It seems that lying on resumes has become a common occurrence. According to a recent study, nearly half of workers surveyed (46%) said they knew someone who had provided false or misleading information on their resume in hopes of presenting themselves as more credible candidates. That’s a major jump from a similar 2011, which reported that number to be 21%, or 1 in 5 workers, at the time. Job duties, work experience, and education were amongst the top pieces of information that workers were most likely to embellish.
Lying on a resume can seem appealing to job seekers, but it is certainly a dangerous game. 53% of managers surveyed admitted to suspecting that candidates stretch the truth on their resumes, and more than 1/3 of managers said they have actually removed a candidate from their consideration after discovering a lie. While it may seem appealing, ultimately lying on your resume isn’t worth risking your chance at securing a position.
Hiring managers are trained to be able to identify when candidates are being untruthful, and may decide to call them on it. Is there anything more awkward than getting caught in a lie? Here are some of the top ways to decipher if a candidate is being dishonest:
- References do not check out. References are an important tool for job seekers to reaffirm their qualifications, and hiring managers will almost always ask for them. But choosing the wrong reference, or providing a reference who gives conflicting information, can come around to hurt them in the end.
- Questionable timeline. Candidates may be fearful of presenting gaps in their resume -so much that they decide to cover them up. Employers are often more understanding than one may think, and gaps in a resume will not necessarily disqualify someone from the running if they are able to honestly and openly explain the situation. However, lying about these gaps and being called out on those lies certainly will disqualify them.
- Vague Information. Phrasing like “I have some familiarity with”, could signal that a candidate is trying to impress that they have more knowledge in an area than they actually do. This could come to haunt employees in their actual role. Especially if the position they were hired for prominently requires a skill that they claimed to possess but actually embellished. This will affect their efficiency on the job and will leave a bad impression on their employer. If you are not proficient in a skill, it is better not to list it at all.
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