Is your resume more fiction than fact? Experts warn bending the truth can cost you the job. Although only 8 percent of workers admitted to stretching the truth on their resumes, nearly half (49 percent) of hiring managers reported they caught a candidate lying on their resume. Of these employers, 57 percent said they automatically dismissed the applicant. This is according to CareerBuilder.com’s latest survey of more than 3,100 hiring managers and over 8,700 workers nationwide conducted from May 22 to June 13, 2008.
Thirty-six percent of employers who received falsified applications said they still considered the candidate, but did not hire him/her. A small percentage (6 percent) ended up hiring the applicant.
The most common lies discovered on a resume, according to the survey, include:
— Embellished responsibilities — 38 percent
— Skill set — 18 percent
— Dates of employment — 12 percent
— Academic degree — 10 percent
— Companies worked for — 7 percent
— Job title — 5 percent
Industries experiencing higher incidences of resume fabrications included Hospitality, Transportation/Utilities and Information Technology. Sixty-percent of employers in Hospitality, 59 percent in Transportation/Utilities and 57 percent in IT reported they found lies on resumes. Government had the lowest incident at 45 percent.
“Even the slightest embellishment can come back to haunt you and ruin your credibility,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. “If you’re concerned about gaps in employment, your academic background or skill sets, invention is not the answer. Use your cover letter strategically to tell your story, focusing on your strengths and accomplishments and explaining any areas of concern if needed.”
CareerBuilder.com asked hiring managers to share the most memorable or outrageous lies they came across on resumes. Examples include:
1) Claimed to be a member of the Kennedy family
2) Invented a school that did not exist
3) Submitted a resume with someone else’s photo inserted into the document
4) Claimed to be a member of Mensa
5) Claimed to have worked for the hiring manager before, but never had
6) Claimed to be the CEO of a company when the candidate was an hourly
7) Listed military experience dating back to before he was born
8) Included samples of work, which the interviewer actually did
9) Claimed to be Hispanic when he was 100 percent Caucasian
10) Claimed to have been a professional baseball player