Cut through the Résumé Fluff

Make sure candidates are the “real deal” before you hire.

Résumé embellishing is a time-honored tradition. It is up to employers to cut through that exaggeration to find the real candidate. Here are some ways to make sure new hires are the “real deal.”

Set your criteria.

Determine what is most important to the organization and for the job, and look for candidates with those attributes.

Ask for appropriate materials.

Not every job requires a résumé. However, a cover letter and résumé can give a strong indication if a candidate is the right fit for any position that involves written communication.

Look at the details.

Look past the adjectives and meaningless terms such as “hard worker” and “team player.” Does the candidate have the skills and talent to do this job? Look for specifics about what each job she previously held entailed, including job titles and responsibilities and duties. If the résumé lacks this level of detail and the candidate looks promising otherwise, the company can ask the candidate to submit a revised résumé with the necessary information included.

Consider job stability.

If a candidate has changed jobs frequently during his career, that could indicate a significant problem. However, career stability followed by more recent frequent job changes may not indicate a problem. Instead, the individual could just be the victim of a bad economy or a string of bad luck.

Look at the candidate’s social media profiles. Many candidates have both a résumé and a LinkedIn profile. If the information between the two differs significantly, it’s important to find out why.

Trust but verify.

When in doubt, verifying references and education and running background checks can reveal whether a candidate is telling the truth about himself. Be sure to check applicable federal, state, and local laws to see what level of verification is allowable.