April Fools – How to Spot Lies on a Resume

It’s surprising how often people lie on their resumes – especially given the proliferation of social media. But people do – sometimes prominent people – and go on to great success until they are caught.

What red flags can indicate an “embellished” resume?

Unfamiliar Schools or Companies

Sure, you may not be familiar with every business or academic institution in the country – or the world for that matter. But if something doesn’t sound right, it’s worth at least a quick Google.

Asking for transcripts or other evidence at the time you make an offer has grown common, but checking them out before you get that far in the hiring process can save a lot of time and aggravation.


If their resume sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Is their salary in line with their accomplishments? Does any single item seem out of place in the resume?

If the candidate makes claims about their astonishing professional success, they should be able to back them up with specific, concrete examples. Consider interviewing “too good to be true candidates,” but question them carefully.


This can take many forms. Vague starting dates, team projects claimed as individual accomplishments, incomplete degrees – these can all be difficult to assess just by looking at a resume. Some may be insignificant, such as a start date from 10 years ago being off a few days. Others can be flat-out fraudulent like claiming a college degree when you only have a handful of credits.

Due Diligence Can Help You To Avoid Hiring Mistakes.

  • Check out social media. Google the candidate to see if their career story appears to be consistent. LinkedIn may be particularly helpful.
  • Talk to them. If the candidate appears to have potential, take the time to interview or at least phone screen them to clarify any areas of the resume that are of concern.
  • Test them. Pre-employment testing can help to determine if the candidate actually has the skills and experience they claim.
  • Be realistic. If the candidate seems overqualified for the position or otherwise too good to be true, investigate further before making a commitment.
  • Rely on your staffing partner. At Horizon Hospitality, we can identify and prescreen candidates for you, reducing your risk of making a bad hire.

Contact Horizon Hospitality today. We can help you find highly qualified professionals for your restaurant or hotel.


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