Beware Unintended Inaccuracies in Your Resume That Will Cost You the Job

It is no secret that job resume fraud has been on the rise in recent years. With the economic downturn in recent years, many desperate job seekers have resorted to “embellishing” their resume credentials. Their hope: that prospective employers will forego checking the dates and credentials offered on their resumes.

Unfortunately for these job seekers, many employers – also aware of the prevalence of resume fraud – have redoubled their efforts to verify candidates’ resume data. In so doing, they invariably check the employment dates with the Human Resources (HR) contact of a candidate’s former employer. If the dates – or title – given by HR don’t match up exactly with those offered on the candidate’s resume, it is unlikely that the candidate will ever hear again from the potential employer.

This employer vigilance poses a problem not only for candidates intentionally “fudging” their resume data, but also for those who inadvertently offer erroneous data they believe to be accurate. Sometimes the formal title appearing in an HR data bank is different than the one offered up by the potential candidate who may be unaware of this discrepancy. Or, the formal start/end date of employment might differ, even slightly, between the dates offered by the candidate and by the former employer. In such instances, a persnickety prospective employer might elect to “draw the line” and withhold an employment offer (or rescind one that has already been made, contingent on a non-problematic reference check).

How, then, can a conscientious job candidate best ensure that what they are offering on their resume is consistent with input given by their former employer? They can conduct a reference check(s) on themselves by using a third party reference checking organization such as In contacting HR at their former employer, the job seeker will not only be able to confirm their employment dates/title but may also be able to determine HR’s responses to questions like “Are they eligible for rehire?” or “Were they terminated from the organization?” While HR should not be providing responses to such questions, a candidate should never assume that HR is always following proper protocol. Also, non-HR employees – for example, former supervisors – are far more likely to offer revealing commentary about you than Human Resources. For this reason, it can be critical that a job seeker not only determine what HR will offer regarding their former employment but former supervisors and other potential references within that organization as well.

In summary, it behooves any job candidate to ensure that their resume isn’t their “weakest link”. Use an organization like (which can also critique your resume to ensure that your content/format are optimally presented) to ensure that your current resume data is consistent with that offered by your former employers – and at the same time, to ensure they are not offering any commentary that could compromise your employment efforts.

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About Allison

Allison & Taylor Inc. and its principals have been in the business of checking references for individuals and corporate accounts since 1984. We have successfully built our brand and corporate recognition and have been recommended by industry specialists such as The New York Times award-winning author Martin Yate (“Knock ‘Em Dead Résumés”). Numerous articles have been published about our business in newspapers and magazines including The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour Magazine, New Woman, Worth, National Business Employment Weekly, The Detroit News, and The St. Petersburg Times.