1 Out of 3 People Lie On Their Resume

Have you heard the statistic that 1 out of 3 people lie on their resume? Incredulous when I heard this, I asked our recruiters if anyone had a story about a candidate telling a lie. They all burst into laughter and said, “We have thousands of stories!”

One of our recruiters told me about a recent candidate—let’s call her Tawny–who was also a personal friend. While reading Tawny’s resume, he noticed that she had claimed to work at a certain company for three years. Because he was friends with Tawny, he knew that she had never worked for that company at all. When he called to ask why she had put false information on her resume, Tawny replied, “Well, I wanted it to look fuller.” She seemed surprised when our recruiter told her, “Tawny, you can’t do that!”

That attitude is surprisingly common, as some candidates try to make their resume look better than it actually is. Some lie about the span of their employment dates, some embellish or fabricate job skills or experience, others lie about education, and a few, like Tawny, lie about their actual places of employment. Regardless of which areas you’re tempted to fudge in, candidates, don’t do it, warns Monster.com, because the Internet makes it very easy to verify or discredit these claims. Background check companies are also quite adept at ferreting out the truth about a person’s history.

We do advocate that you tweak your resume to truthfully play up particular personal strengths to match the description of the job for which you’re applying. But just because 1 out of 3 people lie on their resume doesn’t mean you should be one of them! What can you do if you aren’t happy with your resume? Here’s a summary of Monster’s suggestions for better ways to handle some problem areas on your resume:

Explain the Gap

If you have a gap in your employment record, don’t make up some mysterious, nonexistent employer like Tawny did! Were you productive or acquiring a new skill during the gap? If so, use your cover letter or interview to explain the projects you worked on or tell what volunteer work you performed.

Gain the Skills You Want

Do the kind of jobs for which you want to apply require a technical skill you don’t yet have? Then take a class or figure out a way to acquire that skill yourself. Prospective employers will be happy to hear you’re a lifetime learner who is working to become a more qualified contributor to their team.

Tailor Your Title Truthfully

Never lie about your job title. But if you performed tasks or managed projects in your past job that aren’t reflected in your title, you can add to it. For example, if your title is Office Manager, but you ended up taking on HR responsibilities, you could list your title as Office Manager (with HR responsibilities). (One of our employees’ title is Sales Administrator, but she truthfully could add, with Bidding and Contract Management.) The employer, when receiving a reference check call, should be happy to support the information you added.

Know What You’re Worth

If you feel you’ve been previously underpaid, don’t lie about your past salary, but do learn what you’re actually worth. When in doubt, ask one of our recruiters. They look at resumes for a living and have a pretty accurate idea of what you ought to be getting paid.

You’ve probably heard numerous examples in the media of people who were caught in a lie and became humiliated, public spectacles. Nothing’s worse than having to keep looking over your shoulder, wondering if you’ll be caught in a lie–so don’t tell a lie on your resume. Being truthful will help start your new job off on the right foot…and keep it there.

Amtec actively serves customers all over the United States who seek top professionals with well-rounded skills. Candidates, if we don’t have the most current version of your resume, please click here to post it, and visit our job board while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions. Employers, do you need help sourcing and selecting top professionals? Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to request an employee or discuss a workforce management issue.

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