Laura Lloyd headshot Written by: Laura Lloyd

How to Spot Lies and Inconsistencies in Resumes

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for candidates to embellish their resumes in order to stand out from the crowd. This can make it difficult for hiring managers to separate fact from fiction and identify the most qualified candidates for the job.

Here are a few strategies for spotting lies and inconsistencies in resumes:

  1. Check for gaps in employment history

One of the most common things you’ll see in resumes is when candidates leave gaps in their employment history. If you notice a gap of several months or years between two jobs, it’s worth asking the candidate to explain what they were doing during that time. If their explanation seems vague or doesn’t add up, it could be a red flag that they’re hiding something.

  1. Verify education and certifications

Another area where candidates may be tempted to exaggerate is their education and certifications. To verify these claims, you can reach out to the educational institution or certifying body directly to confirm. You can also check for inconsistencies in the dates or names of institutions listed on the resume.

  1. Look for inconsistencies in job titles and responsibilities

Sometimes, candidates will inflate their job titles or responsibilities in order to make themselves seem more qualified for a position. You can also ask the candidate for more details about their previous roles and responsibilities. If their experience doesn’t seem to match up with what you’re looking for, it could be a sign that there may be an embellishment.

Photo of man holding resume looking for lies and inconsistencies in resumes
  1. Pay attention to language

Another way to spot potential problems on resumes is to pay close attention to the language used in the document. If the candidate’s writing style seems to change abruptly between different sections of the resume, or if there are spelling or grammar errors that seem out of place, it could be a sign that they didn’t write the resume themselves or that this might not be their original work.

  1. Work with a search consultant

Search consultants have many years of experience reading through resumes and finding the right candidates for the position. Not only can they quickly spot the inconsistencies, but they will also spend their time conducting those thorough candidate interviews and network referrals before presenting them to the hiring manager.

Spotting lies and inconsistencies in resumes can be a challenge. Follow these tips and strategies to increase your chances of identifying the most qualified candidates. Remember to always be thorough and ask follow-up questions when something doesn’t seem quite right. Trust your instincts.