Job Candidates Tell Tall Tales about Work History

May 26, 2004 ( - Job seekers most frequently fib about why they left their last job, a survey found.

The latest Executive Recruiter Index by HR consultant Korn/Ferry International found that the three most-often resume fabrications included:

  • reasons for leaving prior jobs (69%)
  • results/accomplishments (68%)
  • job responsibilities (45%).

“Sometimes candidates are uncomfortable about having been laid off or let go from a previous job,” said Robert Damon, Korn/Ferry North America president, in a statement. “But rather than obfuscate or alter the reasons for leaving, it’s always best to be straightforward about the situation. The reality is that downsizing and restructuring have lost much of their stigma and are becoming more generally accepted by employers.”

The survey found that the most frequent due diligence demanded by hiring managers of their recruiters included:

  • education verification (83%)
  • employment verification (77%)
  • criminal/arrest history (35%)
  • personal credit history (26%)
  • drug testing (11%)
  • driving records (4%).

Executive Recruiter Index is based on a global quarterly survey of more than 300 Korn/Ferry International consultants conducted online within the Americas, Europe and Asia/Pacific between May 13 and 21, 2004.