If your job involves hiring, you know how frustrating it can be staring at all those résumés. Which claims are real, which are exaggerations and which are just flat-out fibs? Here are five things you can do to smoke out those résumé lies.

Require everyone to fill out an application.

This allows you to look for inconsistencies between the résumé and the handwritten application. Also, look on the résumé for some inconsistencies. Résumé-writing software can make anyone look good. Look for slip-ups in dates, such as overlapping start and stop dates

Test all candidates on key skills.

If an applicant claims proficiency in a computer program or certain machine, don’t just take their word for it: Check out those skills. Also, test all interviewees on that skill. This helps to avoid charges of discrimination.

Check references and ask for more.

Ask each applicant for the phone numbers of all past employers, and make sure you make those calls. Get names of former supervisors and key vendors. Call the college admissions office to verify every academic degree. Finally, don’t go easy on applicants who were referred by co-workers or friends.

Probe deeply into certain claims

“Self-owned business” — that can really mean anything. And there’s really no supervisor to confirm what those duties or experiences were. So ask for details. If a résumé says that a person supervised others, ask, “How many people did you manage?” And don’t be satisfied with just a number. Ask, “What did your duties involve?”

Don’t shrug off minor exaggerations.

They tell a lot about a candidate’s character and effort level. And they tell you if the person will cut corners once they come on your payroll.

Business Management Daily