Do you ever find yourself distorting the truth on your resume?
You are not alone.
ResumeBuilder.com investigated 1,250 Americans about what they lied about when looking for a job. Seventy-two percent admitted to lying on their resume.
The biggest lie was about education, with 44% of respondents saying they stretch the truth about their academic bona fides.
Years of experience marked the second biggest falsehood, and skills or abilities came in third.
“People lie during the hiring process when they don’t have all the required skills, training or experience but feel they can embellish or lie to secure the position,” says Stacie HallerChief Career Advisor at CareerBuilder.com.
“They know the company won’t verify their education or their skills, and they just hope to go through the process without being discovered.”
Haller says the number has increased in recent years “as our culture seems to be more and more accepting of lying.”
Related: How Do I Know If Someone Is Lying From a Psychologist Who Trains the FBI
Lies during the job interview
The lying game does not end with the resume.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents were also outspoken about unfairness during their job interviews, with men playing Pinnochio more often (71%) than women (65%).
The number 1 lie during an interview? Years of experience. People also lied about their skills, abilities, and responsibilities at previous jobs.
Respondents also admitted to being dishonest in their job applications, with 30% saying they lied about their race or ethnicity.
The reason was unclear.
“More research is needed to understand why candidates choose to answer voluntary self-identification questions incorrectly,” Haller said. “These questions are asked, in part, in job applications so that an organization can create a diverse and equitable workforce. If candidates lie, it can hinder their efforts.”
Is it okay to lie a little?
The results of the ResumeBuilder.com survey might give the impression that not only is it acceptable to lie a little when applying for a job – it would be crazy if you didn’t.
Lying pays off – literally. Sixty-five percent of respondents say lying during the hiring process helped them get a higher salary.
But Haller disputes the idea that lying is the most natural thing in the world.
She says being caught in a lie can have serious consequences.
“As a recruiter, if I discovered that a candidate lied on a resume or during the application process, I would no longer work with them. Recruiters, headhunters, hiring managers, and HR professionals will remember you if you are caught lying, and this can make a candidate several years to follow.”
So the next time you use alternative facts on your resume, application, or job interview, consider this: Is it better to be truthful and be remembered as an honest employee, or lie and risk your career and reputation? to tarnish?