More than 30 percent of job candidates lie on their resumes, not including lies of omission, claims an employment agency executive."A resume is nothing more than an ad for a job seeker, and we all know that many ads and commercials are misleading, some bordering on outright lying," says Robert Half, in the latest issue of Management Accounting, published by the National Association of Accountants (NAA). Half is founder of Robert Half International Inc., a financial and data processing recruiting firm with more than 130 offices worldwide.
Has the job applicant resorted to unconventional size paper, vivid colors and other gimmicks to gain attention? Half says his experience has been that the more emphasis placed on such things, the weaker the candidate's actual work background.
"I always begin by gaining a general impression of the resume," says Half. Is it neat and obviously prepared with care? Typos? Sloppy sentences and bad grammar?
"Job applicants who turn out a sloppy, careless resume for themselves (they've had all the time they need to do it right) can pretty much be counted on to do the same in their job," writes Half.
"Does the resume have the cookie-cutter, too-slick look of having been written by a resume mill?" writes Half. "People are better off writing their own resumes. An employer has to be wary of someone who's allowed others to put words in his or her mouth."
Half says employers should be cautious of the functional type of resume (no dates), which is sometimes used to hide job-hopping, or combining relevant with irrelevant experience.
And assume that the use of such phrases as "knowledge of," "some experience in," "exposure to," "assisted the president with" and "supervised" may mean the applicant really doesn't have hands-on experience in that area and doesn't know a great deal about it.
"Remember that a `bad' resume should disqualify a candidate for consideration, but a good one is only the first step in deciding on a person (interviews and reference-checking playing major roles)," says Half.
"On the other hand, a candidate without a resume shouldn't be automatically disqualified," writes Half. "Sometimes the hottest candidates haven't had a chance to prepare one yet."