A survey of hiring managers, HR professionals, and recruiters revealed the ease in which they detect lies on a resume. In fact, a CareerBuilder study found that 75% of human resource executives have found lies on resumes. So the chief reason why resume lies never work is that recruiters and hiring managers are on the alert.
The Most Common Lies That Never Work
The three most frequent resume lies that never work are 1) a false reason for leaving a job, 2) a change in title, and 3) a change in degree, including the college or university where the applicant received the degree.
Another very common lie is to adjust dates of employment—smoothing over a few months of unemployment or pretending that a larger gap never existed. Small gaps are expected; very few people these days go their entire career without some period of unemployment. For larger gaps, applicants should offer a reason; a professional resume writer can help you explain the gap if you moved, needed to take care of an older relative or a child, or even if you decided to explore the world for a while.
How Resume Lies Are Exposed
Recruiters and hiring managers have several ways of catching lies. They check with institutions as to whether you attended, what major you chose, and whether you graduated. They check with former employers to verify your dates of employment.
Note that there is no actual local, state, or federal law prohibiting employers from saying anything they like about you. There may be a company policy to only deliver the facts (dates of employment, for example), but that is not the same as a law prohibiting a favorable or unfavorable comment.
Recruiters and hiring managers will also check your social media and other appearances online to see if they jive with what you claim in your resume. Under some circumstances, they may conduct a background check, covering your identity, criminal history, education, and employment.
Recruiters and hiring managers will, at some point, ask your references about you and—unless they are superior liars—your own lies will be exposed. They will ask you yourself during the interview about your skills, experiences, and education; your answers must demonstrate confidence in the knowledge and background you claim to have.
Recruiters and hiring managers are also on the alert for lies in certain groups (first-time job seekers) and industries (oddly enough, financial services heads that list).
What Your Resume Should Do Instead
Lying is a losing proposition. If you are not exposed during the hiring process, you will be exposed when you are on the job and find yourself floundering or even many years down the line when you are up for a promotion, and someone decides to check your credentials. You will be fired. The likelihood of being exposed at a later date is high and another reason why resume lies never work.
To make sure you are never in that position, do not lie on your resume and do not give the appearance of lying. Make sure that your resume and cover letter are both professional and that your resume and social media presence line up. Alert your references that they will be called and let them have a copy of your resume to refer to. Practice your interview techniques and review your resume before the interview so that you answer questions with confidence. In every one of those steps, Robin’s Resumes® can help.