Posted on July 26, 2018
Study after study indicates that a high percentage of resumes contain significant exaggerations or even outright lies. There are many high profile examples to illustrate the extent of the problem. Here are two of them.
Bob Harris was a prominent weather man in the New York Metropolitan area for many years. He was an on- the- air meteorologist for radio stations WOR-AM, WCBS-AM and wrote a weather column in the New York Times. The credentials listed on his resume included, a B.S. from the University of Buffalo, an M.S. from New York University and a doctorate in Geophysics from Columbia. On the air he proudly referred to himself as “Dr. Bob Harris”. One day WCBS received an anonymous letter suggesting that that they check “Dr. Bob’s” credentials. What they found was that, other than taking a few courses in meteorology, that he had not attended college and was “self-taught”.
Marilee Jones worked in the admissions office at M.I.T. for 28 years. She was originally hired for an entry level position. Her resume listed degrees from Albany Medical College, Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After 18 years in the admissions office, she was named Dean of Admissions. She became a nationally known admissions officer and co-authored a bestselling book about the college admissions process called “Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond”. After serving as Dean of Admissions for 10 years, the college received information questioning Ms. Jones academic credentials. What they found is that she had not attended college at all.
These examples bring up several important questions. How extensive is the problem of untruthful resumes and how useful is a formal education? The answer to the first question is very extensive and the answer to the second question will be discussed in a future blog post.
According to an employment screening benchmark report conducted by HireRight in 2017, 85 percent of employers found applicants being untruthful on their resume, up from 66 percent just five years ago. If the veracity of resumes is questionable what makes us think that applications will be filled out in a more truthful manner? We believe the fact that applications have to be signed and dated and typically contain a clause certifying the veracity of the information should make a significant difference. Furthermore, as stated earlier, it gives us an opportunity to see if the applicant fills out the application fully and completely.