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Thinking Of Lying On Your Resume? Don’t.

Most employers won’t hire a candidate who lies according to CareerBuilder

Resume LiesMost people fudge a little on their resumes. One of the most common things is to clump all the jobs at a single company under their current and likely most prestigious title.  A reputable resume writer will tell clients not to do this. But, it happens all the time.

If you’re thinking of adding a little embellishment to your resume however, it’s not a good idea. If you get caught you probably won’t get the job. The majority of employers said that finding a lie on a candidates resume could take them out of the running for a job according to survey conducted by CareerBuilder in August 2014.

The majority of employers (51 percent) said that they would automatically drop a candidate if they caught a lie on his or her resume while a slightly lesser number (40 percent) said it would depend on what they lied about. A relatively small number (7 percent) said they would overlook a lie if they liked the candidate.

“Trust is very important in professional relationships, and by lying on your resume, you breach that trust from the very outset,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “If you want to enhance your resume, it’s better to focus on playing up tangible examples from your actual experience. Your resume doesn’t necessarily have to be the perfect fit for an organization, but it needs to be relevant and accurate.”

A down economy has made candidates more likely to be less than truthful on their resumes. The majority of survey respondents (57 percent) said that they had caught a candidate in a lie, with one-third (33 percent) noting that they’ve seen an increase in lies on resumes post-recession.

The most common lies that employers find on resumes are:

  • Embellished skill set – 57 percent
  • Embellished responsibilities – 55 percent
  • Dates of employment – 42 percent
  • Job title – 34 percent
  • Academic degree – 33 percent
  • Companies worked for – 26 percent
  • Accolades/awards – 18 percent

If you’ve been guilty of embellishing your resume now might be a good time to stop. Employers report that resumes are getting more than a cursory glance. Of survey respondents 42 percent said that they spend more than two minutes reviewing each resume, up from 33 percent in December 2013.

It’s important to note that most employers (86 percent) say they typically have more than one person review candidates’ resumes, with 65 percent saying resumes are reviewed by two or three people and 21 percent saying resumes are reviewed by four or more employees before a hiring decision is made.

While most resume lies are things like embellishing skills or responsibilities, some make one wonder what they were thinking. The most unusual lies employers have caught on resumes include:

  • Applicant included job experience that was actually his father’s. Both father and son had the same name (one was Sr., one was Jr.).
  • Applicant claimed to be the assistant to the prime minister of a foreign country that doesn’t have a prime minister.
  • Applicant claimed to have been a high school basketball free throw champion. He admitted it was a lie in the interview.
  • Applicant claimed to have been an Olympic medalist.
  • Applicant claimed to have been a construction supervisor. The interviewer learned the bulk of his experience was in the completion of a doghouse some years prior.
  • Applicant claimed to have 25 years of experience at age 32.
  • Applicant listed three jobs over the past several years. Upon contacting the employers, the interviewer learned that the applicant had worked at one for two days, another for one day, and not at all for the third.
  • Applicant applied to a position with a company who had just terminated him. He listed the company under previous employment and indicated on his resume that he had quit.
  • Applicant applied twice for the same position and provided different work history on each application.

For more details visit CareerBuilder.

Is your resume getting results or just a cursory glance before ending up in the circular file? We can help you with that. Visit career-intelligence.com’s Resume Writing & Career Services site.

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