New Study Finds 75 Percent of HR Managers Can Catch a Lie on a Resume

Monday, September 18th, 2017 - Resume

Tempted to fluff up your work experience to set yourself apart from other applicants vying for the same job? Here’s a big reason why honesty really is the best policy. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, an online platform that provides HR software to employers, 75 percent of HR managers have caught a lie on a resume, so think twice before trying to outsmart them.

The survey, which involved more than 2,500 full-time U.S. employers, spanning different industries and company sizes, as well as 221 HR managers in the private sector, also found that being caught in a lie can hurt your chances of getting to the next stage of the hiring process. Just 12 percent of HR managers are more likely to consider asking an applicant that does something unusual or over-the-top on their resume to come for an interview.

Some of the worst mistakes HR managers have caught on resumes include an applicant who said he/she wrote the code the hiring manager had actually written, one who said he worked for Microsoft but didn’t know who Bill Gates was and one who claimed to have studied under Nietzsche.

The findings are particularly interesting considering how much time HR managers actually spend reading about our job history, skills and background. In the survey, 39 percent said they spend less than 60 seconds reviewing a resume, and 19 percent spend less than 30 seconds. If you’re the type of person who spends hours and hours making sure your layout is clean and every bullet point is grammatically correct and organized, then this hurts to hear.

So what does this all mean for people currently on the job hunt? In a press release, Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, suggests staying honest and paying close attention to what you include. “If crafted well, your resume is one of the most valuable marketing tools you have. In a matter of seconds, it can make or break your chances of moving along the hiring journey with a company. That’s why it’s important to be proactive with your resume and avoid embellishments or mistakes,” she says. “Take advantage of the tools available to you—the worst thing you can do is send a generic copy out to employers and then sit and hope for a response.”

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