Is Your Background Screening Program Missing a Piece of the Puzzle?

Nick Fishman

resume verification

Just when you thought your background screening program was perfect—you discover one of your top candidates wasn’t completely honest when they submitted their resume. In today’s job market, resume lies abound and vary from the famous to desperate job seekers. The trouble is—if you hire someone based on a lie, you’re not hiring the person you thought.

We’ve been talking about resume verification a lot lately—from our latest webinar to our newest white paper, we believe resume verification is a great addition to any employment background screening program. And while this service might not be as crucial to some employers as criminal background checks, overlooking this service could truly hurt your company.

EmployeeScreenIQ finds a discrepancy of some sort on 50% of resumes—which means some are simply minor errors while others could be blatant lies. If that doesn’t tell you that you should be verifying—I don’t know what will. But whether you’re considering resume verification for your screening program or seeking affirmation to continue using this service, take a look at the pieces that make up resume verification and learn how this service could become a vital part of your company’s screening program.


On occasion you might wonder, why verify education from 20 years ago? Maybe you think, It’s been verified in the past, right? That’s definitely not always the case (Check out this story). Or maybe you’ve wondered, My candidate seems to have the proven experience and skills for the position I’m hiring for. Can you be 100% sure?

Employers, make no mistake—there are a multitude of professionals out there—from the highest level to the lowest that decided at some point—to tell a “white lie” on their resume. And that lie may have continued and, before they knew it, they went on for most of their life as “having a degree”, when in reality, they never earned it. Think twice before passing over this verification service.


Unlike education, you don’t need to go very far back in a candidate’s employment history to realize their potential for the position. However, it’s important to verify their title, dates of employment, and salary, when possible. This is the information employers are typically able to provide and this is vital information to verify before hiring someone. Knowing whether or not a person truly has the years of experience they claim could make or break their success in the position with your company.

Resume Verification: Industry Standards

You might be thinking…I tried resume verification with another background screening company. They called to verify education or employment a couple times and gave up. What’s the point? First, not all background screening providers are alike. As an example, EmployeeScreenIQ strives to complete the verification rather than making three attempts and quitting—and we do 84% of the time. We close 12% of verifications due to no information with the explanation that “the company was closed” or “no records found.” Only 4% of verifications are closed due to lack of cooperation. So the bottom line is there is almost always a way for your screening provider to get a result of some sort—don’t settle for less than the best attempt to get a verification.

Reference Interviews: Pros vs. Cons

While reference interviews have great potential as an additional service to employment and education verification, there are also several reasons why this might not be beneficial to your search for the perfect candidate. Whether it’s because the background screener is unable to reach the reference, or even once they are reached, a reference cannot comment at times if they were a past employer. Or other times, they will agree to the reference interview but provide only the most basic information about the candidate. In addition, some references could be a friend or acquaintance who can offer very little valuable information about whether a candidate is diligent and skilled in their field. Weighing in on the positive side, a good reference interview can provide employers with a pretty good idea of how a candidate behaves in a personal and/or professional environment.

Professional Licenses

Verifying professional licenses is something that should never, never, I repeat, never be overlooked. Whether it’s in healthcare—nurses, doctors, etc., or a lawyer—any industry with positions that require a professional license of some sort, should be verifying the credentials of candidates.

International Verification

As with an international criminal background check, verifying an international employer or education could be an equally important part of a resume verification. This could mean verifying anything from a study abroad stint in college to living and/or working overseas. However, you should know that verifying anything internationally typically takes longer—and will lengthen the hiring process for your candidate.

Want to learn more about resume verification best practices? Download our guide today:

Nick Fishman
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Nick Fishman

Nick Fishman is the co-founder of EmployeeScreenIQ, a leading, global employment background screening provider, and serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He pioneered the creation of EmployeeScreen University, the #1 educational resource on employment background checks for human resources, security and risk management professionals. A recognized industry expert, Nick is a frequent author, presenter and contributor to the news media. Nick is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio and Texas.
Nick Fishman
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