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Today’s bonus tracks: Bad economy leads to boom in counterfeit credentials

Multiple sources suggest that a high percentage of job applicants present prospective employers with resumes containing inaccurate information about themselves and their experiences. Minneapolis-based job-screening firm Orange Tree Employment Screening keeps data on the resumes it verifies for employers and found that the number of falsifications has been increasing as the economy has been falling. In 2007, it found that 33% of resumes contained inconsistencies compared to information gathered in a background screening. In 2008 it was 35%, and this year, it hit 40%.

While Orange Tree’s numbers are lower than some other estimates, which go as high as 70%, they’re still worrying. At the same time, the word “inconsistency” is rather vague. I wonder if these comparisons are catching situations where an employer may have forgotten some of the smaller details of their former employee’s tenure that the employee remembers. I don’t know.

What is clear is that some people do lie on their resumes, and it’s not surprising that people made desperate by months of unemployment in a rough economy might be more tempted to do so. What does your company do to verify a job candidate’s credentials? Share your strategies and thoughts here.

Image credit, peepo via iStock