Things You Should Never Lie About in a Resume

April 7, 2017

Findings of the study conducted by CareerBuilder reveal that 7/10 employers spend less than 5 minutes on a resume. In fact, for most employers, it often takes less than two minutes to determine if you’re of any interest to them. Knowing this, many applicants lie in their resumes, but it has an effect that is quite opposite to the desirable one.


Let’s look at top 5 things most frequently lied about in resumes:

  • Exaggerated Skill Sets. Don’t try to impress a hiring manager with skills that you don’t have. Stats from CareerBuilder show that 62% of employers find exaggerated skills on resumes of employees. The most lied about skill is the knowledge of foreign languages. Instead of lying about your skills, better acquire some new ones. Don’t think that it will cost you a fortune. There are lots of free classes and programs, so the two basic things you need are your time and dedication. The best time to learn new skills is when you need them most. It makes the study process very productive.
  • Embellished Responsibilities. If you haven’t performed any important tasks or didn’t have any important responsibilities at your previous work, it doesn’t mean that you should make something up. According to CareerBuilder, 54% of employers find embellished responsibilities on prospective employees’ resumes.
  • Dates of Employment. Stating your dates of employment helps HR managers to evaluate you experience and level of expertise. Your accuracy in this also shows your accuracy in general. 39% of employers have identified inaccurate dates of employment on resumes. It’s not a big lie if we compare it to made-up skills or responsibilities, but this kind of inaccuracy diminishes your value in the eyes of the hiring manager. CareerBuilder survey includes one applicant who applied for driver’s position stating that he had 10 years of driving experience while having a driver’s license only for 4 years.
  • Job Titles. It’s easy to check if an applicant has lied about his/her job title. It only takes one call to do this. 31% of employers have discovered lies on resumes in job titles. The volume of lies can be staggering. For instance, one applicant stated that he had worked in jail, while in reality he was there to serve time.
  • Academic Degrees. Having an academic degree is a basic requirement to step into the corporate paradigm. Still, people who don’t have it lie about it on their resumes. According to CareerBuilder, most HR managers recollect an applicant who claimed to have attended an inexistent college. 28% of employers have identified lies about academic degrees on resumes.

Employers don’t want lies. They want your resume to:

  • Be customized specifically for their job offer: 61%
  • Come with a cover letter: 49%
  • Address the recruiter by name: 26%
  • Include links to your portfolio: 21%


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