employers.
The simple answer is no. No background check can return a list or database of the jobs that a person has held over the years. However, there is a background check that can verify the information provided in the “Work History” section of a candidate’s resume: at backgroundchecks.com, we offer an employment verification background check.
Using this product, employers can share data provided by applicants about past jobs or employment opportunities. Our investigators contact the companies or employers listed on a resume to verify crucial details. These details include job titles, employment dates (both start and end dates), and job responsibilities. If a candidate has fabricated or embellished parts of his or her employment history, our verification check will uncover those lies.
In some cases, an employment verification background check will also include the applicant’s reason for leaving their previous job or their eligibility to be rehired by the same company. However, it is important to note that past employers will not always be willing to discuss these details in the course of a routine work history check.
Businesses have been sued by past employees for defamation over things said in these phone calls. As a result, HR managers will typically focus on verifying or denying objective facts about past employees—things like employment dates, job titles, and duties—but avoid tiptoeing into more subjective judgments.
More subjective opinions of a person’s job performance, dependability, character, and ability are typically reserved for professional references. When a candidate provides a list of past bosses, colleagues, or other individuals to speak on their behalf, hiring managers can contact those individuals to discuss more far-ranging matters.
backgroundchecks.com can also perform reference checks on your behalf alongside criminal history screenings and employment history background checks. We also offer two other types of verification checks—for education history and professional licenses—if there are other parts of your resume or an applicant’s resume that you would like to check for validity.