Five Biggest Resume Lies Exposed

Resume LiesAccording to a survey done by Forensic Psychology, 31 percent reported lying on a resume. Research culled by Jobacle suggests that the number may be as high as 43 percent; the breakdown of resume fibs looks like this:

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1. Salary (27 percent)

Many job seekers think this is an easy lie to pull off. But more and more employers are requesting to see previous W2 statements as a contingency of employment, so lying about salary can get dicey very quickly.


2. Credentials (12 percent)

Some job seekers "obtain" a degree through a diploma mill, while others just fabricate a degree and hope no one will check its authenticity. There are many stories of people who lied on a resume by falsifying information about their education and got caught. So will you. Most employers routinely check education credentials.


3. Job performance (15 percent)

It can be tempting to embellish results on a resume. Writing that you cut operational costs by 50 percent or saved the organization millions of dollars is only appropriate when you have the facts to back your claims up. Some hiring managers will challenge the statistics you mention on your resume, so be prepared to back up any statements with proof of performance.


4. Job responsibilities (19 percent)

Some job seekers stretch the truth and claim they played a larger role on a project than they actually did or that they held responsibilities that in fact were the responsibilities of their superior. The holes in this fib may quickly be revealed when a prospective hiring manager chats with your supervisor as part of the reference checking process and realizes that you and your past supervisor viewed your role differently.


5. Job skills (17 percent)

If you took a one-day PowerPoint class in 1999 and never developed a PowerPoint presentation in any of your jobs, can you list it as a job skill? Not really, but a lot of people do just that. Claiming you have a skill that you don't will be easily spotted once you are on the job and lack of a critical skill could lead to dismissal, so resist the urge to claim you have skills that you do not.

Have you ever lied on a resume?
Yes, several times1707 (9.5%)
Yes, once746 (4.1%)
No, but I'd consider it2315 (12.9%)
No, never13222 (73.5%)

The bottom line is that most people who lie on their resumes eventually get caught. Lying on a resume is a lousy career management strategy. Stick with the facts and strive to present those facts in the best possible light without embellishing the truth. In the long run, you will secure a position that you are better suited for and more likely to succeed in.

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Filed under: Resume Tips, Resumes
Barbara Safani

Barbara Safani

Editor

Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over fifteen years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.

Barbara partners with both Fortune 100 companies and individuals to deliver targeted programs focusing on resume development, job search strategies, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation skills, and online identity management.

She is the author of Happy About My Resume: 50 Tips For Building a Better Document to Secure a Brighter Future and #JOBSEARCHtweet and her award-winning resumes are featured in dozens of career-related publications.

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Greg

I've had nothing but different 'phone sales'/appointment setting' jobs here in the dismal State of Michigan for a few years now - with 3 or four different companies.
- Want to hear about all the lies I was told about how much money I was going to make so the employer turned 'salesman' could pursuade me to take the crappy job that nobody there wanted to do - but they had a hundred other applicants for!!!???

April 23 2013 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miraklmax

I have worked all over the country for the aerospace and defence business, and know people that simply make copies of others degrees and change the name, I know one man, who has been responsable engineer for a number of large projects, he only had 2 years of college...in music. he does a great job and had been a "science fiction" writer for almost 30 years. Shoot, look at the deeply basically dishonest people we keep voting into our government... and we as a country don't seem to have a problem with it.

March 10 2011 at 4:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2012 Clark 2012

Job applicants need to beware of employers who offer job benefits. Most employers who offer these benefits advertise the benefits with the job listing in the help wanted ads.











Job applicants who respond to help wanted ads need to check the previous history of how many times the job ad has been advertised. Usually if the help wanted ad has appeared more than 2 times in one year then the employer has a high employee turnover ratio. Most of these employers who have alot of new employees utilize workers for short durations of time to avoid paying for wage increases and job benefits which is proftable for the employer because it saves them money.

March 10 2011 at 3:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Michael Sullivan

FLASH" "His Resume Contains BALD Face Lies" leads one to ask is the title a paradoy for a "Bald Eagle"? Come on AOL NEWS: If you are going to get into the news business try not to show you you are an inept, suedo news publication: at least get your spelling in the headlines right for God sakes .......Case in Point: Your heading in this article "His Resume Contains BALD Face Lies" suggests this is a high school "news letter"...Come on! ...the saying is "BOLD FACE LIES" Get it ....Bold not BALD...BOLD Is spelled B...O...L...D... Bold is not spelled B...A...L...D......

Well...you get what you pay for ... a 20 something writer ...a 30 something editor who have no clue what "BALD FACE LIES" means !

Michael Sullivan

March 10 2011 at 2:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gallabriad

Here's a connundrum that I have been faced with for the last 4+ years. I've had any number of people tell me to dumb down my resume. Isn't that the same as lying. The thing is there is nothing boastful about my resume as presented in the article. Even the accomplishments listed are humble and don't need stats to prove them correct. It's even been suggested I remove my Master's Degree from my resume. Aren't lies of omission the same as comission?

March 10 2011 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cherry Sells

It's a real problem...deciding whether to fudge, fabricate or tell the truth. Your application is competing with applicants of others who may have fudged or fabricated or told the truth. If the employer doesn't thoroughly check all apps, then you could tank yourself by being honest.

March 09 2011 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pam

I just don't get the point of lying in an interview. As soon as you get the job, they'll find out you can't do whatever you said you could do, and how humiliating is that going to be? You will likely get fired, and that will not look good on your resume, either. Just tell the truth, but make sure you highlight your strengths and accomplishments. If you don't have the exact qualifications for the job you're applying for, explain how the skills you do have will transfer nicely to the job you want. Lying doesn't help you, and after you're caught, it will make you look like a slimeball. Promote yourself, but tell them the truth so both sides can figure out if it's a good fit. Be aware that many companies today check up on what you said in your interview or wrote on your app, even months after you're hired. You can still get fired for it then, so don't take a chance on messing up what might be the right job for you. They don't usually say this, but honesty is one of the qualities they're looking for in new hires.

March 09 2011 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KING PETER

HR people are scum. Corporations are crap. Resumes bunch of baloney. Use ya up and spit ya out.

March 09 2011 at 8:57 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
robert

It all really depends on the company. If your cousin is sleeping with the girl in HR you'll proabley get hired if you fill out your resume in crayon. I've gotten two jobs by being refered by guys who I've met in bars. One of which I didnt even remember when I did the interveiw. I've been told can you fill this out so we can hire you. Then I fill out apps that the job discription looks like it would fit me like a glove and no call nothing. What we need is a better overall Hr website like monster, but one that is easier to use. Maybe one with an app that lets you do a video discription of who you are and what you're about. Most jobs train you for what they want you to do anyway. Most jobs are so repetive that they just need a hard worker. The construction industry's moto work hard go far, and not be a complete moron. You just gotta find out what works for you. Your "Zen Zone". The jobs are there you just need to be flexable enough to change to meet the companies needs. Roll with the punches. I still have no idea what I want to be when i grow up. (33)

March 09 2011 at 7:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Larry G.

For me this is a tricky area. Why? because years ago when I was in the labor market and had just retired from the military after 23 yrs., I had minimal job force skills. I was a combat soldier. So when I first applied for a position in management, I had only my military experince to fall back on. And I can assure you lieing on my first series of resumes was par for the course, For two reasons. 1) I had not been trained to write one and 2) if the truth be told I did not understand the concept. However, being in the construction industry one had only to exhibit, rather than detail them on paper, your work skills to be accepted and remain hired.
As to the moral or practical reson for lying on a resume, I knew of a guy that lied to get a job on wall street, about his computer skills and programing knowledge. Will he not only got the job but through hard work he learned the skills necessary to be competent on the job and has since been promoted and left that firm three years ago to start his own security firm. Conclusion, you can lie but be ready to work your butt off to learn what you lied about, if hired.

March 09 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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