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How Many People Lie On Their Resume

You Dont Have To Lie On Your Resume

More people lying on their resume and getting caught

The thing about lying on your resume, though, is that its really not necessary! There are plenty of ways to smooth over elements of your work history youd rather not focus on.

The Career Coaches at FlexJobs have a few tips on how to not lie on your resume . We spoke with Cidnye Work and Denise Ingledue-Lopez to get their expert insights on how to be truthful on your resume, no matter the circumstances.

John Davy Former Ceo Of Maori Television Service

In March 2002, Canadian businessman John Davy was appointed the CEO of the New Zealand television network, Maori Television Service.

He was fired less than seven weeks later when it was discovered that his résumé was almost entirely fabricated. For one, he claimed to hold an MBA from “Denver State University” the New Zealand Herald investigated, only to find counterfeit credentials of the same university name and degree being sold online.

Secondly, he claimed to have worked with the British Columbia Securities Commission in 1986, who in turn found no records of him, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Two months after being sacked, Davy was sentence to be jailed for eight months, after pleading guilty to one charge of using a document his CV “to obtain a benefit or privilege ‘namely a senior appointment with the Maori Television Service,'” the New Zealand Herald reported.

Survey: How Many People Lie On Their Resumes

What would you to get the job you wanted? Shoot, what would you do just to get your foot in the door? Would you go as far to lie on your resume? Maybe just bend the truth a bit?

We conducted a survey on resume behavior to uncover who lies on their resume, what they lie about, and how those lies work out for them.

The results? Some people are far more likely to lie on their resumes than others.


  • 30% of people have lied or bent the truth on their resume.
  • Men are 6% more likely to lie on their resume than women.
  • While men lie more, men and women lie about the same things.
  • Millennials lie the most on their resumes, while Gen Zers just bend the truth and people over 45 follow the straight and narrow.
  • People are most likely to lie about work experience, followed by technical skills.
  • High school graduates are the most 10% more likely to lie on their resume than drop-outs or the more highly educated.
  • People with graduate degrees or higher are the least likely to lie.
  • 80% of people who lie on their resume are never found out.


We surveyed over 1,000 people on their resume behavior and motivations. We asked a series of questions on past resume behavior, motivations, and deceit. Similarly, we asked a series of questions to determine age, sex, and education. You can see a breakdown of our data and conclusions below.

What would motivate them to fib or tell a big whopping lie?

Read Also: How To List Languages On Resume

Build A Team You Can Trust With Employment Verifications From Goodhire

To hire qualified, trustworthy employees and best protect your company, use Employment Verifications from GoodHire. Verifications not only help to streamline the entire hiring process, but they also help to confirm that your candidate has the work experience they claim to have on their resume. With Employment Verifications, GoodHire helps you:

  • Confirm previous employers listed on each candidates resume
  • Verify candidates job titles and employment dates
  • Remain compliant with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act

How Many People Lie On Their Resume

Survey: How Many People Lie On Their Resumes? â Zippia

A lot, according to a survey done by Forensic Psychology and information culled by Jobacle. The most common resume lies are about salary, credentials, job performance, job responsibilities, and job skills.

Read more about the statistics related to lying on your resume and fess up if youve ever lied on your own resume here.

Career Solvers specializes in managing job search campaigns for six and seven-figure professionals and executives who know where they want to go, but need assistance uncovering the most efficient path.


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Recommended Reading: Resume Summary For Teenager

Why Lying On Your Resume Isnt Wise

Regardless of how compelling your reason might be to stretch the truth during the application process, its not wise to fib to a potential employer about your background and/or credentials. While you may think that youre getting away with your story in the short-term, employers have multiple ways at getting at the truth, which include :

  • Online background checks, which employers can purchase to confirm everything from past employers for whom youve worked to your salary history and criminal records.
  • Calling people not on your reference list. While most employers will request that you provide a list of professional and/or personal references to validate your performance and character, not all recruiters or managers will stick to your list. As ODonnell explains: Some recruiters research and secretly contact ex-colleagues of a candidate to inquire about his or her performance. Their goal is to speak to someone NOT recommended to them by the candidate, since most references have been coached to say only good things.
  • Interview grilling. Using interview techniques such as behavioral interviewing, hiring teams may try to throw you off by drilling down into questions that require extensive detail of past experiences to answer. If you falter or cant justify the claimed experiences with concrete examples, then the gig is up.

Unsure About Your Resume Get It Checked Out

No matter what the reason or justification for lying, if your resume isn’t entirely truthful, know this: You don’t have to resort to lying to win a job. There are ethical resume strategies you can use to address issues like minimal work experience, lack of or incomplete college degrees, and being fired.

Do you need ideas for how to strengthen your resume? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster’s Resume Writing Service. You’ll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume’s appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter’s first impression. It’s quick, easy, and honest. Avoid lying on your resume about your degree. Go the honest route. You’ll feel better about your resumeand about not lying.

Recommended Reading: Resume Templates Ms Word

You Either Have The Degree Or You Don’t

I once had a candidate who noted he had graduated college. A tentative job offer was made, pending a satisfactory background check. But upon verifying the college degree, it was found that he did not graduate. He was short one semester. He explained the reason he left school, which we would have been fine with. However, the fact that he lied was a deal-breaker.

Yougov Finds That One In Ten Brits Have Lied On Their Cv And That Lies About Education And Qualifications Are The Most Common

People who LIED on their RESUME, and how it turned out? – r/AskReddit

Earlier this year Jon Andrewes, a former builder and probation officer, was jailed for two years after it emerged that he had lied about on his CV in order to gain very senior management roles in the NHS that netted him more than £1m over ten years.

Now, new YouGov Omnibus research finds 10% of Brits admitting to having lied on their CV . But what porkies are they telling? The results show that, first and foremost, education and qualifications are the most likely parts of a CV to be embellished, with four in ten résumé embellishers having fibbed about this.

Other common CV lies included how long Brits had spent in a job and their level of experience . People who worry about not sounding interesting enough in the personal interests section of their résumé should note that this too was a fairly common fabrication, with three in ten CV liars admitting to making up hobbies.

Following a BBC investigation at the beginning of the year which revealed that job-seekers with English-sounding names were three times as likely to be offered a job interview as an applicant with a Muslim name, our research finds that 1% of people who have lied on their résumés have lied about their name.

The employers’ view

But what do employers make of it? We put the same list of CV lies to a panel of 1,109 senior business decision makers and asked the employers to say how serious they thought each of the embellishment was.

Read Also: How To Put Small Business Owner On Resume

J Terrence Lanni Former Ceo Of Mgm Mirage

In November 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported that the CEO and chairman of MGM Mirage, J. Terrence Lanni had not received an MBA from the University of Southern California .

Shortly after the questioning, Lanni stepped down as CEO for “personal reasons.”

“I simply believe that change is inevitable and this is the right time for me to do this,” he said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

After 13 years with the company, he still remained a member of the board of directors. “The company will always be indebted to Terry for his many years of leadership and wisdom,” said the MGM Mirage’s majority shareholder, Kirk Kerkorian.

Damage To Your Reputation

At the very least, you cannot use the job you lied to get as a reference. In this digital age, when it is easy to get caught, it is also easy for employers to share information with each other. News travels among other employers that you are not an employee that can be trusted, especially if you are in a small, tight-knit field such as newspaper reporting.

Read Also: Ged Resume Example

Most Common Resume Lies

If you have lied, you have a lot of company. A CareerBuilder survey reports that 75% of employers have caught a lie on a resume. Some of their respondents reported resume lies that were pretty outlandishfor example, the applicant who claimed that they studied under Nietzsche or the candidate who said they worked for the CIA .

Most resume lies are more mundane. An earlier CareerBuilder survey reported on what job seekers tried to get away with most often:

  • Embellished skill sets: 57%

Whether creative or commonplace, resume lies can have the same negative effect on your career.

The Most Common Resume Lies And What You Can Really Get Away With

Survey: How Many People Lie On Their Resumes? â Zippia

I recently met someone at a party who had been laid off a few weeks earlier. Telling me about the job search, she said shed been fudging the truth on her resume and in interviews, and by fudging the truth, I mean lying.

Shed lost her job, which shed had for a year, several weeks ago, but told me, Im telling them I still work there, and that the role isnt what I expected when I took the position.

Another truth she was fudging was her salary, to which she was adding a breezy $20,000.

Wow, I said. That soundsincredibly stupid. I am nothing if not charming upon first meeting.

She said she thought it was a calculated risk. I let it drop. But I still thought it was dumb. The two things shes lying about are things that any respectable HR person can easily check, and is likely to. Right?

Not necessarily, as I have since discovered.

Many will check these things, but others dont.

But, he says, A lot of companies wont disclose too much info, so sometimes you cant get what you need.

Still, even if you get away with it, for all you know, your old boss or a former coworker could follow you to a new job and let the cat out of the bag. Or someone could just be chatting with your old boss at a party. The point is, you could get caught at any time.

Regardless of the risks, this infographic says that about 40% of people lie on their resumes. And, according to Forbes, the most common lies candidates tell are the following:

Read Also: Should You Put Your Gpa On Your Resume

Resume Lies Most Common Among Those With Highest Lowest Levels Of Education

Education also appears to influence whether a person is likely to lie on their resume. Our survey found that the most and least educated Americans are most likely to fib.

Forty-one percent of respondents whose highest level of education is middle school lied on a resume, as did 45% of people who have postgraduate degrees.

Bruno Sorrentino Former Head Of It And Director Of Research For Telstra

In October 1993, Bruno Sorrentino resigned as the head of IT and director of research for Telstra, a major Australian telecommunications and media company, reported.

Though he said his resignation was for “personal reasons,” it had just been discovered that he had not graduated from Imperial College with a PhD in physics like his résumé stated. Telstra had tried to look into his thesis, only to find it didn’t exist since he had never attended the college.

Also Check: How To Write A Resume For A Scholarship

Employment In The United States

In most professions its necessary to have a resume to apply for a job. In some cases, it might seem tempting to lie on it, so you sound like the better candidate.

Remarkably, out of the 30 percent of people who exaggerate on their resumes, most never get caught, according to a study conducted by Zippia, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults.

79 percent of respondents said they were never found out for lying. More, the 14 percent of people who were exposed said nothing happened. Only 7 percent of workers who lied said they faced negative consequences.

Despite most liars going undetected, Zippia noted it is bad form to mislead potential employers, writing, No one wants to hire a liar.


This chart shows the percentage of U.S. adults who lied on their resumes and were caught or not.

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Albert Dunlap Former Ceo And Chairman Of Sunbeam

Should You Lie On Your Resume?

In July 2001, The New York Times published an article about the famous businessman Albert Dunlap, CEO of home appliance company Sunbeam and the best-selling author of “Mean Business.”

The Times revealed that when Dunlap applied to Sunbeam, he had omitted two prior positions from his résumé that had ended poorly due to his performance.

Dunlap was fired from Sunbeam in 1998 and accused of accounting fraud. He denied any wrongdoing.

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Many Americans Dont Feel Guilty About Lying On Their Resumes

When it comes to millennials who lied on their resumes, the majority at 73% didnt feel guilty. And, whether they felt guilty about it or not, 55% of millennials who lied said theyd likely do it again. Younger Gen Xers had the most extreme response, with 63% stating they did feel guilty about falsifying information, but that they would probably lie again anyway.

After lying on their resumes at least once, 52% of women and 65% of men said they wouldnt consider doing it again. But, intriguingly, men felt worse about lying in general, with 54% admitting they felt guilty versus only 42% of women.

A Google Search Reveals The Truth

Seventy percent of employers snoop on candidates before offering them a job. You better hope that what HR finds on social media or as part of a basic Google search matches what you have on your resume. Of employers who decide not to hire someone after researching them online, 27% did so because they discovered the candidate had lied about their qualifications, CareerBuilder found. A little Nancy Drew-style sleuthing is all it takes to discover that your alma mater is a diploma mill or that the company you claimed to work for last year went out of business a decade ago.

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In 3 Americans Lie About Work Experience And Dates Of Employment

Of the Americans who admitted to lying on a resume, 38% said the lie concerned their work experience. The next most popular answer was dates of employment, at 31%. Only 2% of those who lied did so about internship experience, while 4% said they were lying about a GPA on their resume.

Survey Question: If you have lied on your resume, what factors did you lie about? Select all that apply.

Answer Choices
Note: Responses are from Americans who have admitted to lying on their resumes.

The majority of all age groups who admitted to falsifying information said they lied about work experience and dates of employment. However, for younger Gen X individuals ages 35 to 44 who have lied on their resumes, 38 percent said they werent truthful about their college education.

Of the Americans who lied, more women admitted to lying about their dates of employment than men 41% and 19%, respectively. More men admitted to lying about work experience than women, with 46% and 31%, respectively, altering their job history.


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