Clayton also suggests checking for timeline gaps. "Résumés are presented as an accurate, chronological record of a career," he says. "If they leave an employer off, it [might be that] they worked there and that they were asked to leave."
The subtlest form of résumé fraud is simple embellishment, which is harder to spot. "An executive says he or she had direct responsibility for certain functional areas and that he or she achieved certain things, but when you talk to someone inside the company you find out that they didn't really."
Taking the time for due background diligence is the best way to avoid problems later, says Michael Hofman, an editor at Inc. Magazine. "I think we all believe that most people probably embellish," says Hofman. "In terms of flat-out lying, I have to imagine that out of 10 or 15 candidates, some do, which is why having someone actually call everyone and make sure that the person worked there is a simple step every potential employer can take to protect themselves."