Forbes: 70% Of Workers Lie On Resumes, New Study Shows

Source: Forbes | Author: Bryan Robinson | Date: November 5, 2023
Avatar photo
Community

Applying for a new job can be an arduous task, depending on the company and the process they have in place. Many job seekers have bad experiences during the interview process, and 42% of candidates decline offers as a direct result of a bad interview experience. But the process works both ways. An unspoken rule for job applicants is to be honest and not be rude during an interview. But what goes on before the interview when job seekers write their cover letters and resumes?

 

Rates Of Lying on a Resume

In August of this year, ResumeLab surveyed 1914 participants in the Job Applicant Behavior Survey and found that workers are lying at very high rates throughout the job application process. The study reported that lying rates increase in cover letters and peak during job interviews. The top lies told on resumes were embellishing job titles and responsibilities in general (52%), exaggerating the number of people managed (45%) and overstating length of employment (37%). When asked, “Have you ever lied on a resume?,” respondents claimed:

  • 70% of workers confess they have lied on their resumes with 37% of those admitting that they lie frequently. 37% yes, I lie frequently; 33% yes, I have lied once or twice; 15% no, but I have considered lying; 15% no, and I have never considered lying.
  • 76% of workers admit they have lied in their cover letters, with 50% of those admitting to frequently lying.
  • 80% of workers say they have lied during a job interview, with 44% of those admitting to frequently lying.
  • Job seekers are lying the most during job interviews, then in their cover letters and then on their resumes.
  • Those with Master’s or doctoral degrees reported higher incidences of lying on resumes (58% frequently lie, 27% have lied once or twice = 85% total) compared to people without a college degree (29% frequently lie, 42% have lied once or twice = 71% total), with those with bachelor’s or associate degrees lying the least (30% frequently lie, 33% have lied once or twice = 63%).
 

What Job Seekers Lie About

The top lies job seekers tell on their resumes:

  • Embellishing responsibilities in general (52%)
  • My job title (to make it sound more impressive) (52%)
  • Fabricating how many people I actually managed (45%)
  • The length of time I was employed at a job (37%)
  • The name of the company that employed me (31%)
  • Made up the entire position (24%)
  • Inflating metrics or accomplishments I achieved (e.g. sales numbers) (17%)
  • My skills section (15%)
  • Awards or accolades (13%)
  • Volunteer work (11%)
  • My education credentials (11%)
  • Covered up a career gap (9%)
  • Technology capabilities (knowing tools like Trello, Asana, etc.) (5%)

Lying on your resume is not only unethical, says Resumelab career expert Agata Szczepanek, but it can lead to your job applications being immediately rejected, losing out on other job opportunities, and damaging your reputation with other employers, especially ones in the same industry. “If you get caught, it might result in legal actions such as huge fines and in extreme cases even imprisonment. “Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to job applications and interviews,” Szczepanek, insists. “Even slightly stretching the truth can result in immediate or long-term consequences. Instead of lying about employment history, education or something more, workers should try shifting the focus to the related experience and transferable skills they can offer,” she states.

Lying in Cover Letters

76% of workers said they have lied in their cover letters, with 50% of those admitting to frequently lying. When asked, “Have you ever lied on a cover letter?” respondents claimed:

  • 50% yes, I lie frequently
  • 26% yes, I have lied once or twice
  • 15% no, and I have never considered lying
  • 9% no, but I have considered lying

Those with Master’s or doctoral degrees reported higher incidences of lying on cover letters (73% frequently lie, 17% have lied once or twice = 90% total) compared to people without a college degree (49% frequently lie, 34% have lied once or twice = 83% total), with those with bachelor’s or associate degrees lying the least (40% frequently lie, 29% have lied once or twice = 69%).

 

Lying During Job Interviews

80% of workers said they have lied during a job interview, with 44% of those admitting to frequently lying. When asked, “Have you ever lied in a job interview?” respondents claimed:

  • 44% yes, I lie frequently
  • 36% yes, I have lied once or twice
  • 20% no, I have not lied

Once again, those with Master’s or doctoral degrees reported higher incidences of lying on cover letters (63% frequently lie, 25% have lied once or twice = 88% total) compared to people without a college degree (31% frequently lie, 53% have lied once or twice = 84% total), with those with bachelor’s or associate degrees lying the least (38% frequently lie, 38% have lied once or twice = 76%).

 

Options To Land A Dream Job Without Lying

Szczepanek says lying on a resume isn’t worth the consequences. She suggests there are eight lines of action to consider to boost your chances of landing that dream job instead of lying before or during a job interview.

  1. Craft strong application documents. They are your chance to make a positive first impression on potential employers. You can use professional online creators, read guides written by career experts, or watch videos with tips on how to do that. Choose whatever works best for you. The Internet is an invaluable source of materials that could help you.
  2. Ensure a hiring manager can easily find your work experience and education details. Optimize your resume for skimming and quick reading. Lay out things on the document clearly.
  3. Don’t forget about formatting. Font and spacing may turn out to be your best friends on your job-hunting journey.
  4. Tailor your resume to fit the job and the company. Focus on your education, past work experience, and skills that may be crucial for the position and valuable for the potential employer.
  5. Get to know the company’s culture and values. It will help you provide real-life examples illustrating that you are a good cultural fit for the company and how your values align with theirs.
  6. Anything that shows your ambition, willingness to grow, and learning abilities may turn out to be essential for your potential employer. Remember to mention your extracurricular activities or classes, scientific circles, volunteering, etc.
  7. Take pride in your achievements, and don’t be afraid to show it. Highlight your top skills, desirable personality traits, positive work habits, and accomplishments. Try to relate them to the position you’re applying for.
  8. Be enthusiastic and honest. Present yourself as a valuable employee, a dedicated colleague, and an interesting person. Authenticity is easier and worth way more than fabricating a resume.

 

See the original article on the Forbes website.

Source: WEtech Alliance | Date: December 5, 2023

Join the Workforce Revolution

Create your Picsume today