The Most Common Lies On Resumes

Should you lie on your resume?It's the ultimate temptation of the job search -- lying on your resume. The tendency to embellish information on a resume is so widespread, nearly half (46 percent) of job applicants commit some form of resume fraud, according to ADP, the human capital management and research firm. Indeed, the topic is such a popular one that, as Business Insider points out, entering the phrase "lying on" into Google will lead to "lying on your resume" as the top hit.

Lying on a resume, of course, has a wide range, well beyond outright lies -- such as listing a fake degree. Marquet International, a security consulting firm, has compiled the 10 most common resume lies:

1. Stretching work dates.
2. Inflating past accomplishments and skills.
3. Enhancing job titles and responsibilities.
4. Exaggerating educational background.
5. Inventing periods of "self-employment" to cover up unemployment.
6. Omitting past employment.
7. Faking credentials.
8. Falsifying reasons for leaving prior employment.
9. Providing false references.
10. Misrepresenting a military record.


In a stubborn labor market, is it worth it? Can workers get away with it?

Some high-profile experiences suggest not. Before Marissa Mayer took over Yahoo, her predecessor, Scott Thompson, was forced last year to step down as CEO of the tech giant when it was revealed he never actually earned a degree in computer science from Stonehill College, as he had claimed. George O'Leary also was forced to step down as coach of Notre Dame, as was Dave Edmonson from the CEO position of Radio Shack, when it was revealed they lied about their education and qualifications.

More: Why Employers Do Credit and Background Checks


Specialists note that digital advances have allowed for greater scrutiny of job applications, raising the risks for lying. "People are asking us to check more things than they have historically so it would suggest they're more concerned about it," Ben Allen, President and CEO of the security firm Kroll, told CBS. (Allen has since left the firm.)

In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management says employee background checks of all kinds are way up over the past decade, from about two-thirds of all employers conducting a check a decade ago to 96 percent.

AOL Jobs contributor and career coach expert Miriam Salpeter has referred to the "paradox" of resume lying -- the worst-case scenario is that you get the job. Eventually, you will be found out. And it's for that reason that career experts strongly discourage job seekers from trying to cut a corner to get ahead.

Writing for Forbes after the Scott Thompson scandal at Yahoo, Mark Radcliffe said that the "incremental gain" of landing the job "seems to pale in comparison to the potential loss in credibility."

For Thompson, the bad news initially extended beyond his name becoming synonymous with "liar." In March of last year, Thompson was reported as having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. But by July, he was given a clean bill of health, according to the Wall Street Journal, and was appointed CEO of ShopRunner Inc., an online-shopping website based out of Philadelphia.

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Money Resumes

Those are some great, high-profile examples of how lying on your resume is a terrible idea. With today's technology, you are bound to get caught. And even worse, most of the lies people tell on their resumes are completely lazy and unnecessary. If you spend your time crafting a resume that accurately (but aggressively) sells your skills, the truth is all you need to get a great job.

-Ian Matthew
http://www.moneyresumes.com

April 16 2013 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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April 12 2013 at 4:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hadi.hedi

Concerning Scott Thompson story, personally I don't care about his educational degree. I think what matters is work and productivity. He is a very talented clever guy and knows how to run business. If I'm running an IT business company, I'm ready to hire someone with an agronomy degree if he can show great results. I think degrees are just BS. We just need to have the basics of business. Being specialized won't make a different.

April 08 2013 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ctmach1

If any of you out there believe that even one polititian has not told a lie about thier past, then you just fooling yourself. Most of the kids today are learning the technique of how to lie elequently lie from simply watching any public official speak. I am definetly a doubting thomas.

April 03 2013 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rbdhunter

Are you kidding...BO did it and he got "re-elected" to President of the USA! The majority of Americans don't care about the truth anymore.

April 03 2013 at 8:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Heidi Ann

When I applied for a job at my last place of employment, they asked if I had ever been fired from a job and I hesitated but then answered yes. I got the job anyway. Honesty is always the best policy.

April 02 2013 at 11:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Carroll

To MsSweetSilver - You know who ectullis had reference to. It is rediculous!

April 02 2013 at 11:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

Look who we have in the"white house".

April 02 2013 at 8:18 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ectullis's comment
MsSweetSilver

and your point is, because there are several people in the white house.

April 02 2013 at 10:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hb341

#1 is the only one to worry about.
No employer gives out ANY info about former employees except how long they worked for them as they are all afraid of being sued by former employees if they mention anything that might be construed as being detrimental to gaining employment. Just saying...

April 02 2013 at 7:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pvcady001

and the moral of this story is.....

Scott Thompson, was forced last year to step down as CEO of the tech giant when it was revealed he never actually earned a degree in computer science from Stonehill College, as he had claimed.

and

he was appointed CEO of ShopRunner Inc., an online-shopping website based out of Philadelphia.

GO LIARS!!!

this is so much BS.... There are more liars working out there then there are real grads...
that's how the world works....
I dropped out of my ethics course because there is nothing ethical about business...it's always about crapping on the little guy... you want to get ahead in life... work for yourself, be your own boss!

April 02 2013 at 7:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pvcady001's comment
hadi.hedi

"you want to get ahead in life... work for yourself, be your own boss!" this is the point. But, unfortunately, most people don't want to believe in this and rather they choose to be slaves employees.

April 08 2013 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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