It may seem hard to believe, but in today’s ultra-competitive job environment the number of “fake” resumes on the job boards is astounding. For whatever reason, whether it’s to cover up a poor work history or to get one’s foot in the door somewhere, people lie on their resumes/CVs and sometimes even forge the entire thing. We like to think that we know a thing or two about how to vet out the fake people from the real ones, so here are the major red flags we look for. 

Listing General Information

One of the easiest ways to determine whether a resume is fake or not is to see if a candidate lists their name and contact details in full. It is understandable why some people may not list a phone number in order to avoid annoying and repetitive calls from recruiters. But not listing your last name, home town, or e-mail address is the fastest way to get your resume reassigned to the dustbin. We want to know who you are, where you are located (for commuting purposes) and how to contact you.

Not Listing Your Previous Employers

Unless you are working for the CIA or MI6, your current/previous employers are not a state secret. Trust us, you are not the first person to work for a popular search engine company or a major hedge fund. Not naming your employers only makes it look like you are hiding something. Recruiters have little time in this fast paced job environment to play guessing games with a candidate.

Not Having a LinkedIn Profile

The fastest way for a recruiter to verify the veracity of your posted resume is to look up your LinkedIn profile. Not having a profile does not necessarily mean your resume will be labelled “fake” but it certainly does not help its cause either. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, get one.

Months AND Years

Another common trait amongst the fake resume crowd is to only list the years they worked at a company. Why people do this is a mystery to us. Saying that you worked somewhere from 2012 – 2013 could mean that you started in December and finished in January, or that you began in January 2012 and finished in December the following year. Two months vs. nearly two years at a company is a huge difference in work experience. So if you want your resume to avoid being overlooked, reacquaint yourself with the Gregorian calendar.

Bolding Keywords

One of the odder traits of fake resumes is to bold keywords. Maybe “Control F” didn’t work for the original creator of fake resumes? Bolding the sections of your resume like “Work Experience” and “Education” are fine. But we can find “Java” and “Agile” without the large bolded font.

Hopefully these tips help you avoid making a fatal resume mistake and keep things looking “real”.