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Hiring Screening Applicants Resumes Reference Checking

We received a faxed resume from an applicant for an accounting position, and his resume included his picture. We did not ask for this. His work background looked good, so we invited him in for an interview. When he arrived, we were surprised to see that the photo on his resume is at least ten years old and hardly resembles him. We do not care about his age, but we are somewhat concerned that he would include something this misleading in his resume. What do you think?

Although this applicant included an overly flattering resume picture, he should not be automatically removed from the hiring picture. Applicants are often advised that their resume is like an advertising brochure, and they should portray themselves in as flattering a light as possible. Apparently, this applicant took the advice literally.

Employers today cannot require pre-employment photos unless they are truly essential to the job, such as for various acting or modeling positions. When applicants include them on a resume, the best step for an employer is to ignore it.

Rather than trying to discern his motive and make a hiring decision based on conjecture, you should focus on his work history and see if there are any work-related behaviors that point to misrepresentation. You and some of your associates should interview him individually as well as in a group.

Be sure to take references from previous employers and conduct additional background checks appropriate for the accounting position. With thorough pre-employment screening, you are likely to develop a far more accurate picture of this applicant.

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