Will you get Caught Lying on a Job Application?

According to Patrick Barnett, a background and legal investigator, you probably will. It can be tempting to make yourself look a little better on an application by embellishing your previous pay or responsibilities. More and more companies are using background checks to make sure that potential employees are who they say they are. Companies that provide background checks for employment have already figured out how applicants lie and this increases the risk of being caught.

“Some studies have indicated as much as 35 percent of resumes contain some form of deceptive past employment information. There are even websites that have a network of phony companies that will act as a past employer, verifying a job history that never existed,” Barnett said.

So not only do employers expect dishonesty on applications, they are looking for it. While some people do get away with lying on their applications, it can be avoided by having proper background checks done before hiring. Barnett said that nearly 10 percent of his firm’s background checks reveal that a person has a criminal record. Some things that people lie about on their job applications are dates, having a driver’s license (so their suspension won’t show up) and their Social Security number. Some applicants will even claim they made a higher salary in previous position in order to negotiate a better pay package. Salaries can be verified easily by requesting a copy of the applicant’s W-2, or by obtaining it directly from the IRS.

Some applicants also believe that they can fool the system when it comes to drug screenings. Companies that provide drug tests know about the different strategies people use to trick the system. So drinking vinegar or lots of apple juice won’t work when the company you are applying to uses a reputable drug screening company.

The thing about lying on your application is that usually what you want to hide isn’t a deal breaker unless you get caught lying about it. The company you work for isn’t limited to running a background check only during the application process. They can run one anytime they wish. Avoid having a job offer being withdrawn or being fired by just being truthful on your application.