Why you can’t trust a resume … but had better be honest on yours

Monday, August 21st, 2017 - Resume
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Have you or someone you know lied on a resume?

It’s apparently happening a lot more frequently than it used to.

“Almost half of workers, 46 percent, said they know someone who included false information on a resume, a 25 point jump from a similar survey we did in 2011,” said Ryan Gatto, a senior regional manager for OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half.

“Job experience and job duties are the areas that are most frequently embellished. Seventy-six percent say job experience is what they lied on, and 55 percent said job duties is what people had lied about,” Gatto said.

People also lie about their education (33 percent) and their employment dates (26 percent).

Gatto noted in the survey, a majority of senior managers, 53 percent, said they suspect candidates often stretch the truth on their resumes. Also: 38 percent said their companies had removed job candidates from consideration after discovering they had lied.

The poll finds 51 percent of male workers reported knowing someone who has lied on a resume, while 39 percent of women said they were aware that someone had made something up on one.

The survey also found a majority of younger workers between the ages of 18 and 34, 55 percent, reported knowing someone who was dishonest on a resume. That was the highest percentage for any age group.

Gatto said making stuff up on a resume is never a good idea because an interviewer may ask someone to speak in detail “about what they actually did within their job title previously to uncover whether or not their resume fits with their experience.”

He pointed out a manager may also check someone’s references to confirm whether what is on the resume is accurate.

“While you want your resume to be attention-catching, it means nothing if the content is false,” he said.

He also said lying on a resume is a bad idea because employers want people working for them who they can count on, who are reliable and who have a set of ethics in business.

So why are more people making stuff up on their resumes now than they used to?

Gatto said six years ago the job market was not nearly as competitive as it is now.

“People are just embellishing some of the truth, stretching the truth to get an interview,” he said.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]

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