I lied to my brother once (and only once, mind you, partially because I’m a great person but mostly because I’m also lying now). When I was eight and he was six I was playing in our bedroom and accidentally knocked his favorite toy off the bookshelf, where it promptly broke into a million pieces. Fortunately for me, he wasn’t in there when it happened, so I just left and pretended I hadn’t been in there. Then, when he came crying and accused me of breaking it, I told him it must have just fallen off all by itself. Which he believed, since six-year-olds are gullible and will believe pretty much anything. Sorry I ruined your childhood, Adam – love you buddy!
I’m remembering this now because a recent CareerBuilder study found that nearly 60% of hiring managers have caught a lie on the resumes they’re reading. [Click to Tweet] Of the ones that do, 51% automatically dismiss the candidate they’ve just caught lying. That’s the equivalent of taking half of the resumes you’re planning on sending out and throwing them directly in the trash.
Here are the most common resume lies, which means they’re the ones mostly likely to get you caught.
Embellishing Your Skill Sets – Who’d’ve thought that hiring managers would be interested in knowing whether or not you’re actually fluent in French? Is France even still a country?
Lying About Previous Job Responsibilities – You mean ‘working with others’ isn’t the same as ‘managed a team of 6’? Roget must have tricked me – stupid thesaurus!
Lying About The Dates You Were Previously Employed – If you’re really creative, maybe you’ll say you were doing a stint in the Peace Corps or something, but they’ll probably call and ask about that, too.
Inventing Awards – Because when you Google “2013 Parmby Award Recipient” and nothing comes up, it sort of makes your would-be employer wonder if you just printed up a certificate on Photoshop.
Applying for Financial Services Positions – These people lie the most, at least according to CareerBuilder. Shocking, I know. Because last I checked, Angelo Mozilo wasn’t leading any how-to seminars.
I’m excited for you, my little penguins. It turns out that many hiring managers use the resume as a barometer for your overall honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. But I think you should look at it in another way. If you can lie in a more outlandish, creative way than what you’ve read above, there’s a good chance your prospective employers will be impressed by your wit, cunning, and audacity.
Although I could be lying.