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Susan M. Heathfield

Resume Red Flags for Employers

By September 15, 2013

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Do you know how to eliminate fraudulent candidates early in your application review process? Writing about background checking recently, my research showed that resume and credential fraud is escalating. For example, in a recent SHRM study, 64% of HR professionals did not extend a job offer to a potential employee because their background reference check showed inaccurate dates of previous employment. Falsified education credentials are increasing, too.

With the research I did for these articles and the statistics I found about credential fraud, I was reminded about how seriously employers need to approach background checking. In earlier days, only a small percentage of firms did a comprehensive background check on potential employees. Last I saw, that percentage is now in the 90s.

But, a background check is late in your hiring and employee selection process. By the time you check backgrounds, you have invested considerable staff time in reviewing, interviewing, and thinking about a candidate. So, my goal was to consider how to eliminate potentially fraudulent candidates earlier in your employee selection process.

With this in mind, I wrote about five resume red flags for employers in hopes that your initial review of job applications would result in the elimination of unqualified applicants earlier in the selection process. So, I wrote, and I kept writing and writing because it turns out that in a careful resume review, there are many more red flags to consider.

Other than an obvious lie, none of these red flags should automatically eliminate a candidate who looks qualified for your job on paper. But, they pinpoint areas that you need to seriously consider and question the candidate about in an interview. It seems that this topic really captured your interest, too. So much so that I followed up my first article with a second: Five More Resume Red Flags for employers.

With all ten of these red flags in mind, your early detection of a candidate who is not quite what he makes himself out to be is assured - early in your employee selection process. Before your whole team is infatuated with a candidate is the best time to eliminate her candidacy.

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