Why You Should Never Lie On Your Resume – Part One


Exaggerating the truth or outright lying on a resume isn’t that unusual, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good way to advance your career. According to a recent survey, a staggering 85% of recruiters said that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resumes. This isn’t good. The simple fact that recruiters were able to uncover these lies should tell you enough about why you should never lie on your resume. Yet people still do it. Furthermore, companies have experts to investigate all resume claims easily and precisely. And we’re not talking about simply giving yourself an extra grade or a certificate going back years. People exaggerate their skill sets and responsibilities, expand dates of employment, or outright lie about companies they say they have worked for.

The resume that you submit is an employer’s first impression of you and so it needs to sell you, in a truthful, honest way. When it comes to people lying on their resume, those who do lie – or ‘embellish the truth’ – are very likely to be found out through the pre-screening process. Also bear in mind, lying on your resume is now seen as part of the wider crime of application fraud, for which there can be serious consequences.

Although the financial services sector is perhaps the likeliest to catch people out, government, IT, and healthcare are putting more and more resources into fraud. The fact is, you may think it’s harmless to exaggerate a claim on your resume, but it is not a victimless crime. Even if you land the job based on an exaggerated resume, your lack of actual skills or experience could have very real consequences. And entry or mid-level workers aren’t the only ones guilty of fibbing. Top executives have done it, too.

You should never lie on your resume

Here’s a list of some of the most unusual lies that employers have found on submitted resumes (remember – all these people thought they get away this these howlers):

  • 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 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 dog kennel 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 that 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

Despite the temptation to be lenient with the truth, if you’re thinking of adding a little embellishment to your resume, it’s really not a good idea. If you get caught, you won’t get the job. The majority of employers said that finding a lie on a candidates resume would immediately take them out of the running for a job.

A majority of employers said that they would automatically drop a candidate if they caught a lie on his or her resume, while a slightly lesser number said it would depend on what they lied about. A relatively small number 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. If you feel you have to enhance your resume, it is better to focus on playing up examples from your actual experience. Your resume doesn’t necessarily have to be the perfect fit for an organisation, but it needs to be relevant and accurate.

And this is where Select Resumes can help you. We are experts in recognising your skills and presenting them in a way that far exceeds the effect of any exaggeration you may have considered. A seasoned writer will be assigned to you and they will reveal the person behind the qualifications. We believe in showcasing you as an individual in your resume.  We ensure that your values perfectly line up with those of your prospective employer.

Next time, we’ll give you more very good reasons why you should never lie on your resume. 

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Is it Detrimental to Stay Too Long in One Job?
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Why You Should Never Lie On Your Resume – Part Two
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