John Challenger: Resume Fraud Not the Answer
March 22, 2010
Did you know that EmployeeScreenIQ finds a 52% discrepancy rate between what an applicant claims about their education and work experience and what we find when we verify such information? Check out this sage advice from John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., on resume fraud:
“As millions of Americans struggle with long-term unemployment, the temptation to stretch the truth on one’s résumé to gain a competitive advantage is becoming harder to resist. Some desperate job seekers are going so far as to establish fake references. However, the payoff may not be worth the risk, according to one employment authority.
There is very little proof that any form of résumé boosting directly results in a job interview, much less a job offer. In contrast, there are scores of examples of individuals who have been eliminated from candidacy or fired after a fraudulent résumé was uncovered.”
John offers the following advice to job seekers:
* The Short Chronological Résumé
A short chronological résumé summarizes the last 10 years of your career in reverse, briefly listing your accomplishments from the most recent to the much older.
* The Long Chronological Résumé
Use the long chronological résumé when you meet with the hiring decision maker. Its goal is to distinguish you from other contenders whose backgrounds resemble yours; therefore, focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities. This is your chance to provide a comprehensive summary of your career accomplishments.
* The Functional Résumé
A functional résumé stresses abilities such as purchasing, marketing, selling, managing or analyzing. Résumés organized by function, rather than chronology, give you an opportunity to gloss over a gap in job history or frequent job hopping. If you have many skills, this kind of résumé can market you as a sort of utility infielder who can perform well in several functions.
* Use Relevant Key Words
Increasing numbers of search firms, executive recruiters, and personnel managers initially use computer software to scan résumés for history, education, location, and so forth. Once scanned, résumés can be sorted by these key words to produce a customized list of professionals in a certain field. By including the right key words in your short chronological résumé, you can increase the chances that it will pass the screening process.
* Avoid Flash Or Gimmick
Think about the position for which you are applying. Bright florescent paper, glitter, perfume or different colored fonts seem unprofessional. Thinking outside the box is always welcome, but using gaudy tricks to catch the hiring manager’s eye will most likely irritate instead of dazzle.