According 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:
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.
|Yes, several times||1 (25.0%)|
|Yes, once||1 (25.0%)|
|No, but I'd consider it||1 (25.0%)|
|No, never||1 (25.0%)|
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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