A 2011 study by the Society of Human Resources shows that 53% of all job applicants lie on their resumes and another study reports that at least 80% of all applicants are misleading.
Stretching the truth
When it comes to resumes most candidates won’t flat out lie on their resume, but they’ll stretch the truth a little. Whether it be on what they were offered salary wise or their responsibilities and duties. Another stretch on resumes come from when someone has lots of experience in sales, but they’re looking for a job in marketing. Sometimes they will stretch the truth a little and twist it to make it seem like they had more of a marketing function instead flat out sales. HR pros and recruiters will find the truth out at some point and you’ll likely end up disqualifying yourself from consideration of the job.
The best way to pick out a lie:
When looking at resumes the best way to pick out a lie on a resume is to know what the most common lies are. Citing a screening firm’s review of over 249,000 resumes last year, the company reported 52% of them were found to have discrepancies.
Education: Out of all the lies on the resume, education is probably the biggest truth stretcher out there. Either the candidate lies about the college that they attended or they lie about the exact degree that they received while at that college.
Job title: I’ve always figured the job title was useless nowadays. When working with startups almost everyone has a VP or above title, so while the job title might be a lie or real, look at their description of work to really determine what they did.
Compensation: You should never take this one at face value. A lot of times people are going to lie about how much they made because they want to make more when hired on with you. For instance instead of making 30,000 they will put that they made about 35,000 or 40,000.
Reason for leaving: If someone was fired from they’re job its quite taboo to tell a possible employer that they were fired, so what do candidates do? They lie. Make sure you’re not one of those who lie because a recruiter is going to double check your references, especially if they’re hiring you for a higher up job.
Accomplishments: This is the last major lie on a resume, the accomplishments. Everyone wants to be the best and the only way to get ahead in life is networking and being the best at what you do. Basically if you’re not the best, don’t lie, because then you’ll end up under performing and it’ll be more embarrassing in the real world. It’s true that you can fake it till you make it, but not in all circumstances.
What’s your favorite resume lie?
Article by Eric Friedman
Eric Friedman is the Founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based skill testing for pre-employment and training. The company's founding vision was to create software that can customize a skills test to fit the knowledge requirements for any job position. Holder of an MBA from MITís Sloan School of Management and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Brown University, Eric has helped launch five startups since 1992. With 20 years in the game, he is now sharing his vast experience on eSkill's blog, while mentoring his team and constantly expanding his company. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
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