Thursday, July 31, 2008

Resume prevarication: still a major concern of employers


CNN yesterday offered a brief discussion an on old problem – lying on a resume.

It doesn’t always lead to summary dismissal when discovered, the report said. But the industries that have the most resume prevarication are hospitality, transportation, and utilities. The common offenses include embellishing or misrepresenting skills, falsely upgrading positions held (claiming management authority that one did not have), and extending dates of previous jobs, not properly accounting for periods of unemployment.

Another gaffe that the report mentioned: claiming to be a member of Mensa when one was not.

It’s a little easier in information technology to detect lies than in other fields. For one thing, one can give a skills test. Most of the tests available from companies (like Brainbench) are multiple choice, and some employers don’t have a lot of confidence that multiple choice tests are accurate. So an oral exam, even over the phone, with short answer questions about programming topics are popular.

In the 1970s, one of the most popular interview questions for COBOL was to state the difference between a SEARCH and a SEARCH ALL.

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