We all have an idea of what our dream job looks like and sometimes the stars align and a vacancy for that spot opens up. You then have one of two choices: Send a completely accurate resume and hope for the best or take a less honest approach and spruce up your resume with a white lie here and there.
Most people, according to a recent poll, choose to sprinkle their resume with a few lies.
The survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam found that 46% of respondents knew someone who included false information on their resumes. And of those, half were between the ages of 18 and 34.
Based on these findings, Best Life set out to uncover what are the most common lies that people tell on their resumes. Here, we look at 11 of those:
1. Education. Misrepresenting their education is one of the most common things people do on their resumes. Some may simply extend the truth a bit, but others tell blatant lies and hope they won't be caught. Scott Samuels, CEO of executive search firm Horizon Hospitality, cited a prime example. One hopeful listed Cornell School of Hotel Management on their resume when they had only taken one online class.
2. Employment dates. Rather than explain that extended gap of unemployment to potential employers, most people choose to instead forge their employment dates. It is a big risk because a simple phone call to a previous employer can expose the lie.
3. False jobs. It is a catch 22: You need experience to get the job but to get the experience you need the job. Which is why so many resumes contain falsified jobs and fabricated experience.
4. Fluency in foreign languages. It is so easy to be caught on this one, yet so many people still lie about their fluency in a foreign language. Need a reason to tell the truth? Surveys have found that, of all the offenses, lying about foreign language fluency is the most unforgivable.
5. Previous titles. Most people exaggerate their previous titles, but this is a doubled edged sword. Lying about your previous title and experience could thrust you into a job you are underequipped to handle, and it could lead to many other potential employers overlooking you for being overqualified for the position. If you were working at a junior level, then say so.
6. Awards. Bedazzling a resume with made up awards is common practice. It is tempting and easy to lie about recognitions but tracing these accolades requires barely any effort and most people get caught out.
7. Promotions. So many people who fabricate promotions get caught out in interviews when they are asked specific questions about the role they played in their previous company.
8. Salary. One of the other most common lies people tell on their resumes is their previous salary. It may seem like the perfect opportunity to score a bigger paycheck but if that amount is even slightly suspicious, potential employers will know.
9. Job duties. Many ads listing job vacancies clearly highlight the requirements needed for the position, which is why many people spruce up their resumes to include made-up duties from their previous jobs, then find themselves unable to perform a task that they claimed to have once done.
10. Volunteer work. A resume always looks good if it contains details about previous volunteer work. Many people lie about this to convince their potential employer that they are selfless and compassionate but when they are caught, it gives the exact opposite impression.
11. Current location. That dream job may be in another city and people not wanting to be overlooked often lie about their current location. The truth soon emerges when they are called in for an interview.