Common Resume Lies

Common Resume Lies

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!” – Walter Scott

Common resume lies are indeed fairly common.  However, telling these lies creates complications for the applicant.

A few years ago, a human resources manager told me that a position he had filled had reopened for search.

He explained that a job applicant had lied on his application and on his resume.  The applicant stated that he had graduated from a university.  However, when the hiring company received a copy of the applicant’s college transcripts, the records indicated that the applicant had not graduated.

The most common resume lies are lies of omission.  Job applicants leave off a job or jobs.  In some cases, the applicant wants to hide an embarrassing reason for leaving a company.  In other cases, an applicant may want to make their experience show greater stability.

With all the years of tracking applicants, I have files on the careers of thousands of people.  I have thousands of resumes.  I have a good memory.  Many staffing professionals have similar resources.

Online records also cover career history.  Often I uncover omitted information on a resume by comparing the resume with the person’s profile on LinkedIn.  There are copies of resumes on job boards.  The problem with any lie is that once you tell it you have to live it.

Another common lie is about income.  Wanting to get the most out of a pay raise in making a job change, applicants write false income information on a job application.  It is quite common for employers to ask applicants for a check stub or a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement – Internal Revenue Service.

Business Insider lists ten senior executives who lied about their credentials.  In each case, the lies of the executives became public.  One of the more interesting cases in the business article is the one of that of a Norwegian executive whose resume lies landed her in prison.

If you are going to lie on your resume, it is probably better that you not get advice from a corporate recruiter on how to do it.  Recruiters have contracts that require that they confirm the accuracy of the information applicants give to hiring companies.

Image: Michael/Flickr