As a recruiter, hundreds of resumes come across my desk every year. It is disheartening to realize that many of these resumes contain knowingly false or misleading information. As a candidate, it is wise to resist the temptation to make misrepresentations on your resume; and, as an employer it is important to be aware of some of the most common misrepresentations and exaggerations found on resumes.

These are some of the most popular resume misrepresentations:

[The above facts are provided courtesy of HireRight.com]
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When preparing a resume, a candidate should strive for complete accuracy. This includes being accurate with regard to the identification of all former employers, including the correct dates of employment. Candidates should also be careful not to exaggerate work accomplishments or provide misleading information regarding education credentials.

Employers should be aware that in an effort to present a consistent and steady work history, candidates often alter employment dates or omit a jobs altogether. This is done because the candidate may find it difficult to explain short-term positions or gaps in their resume, often feeling that it is easier to make these misrepresentations than to explain the job-hopping or employment gaps. However, because dates of employment are easy to confirm, these types of misrepresentations are easy to identify.

Exaggerating accomplishments and skills is another practice that should be avoided by candidates and looked for by employers. Understandably, a candidate wants to make his or her job experience attractive to potential employers, however, overstating skills and prior experience can lead to embarrassment later. Moreover, it is often easy for an interviewer to identify a candidate that is overstating his or her experience.

A sure sign that a candidate's resume may have overstated his or her skills is when they provide very vague answers to very specific questions relating to their experience. Even if a candidate is skillful enough to bluff his or her way through an interview, the candidate's true skill level is likely be discovered soon after they begin their new job. These types of misrepresentations often lead to a quick termination.

Misrepresentation of educational credentials may be less common than exaggerating employment history or skills, but there are still many candidates that falsify some, or all, of their educational background. A common tactic is preparing resumes that include partial truths in an attempt to mislead the reader into assuming the candidate has attained certain educational accomplishments. This is often accomplished by naming schools, or programs of study that may be correct, while failing to indicate a completion or graduation date. The candidate obviously hopes that the reader will draw the conclusion that a degree has been attained, or a program completed, when it was not.

Unfortunately statistics show that a large percentage of candidates will make some type of fabrication or exaggeration on their resume. Employers need to look at every resume with a critical eye and challenge candidates to verify every detail of their resume during the interview and reference check process.

Additionally, candidates need to understand that employers are becoming much more savvy at identifying resume misrepresentations. Obviously the best way to avoid the embarrassment, or possible job loss, resulting from the discovery of such misrepresentations is to avoid making misrepresentations in the first place.