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Lying On Your Resume – Know The Consequences

If you are prepared to lie on your resume, be prepared to get caught. Competition for jobs is becoming fiercer and companies realize they have more options to choose from. Therefore, it is becoming more and more common for companies to do extensive background checks on your resume prior to an offer of employment.

According to a recent survey by, recruiters and hiring managers stated the most common misleading information being put on resumes is:

Ann Everhart of ResumeDoctor explains, "Education is the most common area of the resume where we usually see misleading information."

Jude Werra executive search recruiter and writer of the "Liars Index®," in Brookfield, Wisconsin explained a case where a Maryland alumnus hired a man who claimed to have an MBA degree from the University of Maryland. "The alumnus enjoyed talking with him about campus life. It was soon revealed that the man had no degree but had tended bar near the campus." In Werra’s recent published study he found that out of 100 companies, almost 95% said they would immediately eliminate the candidate from consideration if he/she claimed a degree where no degree was ever earned.

It may be tempting to add an extra job responsibility or the amount of experience you have had in a particular area to grab your reader’s attention. However, now you are faced with adequately discussing responsibilities that you never really had. If you do end up getting the job, now you are stuck with more lying, not only to the hiring manager, but also to your coworkers, clients, customers or even fans. You would have to show up to work everyday knowing that you lied to get there and wondering when you might get caught. If you do get caught, the result is typically getting fired right on the spot. Now, you have a real reason to lie when you have to look for another job.

Connecticut recruiter, Tom Mahon shared this story, "One bonehead forgot we had worked together a few years earlier (I still had his old resume) and sent me a new resume where every title was upgraded. His former Employers apparently promoted him because he was doing such a great job at his current Employer."

BEWARE: Background checks might happen years after you were hired. Recently, there have been a number of high profile cases where the individual was working and was caught with lying on their resume years later. Former Notre Dame football coach George O'Leary was forced to resign his $1.2M salary in 2001 when it came to light that he grossly overstated his past accomplishments.

If you convince your employer you are more experienced than you really are, you will be expected to demonstrate the necessary skills when you need to. So before you lie on your resume, think twice and know the potential consequences; not only financially but it could also prove to be a huge source of embarrassment.

-Mike Worthington

Phone: (802) 865-4243
Fax: (802) 860-2876 provides resume-consulting services and FREE resume evaluations for job seekers in all industries at www.ResourceCenter also offers specialized job market expertise and content to media and employers.