The column executive briefing

Issue #VII

The truth is… people exaggerate and misrepresent facts on resumes. We’re sorry to say, but this form of deceit has become a trend in today’s workplace environment and oftentimes those responsible for “gilding the lily” so to speak, get by with it.

Surveys indicate that as many as one-third of all resume writers “enhance” their accomplishments, while up to 10 percent “seriously misrepresent” their background or work histories. Bogus job titles, fictional degrees, inflated responsibilities and false dates of employment are typical embellishments.

Today, many of these falsehoods are difficult to track and/or detect, especially when past employers are reluctant to provide little more than dates of employment.

Each year our firm disqualifies a hand-full of executive level candidates because they are caught falsifying information on their resumes. Interestingly enough, a frequent comment we hear is that this is the first time that someone has actually checked their resume and requisite credentials. A quality-driven executive search approach or internal corporate recruiting department should verify degree information and personally talk with enough references to confirm the key facts a candidate presents on his/her resume during the course of the interview process.

The bottom line is… effecting an executive level appointment is challenging at best, even when candidates are completely open, honest and candid. Make sure your company and/or the executive search consultant representing your organization is thoroughly investigating reference, academic and employment information provided by candidates. In the long run, going the extra mile is worth the extra effort to make sure that you have made a good hire.