Liar, Liar... Resume on Fire!
05.22.12 | Job Search & Career | Kathleen Mauriot, Division Manager at Treeline Incorporated
The Society of Human Resource Managers reported that over 53% of people lie to some degree on their resume. It's never smart to lie on your resume. But now, more than ever, companies are finding that candidates are falsifying their resumes in order to help them land a job.
The most frequent occurrences of dishonesty were found in these areas:
- Moving dates to eliminate gaps or increase tenure at an organization
- Embellishing or minimizing job titles
- Falsifying degrees and certifications
- Exaggerating accomplishments & awards
Be careful! If you choose to lie on your resume chances are extremely high that you will get caught. We live in a hyper transparent world where you can find anything about anybody. It can start with a simple Google search. Try it out on yourself- you might be surprised what the world can find about you, good and bad. Employers will often go to sites such as, LinkedIn and will compare your resume to your LinkedIn profile to see if it aligns. If the data doesn't match, don't expect a call. Do you know it costs as little as 99 cents to run a background check on someone?
These preliminary verification checks will disqualify you before you even get the chance to interview. Not to mention, the interview itself will be a nail biter if you have fibbed about previous job responsibilities or skill set expertise. You will never be able to answer questions confidently if you are stumbling over your words looking for credible answers. Don't put yourself in that situation. You will leave looking foolish.
Lastly, let's not forget about reference checks. These typically come at the end of the interview process. So if you are lucky enough to get the job offer, after you have gone through the entire process, it is typically contingent on positive references. Since most organizations will only verify dates and titles of employment, your offer could be rescinded if your found guilty of lying.
So what if you have made some mistakes about past employment? Maybe you quit a couple jobs without before having another job lined up and there's a gap on your resume? Or, maybe you were not a superstar and you got let go for underperforming? Or, you couldn't afford to continue your education and you have not earned a degree? The questions are endless. The bottom line is everyone is entitled to a hiccup or two on their resume. Come clean, own it and then figure out a way to position it in a positive light.