By Patricia Gordon (2015)
January marks not only the beginning of a new year but also it is one of the months when many companies recruit new employees. The number of employment opportunities, though, also brings about an increasing number of resumes submitted to businesses and non-profit organizations doing the hiring. But should employers trust everything they read on a candidate’s resume? Some employers do not do enough to protect themselves from dishonest applicants.
The birth of LinkedIn has created a community for individuals to share their professional bio with their connections and to showcase their resume for public display, but what is shared can also be scrutinized. While some individuals may pump up their resume by fabricating their past duties and skills, there are also equally unscrupulous individuals who misrepresent their education. Upon browsing through posted resumes I have observed, for example, one individual who stated an academic subject, i.e. Linguistics, under the education section on their resume, yet they did not have an undergraduate degree and had in fact discontinued their university studies. Another individual listed a series of certifications, and the degree program they had enrolled in many, many, years ago but likewise never completed. I am a firm believer that only the certifications and degrees completed should appear under the education heading of a resume; however, adding an expected graduation date is at least more sincere than simply beefing up a resume with uncompleted education.
Many years ago I engaged in a discussion with several third year university students about resume writing and was quite surprised to hear they had no qualms about lying on their resume and in fact some had either done so and knew of friends who had because, in their words: “nobody checks.” Sadly, there is an element of truth in this statement. There was a time when companies insisted on an official post-secondary transcript from a candidate prior to offering them employment. Perhaps because of cutbacks or time constraints, the necessary background checks are also not always done, which in the long run could prove to be costly to the organization.