THE JOB MARKET is still tough out there and people often want to make themselves stand out from the crowd, but embellishing your CV to the point of being ridiculous is not the way to go.
In fact, a new survey from CareerBuilder among 2,188 human resources professionals in the US found that more and more people are lying on their resumés today.
A whopping 58% of hiring managers have caught job applicants being dishonest on their resumes, and one-third (33%) of these employers said they’ve seen an increase in embellishments since the recession.
So, yes, lying on your resume will certainly help you stand out — but for all the wrong reasons.
Half of the surveyed hiring managers say they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie, while 40% said that it would depend on what the candidate lied about. Only 7% said they’d be willing to overlook a fib if they liked the candidate.
Here are some of the most ridiculous and unusual lies hiring manager said they’ve ever caught on a resume:
- Applicant included job experience that was actually his father’s. Both father and son had the same name.
- Applicant claimed to be the assistant to the prime minister of a foreign country that doesn’t have a prime minister.
- Applicant claimed to have been an Olympic medalist.
- Applicant claimed to have been a construction supervisor. The interviewer learned the bulk of his experience was in the completion of a doghouse some years prior.
- Applicant claimed to have 25 of years experience at age 32.
- Applicant claimed to have worked for 20 years as the babysitter of known celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Madonna, etc.
- Applicant listed three jobs over the past several years. Upon contacting the employers, the interviewer learned that the applicant had worked at one for two days, another for one day, and not at all for the third.
- Applicant applied to a position with a company who had just terminated him. He listed the company under previous employment and indicated on his resume that he had quit.
- Applicant applied twice for the same position and provided different work history on each application.
Some resumé lies aren’t so ridiculous. Fifty-seven percent of surveyed employers said they caught an embellished skill set; 55% have caught lies related to responsibilities; and 34% caught job title fabrications. Other common lies were related to academic degrees, previous employers, and awards and accolades.
“If you feel that you have to embellish your skills to be qualified for a job, then chances are it isn’t the right position for you and you probably won’t get hired,” Haefner says. “Pay attention to what is most important to that company and draw parallels to your own experience. That’s what will make you stand out.”