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Resume no-no No. 1: Embellishments

Here's another sign of economic recovery in spite of summer's dog days: The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that total hiring rose 2.3 percent in June. That's the best rate in six months and the second-highest since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009.

But even as more positions open up, the competition for those jobs remains stiff -- which means many more resumes flowing into companies looking for workers.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers devote less than five minutes to resumes from potential employees. In fact, around half of those surveyed said they spent two minutes or less when reviewing specific resumes.

The survey questioned more than 2,500 hiring and human resource managers across a variety of U.S. industries and company sizes. And it discovered this scramble for jobs appears to be pushing more applicants to add unnecessary, inappropriate or "downright untrue" information to their resumes in the hopes of attracting HR's attention.

More than half of the hiring and HR mangers surveyed, 56 percent, said they had discovered lies on incoming resumes. Nearly two-third of respondents said the most common fib they uncovered was "embellished skill sets," followed by exaggerated job responsibilities (54 percent), as well as fictional dates of employment (39 percent) and unreal job titles (31 percent).

The respondents also shared some favorite gaffes they've seen on resumes, including:

  • An applicant who claimed to be the former CEO of the company looking to fill the position.
  • Someone claiming fluency in two languages, one of which was pig Latin.
  • The person who wrote "whorehouse" instead of "warehouse" when listing work history.
  • The applicant who began a cover letter with "Hey you."
  • Someone claiming to be a Nobel Prize winner.
  • The job-seeker who said he worked in a jail when he actually served time in that facility.

The survey respondents said job-seekers shouldn't stoop to "creative writing" in an effort to beef-up their resumes. In fact, 42 percent of respondents said they would consider a job candidate whose experience met only three out of five key qualifications for a specific employment position.

They said they paid more attention to resumes that are customized for a specific open position, that are accompanied by a cover letter, that are addressed by name to the hiring manager or recruiter and that link to an applicant's online portfolio, blog or website.

"Job seekers have the unenviable challenge of grabbing -- and holding -- a hiring manager's attention long enough to make a strong impression," Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder's chief human resources officer, said in a press statement.

"Embellishing your resume to achieve this, however, can ultimately backfire," she continued. "Most hiring managers are willing to consider candidates who do not meet 100 percent of the qualifications. Job seekers can increase their chances for consideration by proving past achievements that exemplify an ability to learn, enthusiasm and cultural fit."

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