Posted on: March 30th, 2021 by
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A little “white lie” won’t hurt anyone, right?  Wrong!   Here are few things that can happen:

  • The company finds out before your interview, then files you under “NEVER HIRE”
  • The company finds out after you’re hired and your tagged as dishonest
  • If hired, your unable to do the job, demoted, given trivial assignments, or fired
  • If hired, a law suit is brought against you as a deterrent to others


So, how many people fib or outright lie on their resume?  While scientifically accurate data is not available, there are anecdotal and survey data that gives a good guesstimate:

  • Recruiters will tell you that over 50% of resumes have a fib or an outright lie in them
  • Resumes may stretch the truth, leave out information or give misleading material
  • Resumes are tossed out with just a hint of fabrication

Why do people lie on their resume?  The marketplace is very competitive due to the Covid-19 impact, with lay-offs, furloughs and reduced hours.  Some fields of work are hyper-competitive.  Most lies center around the work experience, dates of employment, overstating results or skills they don’t have, or misrepresent responsibilities.


A  high percent of people say they know of someone who has lied on their resume.  Here are some factors to consider:

  • About a third of those who cheat on their resume are caught. They either are not hired or are fired when revealed.  So, you have a 1 in 3 chance of being found out.  Not very good odds.
  • If you know of someone who cheats on their resume, would that friend ever be trusted by you? Can your friends or colleagues trust you or be a reference for you if they knew you cheat?
  • How many companies do background checks? More than you think.  This is especially true for jobs that require sensitive, strategic, financial, or competitive information.  As you move up the organizational ladder it becomes even more important, and background checks are near 100%.


Social media is one of the tripwires for a resume.  The information on social media is so easy to obtain which may not line up with the information on a resume.  The most common areas for error are dates, job responsibilities and comments from others that may not impress hiring managers.


Your reputation is extremely important if you view yourself at a higher level of responsibility.  Don’t start or further your career with a lie.  Honesty is valued in any relationship.  If an organization cannot trust the words on a resume, then how can they trust you with customer information, financial accuracy, personnel sensitivities, vendor quotes and so on.  Once you lose your reputation, its very hard and most times impossible to get it back.


Resumes should be word pictures of what you’re capable of doing and how your skills and experience can help the hiring manager attain the objective they want to achieve.


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