Don't even think about lying on your resume

You would think people seeking work would be more careful about making sure their resumes are as accurate and transparent as possible, especially because a growing number of companies now conduct extensive background checks on potential employees.

Plus, many of us have made our lives a virtual open book, posting all sorts of readily available, private information on social media and the Internet.

But a new study says close to 60 percent of company hiring managers have found lies in the resumes they've perused, while one-third of employers have noticed an increase in resume "embellishments" in the post-recession job market.

The national survey, conducted online by Harris Poll for CareerBuilder, questioned nearly 2,200 hiring managers and human resource officials from a wide variety of companies and industries.

Here are some of the more common lies the survey respondents said job candidates tried to sneak past them:

  • Embellished skill set -- 57 percent
  • Embellished responsibilities -- 55 percent
  • Dates of employment -- 42 percent
  • Job title -- 34 percent
  • Academic degree -- 33 percent
  • Companies worked for -- 26 percent
  • Accolades/awards -- 18 percent

"Trust is very important in professional relationships, and by lying on your resume, you breach that trust from the very outset," Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources, said in a statement.

"If you want to enhance your resume, it's better to focus on playing up tangible examples from your actual experience," she added. "Your resume doesn't necessarily have to be the perfect fit for an organization, but it needs to be relevant and accurate."

Some industries and job sectors also seem to be more prone to having job-seekers lie about their pasts and qualifications. The survey found 73 percent of employers in financial services said they found fabrications on resumes they've examined, followed by 71 percent in leisure and hospitality, 63 percent in information technology, 63 percent in health care (looking at companies with more than 50 employees) and 59 percent in retail.

Most would-be employers take any fabrications discovered on a job-seeker's resume very seriously. According to the survey, 51 percent said they would immediately dismiss a candidate caught lying on his or her resume. Forty percent said any dismissal would depend on what the candidate lied about, but only seven percent said they were willing to overlook falsehoods or embellishments on a resume if they liked the job candidate.

  • Bruce Kennedy

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