Lying on a Resume: Is it Worth the Risk?

Job hunting can be frustrating. You keep finding jobs which you would love to get but you don’t have quite the right qualifications, skills, or experience. In a competitive job market, you feel that there is always a better candidate.

In these circumstances, It is only natural to want to maximize your chances of getting the dream job, and for this reason, it is tempting to lie on your resume.

Can you tell lies on your resume? It is very risky and will probably end up coming to haunt you in the future. If you know how to write a resume effectively, telling lies on your resume is neither necessary nor worthwhile.

When can I lie on a resume?

So, you’ve found the perfect job, but you are missings skill or qualifications. You are thinking about lying on your resume…don’t.

Firstly, the part you’re missing may not be as important to the employer as you imagine.

Secondly, it is easy for employers to discover lies on a resume, many use specialist firms that carry out extensive background checks.

By cross-checking information against the right databases, it is not hard to identify an invented qualification or job title. It is also very simple to contact previous employers to check information.

Telling small lies on a resume? It is best not to lie on your resume as it is more likely to stop you from getting the job than increasing your chances. If you are applying for your first job and are lacking in experience there are ways to write an effective entry-level resume.

Candidate caught lying on her resume

Consequences of lying on your resume…

Lying on a resume consequences: the most likely scenario is that you don’t get the job. The recruitment process can be vigorous so you’ll probably get caught.

During the interview process you’re asked numerous questions, it will soon become obvious if you’re lying on a resume.

If all goes well in the interview and the lie goes undiscovered, there is the second problem of the job interview background check.

Not only would you have not got the job but you will have burned bridges with the company. If you are honest, maybe you will still get the job, and if not, maybe they will keep you in mind for future positions at least.

With a well-constructed resume using an online resume builder, this can all be avoided.

What if I get hired after lying on my resume?

Unfortunately, the problems don’t stop here, you could be fired for resume lies

The resume lie may be discovered in a future background check which may be carried, for example, before a promotion.

Or if you have exaggerated or lied about skills on your resume, it will soon become clear after starting the job that your skillset and your resume don’t match.

You will have to worry each day about not being competent and up to the task. Soon enough your employer will start asking questions.

The five most common resume lies…

These are the top five and the ones any recruitment specialist can quickly detect, so, be aware.

  • Job title: This is seen as an easy way to exaggerate the importance of a position. Adding words to job title like ‘executive’ and ‘senior’ is not only transparent to any experienced recruiter, but also easy to check!
  • Skills: Lying about skills on a resume can be tempting but also dangerous. If you lie about the extent of your IT skills for example, it will soon become obvious when you’re asked to use a program which you can’t, and have lied about. This is one of the biggest resume lies.
  • Responsibilities: People often include extra responsibilities on their resume in order to reach a better position. Interview questions can often make it clear that a person has lied about the responsibilities they’ve claimed to have.
  • Dates of employment: Lying about employment dates on a resume is not the answer to filling gaps on a resume as this information can be easily checked by potential employers with a simple phone call. Instead, focus on what you have achieved between jobs.
  • Education: This is one of the worst resume lies, and one of the silliest. Firstly, it is easy for employers to check. Secondly, the employer may have been more interested in your experience and personal attributes.

Never lie about these things on your resume! There are alternatives!

Can you tell lies on a resume? Noone can stop you but it’s too risky and unethical. Instead of lying about the qualifications and skills you have, get them!

It is never too late to study and there are an ever-growing number of options available including part-time courses and distance learning. It doesn’t necessarily need to take up all your time or be incredibly expensive.

It is often possible to take on more responsibilities and develop skills, in your current position. Speak to your boss and show your enthusiasm to grow.

If you are looking for a job there are other ways of gaining experience if you are proactive, you can volunteer or start your own projects.

Lastly, knowing how to write a professional resume is important. Instead of lying about what you don’t have, be positive and focus on what you do have. Everyone has strengths and valuable personal qualities, so make sure your resume reflects these.