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FraudBusters® Edition
Volume 3

Question Mark Logo Number 1

Faking Your Way to the Top
The next time you find the "ideal" candidate for a critical position, do not hire that person. That’s right, do NOT hire them! That is, not until you have someone go through his or her background with a fine-tooth comb. Chances are, the person is lying.

Experts now estimate that as many as one in every three job applicants lie about some aspect of their resume. These include not just harmless exaggerations, but also deliberate misrepresentations, such as claiming degrees never earned and positions never held. This trend, perpetrated by everyone from recent college graduates to seasoned executives at the pinnacle of their careers, has serious implications for companies. Hiring an individual who is less than qualified or

hiding a criminal past can prove costly, dangerous and can subject your company to potentially devastating lawsuits.

How the Mighty Have Fallen

When a prominent person gets caught fabricating their past, it’s often front-page news. Consider the former U.S. ambassador who created a false military background, a lie that was discovered only after he was dead and buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His body was later removed. There’s also the recent case of the federal judge who withdrew his nomination for promotion after he admitted lying about being related to a young boy slain during the Civil Rights movement. For every case that makes the papers, thousands go undetected.

For better of for worse, society has come to expect a certain amount of embellishing in the resume process. But as the job market tightens and competition for positions grows more intense, more and more people are deliberately falsifying their background to gain an unfair advantage. They are willing to bet that the employer will never bother to verify the information on their resume. Unfortunately, they are often correct, as overworked Human Resources departments find it increasingly difficult to follow up on every reference and background checks are conducted spottily at best. If you know what to look for, you will reduce the likelihood that you will fall victim to this type of fraud.

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Are They All Lying?

Through our extensive research on resume and credential fraud, Michael G. Kessler & Associates has come upon some alarming statistics. For example, one study showed that out of 1,000 resumes reviewed, a hefty 25-28% contained falsehoods. At first we had trouble believing some of the findings, so we took it upon ourselves to prepare an in-depth survey to find out first hand if the numbers were truly indicative of what was happening in the real world.

Through this survey and personal interviews, we posed several questions to Human Resources professionals regarding their experiences with

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