With the high number of competing job seekers, it can cause some candidates to exaggerate on their list of skills and qualifications in an effort to rise to the top of the pile. You will want to be aware of this when reviewing online applications and interviewing candidates to weed out those without proper qualifications. Inc. online magazine offers the following tips to help to separate out those padded resumes from the ones displaying actual skills.

Check Employment and Education

Although performing a background check costs money, it’s well worth it. Employers should verify that a person actually obtained the degrees listed on their resume, as some applicants may have only attended the school. In addition, there are private organizations (diploma mills) that sell degrees for a few hundred dollars. Research the college or university thoroughly to determine if it is authentic.

Checking employment history is also important. If you can’t find proof of existence, ask for a past W2 or a pay stub from the company. Many small companies go under, so it doesn't necessarily mean that the applicant isn’t being truthful. Hiring managers can also utilize networking sites to look up applicants, their previous companies, and their references. This can help to determine the true relationship between the individuals.

Evaluate Applicant Skills

Use caution if a resume contains exactly the requirements listed in the job advertisement and not many others. Qualified applicants often have well-rounded resumes with many additional skills listed. Test the applicant’s skill using technical interviews where you have the applicant actually perform a task with the skill they claim to have. This is also a good way to test job titles, which are often inflated on resumes. If the candidate lists management positions, ask detailed questions about high level activities to determine if they really have the knowledge to perform them.

Make it a Group Effort

Hiring managers should ask other employees to interview the candidate and ask some of the same questions. Compare the candidate’s answers after the interview to ensure they match. The more people that interact with an applicant the higher the odds that resume exaggerations or falsehoods will come to light.

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