How can employers find out if you lie on a job application about your work history?

Apparently very few people have answered your OP. Maybe there is a lack of reading comprehension here. But most employers will not go through the trouble of paying the fee at the Social Security Administration in order to see all your past employers. They only run a criminal background check, credit check and they simply call your references. I believe that is the only way they can check to see if you lied on your resume. Most people do lie on their Resume and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Why? Because your employers will look you dead in the eye and lie to you with a straight face. In this economy, I say do whatever the heck you need to do to get the job. Screw all the other self-righteous BS. TAKE CARE OF YOU!:dubious:

They may call any of your past employers, who will probably only confirm that you worked there. It’s unlikely they will do anything except call your last job. Except for a time gap, which they may not even pick up, they aren’t going to look for jobs you had but didn’t list. Early in my career I only supplied years for dates of employment to cover a series of very short jobs. I’ve often urged potential employers/contractors to check my references for past work. Nothing works better than a good recommendation from your last employer.

Although most companies only confirm the employment dates of personnel, I understand it’s common now to ask for the name of your immediate superior at those jobs so that person can be contacted directly. You could call that person ahead of time to see how they would react, if it’s practical. OTOH, I and others will follow the official policy of only revealing dates of employment, but with a wink and a nod warn prospective employers about a really bad candidate.

It’s kind of going to depend on what jobs you’re talking about. If you leave off a short-term, retail/ fast food/bank teller type of job , most likely no one will ever find out - unless of course, former coworkers from that job are now working for the prospective employer. And even that probably won’t happen if the job was 20 years ago.

On the other hand, the job I have now required a background check , with fingerprinting. If they didn’t get info from the IRS, I’m sure they got it from the state tax department, and they didn’t just call my former employer’s HR dept for a reference, they actually went and interviewed my supervisors and coworkers. As a matter of fact, they even interviewed my neighbors. I probably couldn’t have concealed a job from the background investigator , and was so worried about it that I told the investigator about a job I had for about 2 months 10 years prior to the investigation- even though I couldn’t even remember the name of the company. I was afraid it would show up on the tax forms or an application for a previous job.

Most frequently companies find out about employee’s lying on their resume because the employee talks to much.

Yes some companies do intensive background checks and will find discrepancies in the job history but more often after hiring someone that person does or says something that conflicts with what they reported on the resume and it results in termination.

Don’t lie on resumes. If you lie and they find out your entire career was started under false pretenses and their is no reason to keep someone who is willing to lie from the get go.

It’s been seven years since this thread was last written, until today. One should also be careful of the increase in zombies who will do anything to take you down, including zombie threads.



I didn’t even know the SSA offered this service. Can anyone do it, and do you happen to know how much it is?

I recieved a resume for an employee who claimed to be the network administrator for another place I worked during the time I worked there. There were no IT people our whole system was 8 machines running 1 program, we rarely had any real problems, I was management there, and despite the fact we worked together for 3 years (according to his resume) I had never seen him.

I had so much fun interviewing him.

I had oner prospective employee hem and haw about a 14 month gap. When finally pushed he admitted that he had worked at a Cinema during that time. His father had had a heart attack and he was caring for him and as it was inbetween career (he was studying to be a lawyer;part time) and there was nothing else in his home village in his original field (worked in bank), he had no real choice. Problem was, my own family has a history of heart disease, so I am a little bit familiar with some of the care protocols, so I asked him if his father was on “alpha blockers and amoxill therepy” and he answered; yes.

I would not have thought any less of him for working in a cinema, but that took the cake.

Sometimes the employer finds out about the resume-fudging when the prospective employee presents a state Department of Corrections ID (instead of a drivers license or other photo id) that was issued almost a year prior to the date he said he was discharged from the military! (Even better, the ex-con claimed to have been a military policeman during his service!) :stuck_out_tongue:

As some of you know I work as an H/R director and lying on the resume is common. Mostly they’re little white lies or misinterpretations. For instance if someone is let go on June 29th but his final paycheck arrives a week later in July, they put down they worked until July of that year.

People who lie about their education get caught less and less as they go through life. There is no way in heck I am gonna check if a 45 year old guy went to high school. If he didn’t graduate but said he did, well, I’ll believe him. However if a teenaged person applies, I would check it out. Mostly because they wouldn’t have the work experience.

Almost always people get found out, because they call themselves out on it. For instance, they’ll put a fake diploma over their desk and someone from the actual university will notice and say something.

Or they’ll say they went to the University of Illinois and then forget that’s what they put on their application and say they went to Acme College.

But even then it’s hard to tell. There are people that will go for three or more years to one college and switch over so the final diploma says another college.

When one job hunts they have to be careful. For instance, one of my first jobs went to verify my college degree and it came up unknown. Simple reason was they switched from using a number assigned to the person’s social security number. The company tried to check the school with my ss# and of course it wasn’t there. When I was able to show they need another number, they found it.

This is why I stress it’s important for people to know this in advance so they can provide any thing like that to potential employers.

People who lie about skills are easily called out. But really the firing for lying clause is really a convenient way out for employers.

Of course governmental employers, especially those with security clearances are totally different

At least in my field, i.t., it’s expected to have some ‘beach time’, gaps between gigs. The 1 job I got fired from (as opposed to leaving or getting downsized), I simply left that company off & put in my standard filler for the time - ‘consulting, small independent projects, Access databases, queries & forms, desktop configuration, system optimization’. Naturally, I give the reason that the economy was tough, I was waiting for the right opportunity and of course got paid in cash (remember, I tell them these are small projects fro an independent contractor). I’ve never been told I was ever busted on omitting the one company (was there 3 months & out of work another 5) - the ‘independent contractor working on small projects’ label seems to satisfy them, and I know my stuff, have other good names on the resume, and can do well on interviews. My advice is don’t mention the job, and on the small chance they find out simply say that it was 1 of the projects. Laws vary by state, but I would think in most they can’t give u bad reference, **including mentioning that u were fired ** - they simply would verify dates and salary. Interview with confidence & u should be fine.

I’d call nineteen replies much more than “very few”.


See post #18

In the late '90s early '00s I had a supervisor who had an entire folder of diplomas, references, personal letters of recommendations. Many were printed on fancy paper stock, all from home. Some were printed straight up from some site that created them for you many were completely made up by him.
We all knew about it even management. Many of us had seen his collection.

Until we got bought out by another casino.

They made us all re-apply for our jobs. He evidently over did his glam, so they checked him out very thoroughly.

They didn’t have to fire him, just let the police know where he was. I can’t check the facts, but the rumor was at least 15 warrants.

I had this boss who didn’t seem to know her head from her knees, was paranoid about giving ID to anybody, had missed the original flight (we were abroad) because her passport would have expired during her stay and she hadn’t realized it…

My coworker Pablo and I got threatened with being fired for pointing out that she seemed “a bit weak” on what was supposed to be her field of expertise. We’d all been with the company for the same length of time, having been hired for that job, but hey, the assumption is that the manager is the one who’s right.

We went home for vacation, then back to the office to a meeting before taking another plane to the same job. I ran into Pablo in the building’s lobby and we remarked on how they could just have fired us over the phone and saved us the trip.

And then we found out that the boss had been fired. :confused: Well yeah, those ten years’ experience she had? Her actual experience was 2 months. Since she knew she looked older than her age, she’d given herself 10 years - both of age and of experience. Our employers found out when two of the partners remarked, within the receptionist’s hearing, that boss looked “younger than her 35”. “35?”, says the receptionist, “she’s not 35, she’s 25! She’s my age! I photocopied her ID for her HR file, I noticed we’re the same age. I’m a month older.”

A little tweaking is one thing but, ten years’ worth? And her passport hadn’t been “about to expire”, she didn’t have one because she hadn’t realized she’d need one.