How Lying On Your Resume Will Get You In Trouble
Today’s job market is competitive. Those who are in need of work undoubtedly know how difficult it can be to compete for the top jobs. This competitive environment has led some unscrupulous job seekers to embellish or exaggerate their experience in order to improve their chances of obtaining jobs. What are the consequences for the employee who has embellished on their resume they get caught?
What Happens When You Lie On Your Resume
The hours of my work day are filled with resumes. Some of them are good, some are bad, and then there are those that arrive with too much detail or too little effort. No matter the content , each should have at least one thing in common the TRUTH.
Lately, my peers and I have been running into a common issue people are lying on their resumes .
There are many things people may choose to fib about on their resume, but the primary one my team and I have seen is the degree they claim to be awarded under education.
Example of education on a resume:
University of Northern Iowa
Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering 3.5 GPA
Looking at this, one would think this candidate earned their Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering, but thats not always the case, unfortunately.
Ill get back to the appearance of education on a resume, but Id like to pause here for a moment to tell you a story about an unfortunate incident involving a frustrated client, a regretful candidate and me.
Wed like to extend an offer! my client said.
These words are an absolute joy to hear in my industry.
After weeks of interviewing, I was overjoyed to call my candidate, offer him the position and talk about details. After he happily accepted the position, we had the routine talk about the background check and start dates.
A few days had passed before I received a surprise as I opened the background check on my candidate.
I had to ask why.
Option 4 Withdraw Your Application
Another alternative is to withdraw your job application. You don’t have to give a reason why. You can simply thank the employer for the invitation and say you’re not interested in the position at this time. You have obviously lost your chance of getting the job, but this is the safest option if you don’t want to explain or to have to deal with the consequences of lying.
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Survey: The Most Common Lies In Canadian Resumes
New research shows that more people are lying on their resumes in order to impress employers, and its hurting not helping their careers.
The placement experts over at OfficeTeam released a report last week on trends in candidates fudging their credentials. According to their surveys, 40 per cent of senior managers suspect candidates often stretch the truth on resumes, and 35 per cent said their company has removed an applicant from consideration for a position after discovering he or she lied.
The most common resume lies
Workers who know someone who misrepresented or exaggerated information on his or her resume were also asked, What type of information did they misrepresent or exaggerate on their resume?
- Job experience 66 percent
- Job duties 57 per cent
- Education 41 per cent
- Employment dates 24 per cent
Applicants often try to lie about their employment dates in order to mask gaps on their resume. However, even employers who resist giving references to former employees will confirm the start and end date of your tenure. So, while this is one of the most common resume lies, it is also amongst the easiest to get caught for.
Your specific work experience and job duties arent as easy to confirm in an initial background check, but employers know that these are commonly exaggerated by potential candidates, so they have come up with other ways to verify them.
How employers catch resume lies
Work hard, be nice, and be honest. It pays off.
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Lying On Your Resume: Legal Consequences
Though your resume is not a legal document, many applications have a place for you to sign or check that says that you attest that everything on your application is true. If it turns out that is not the case, there are other possible legal problems you can face if your lies are discovered.
For starters, you will likely be fired. Even if you never checked a box attesting that your application was entirely true, most states have employment-at-will laws on the books. That means that an employer can terminate your employment at any time and for any reason.
Depending on the circumstances, you can also be liable for civil damages if your lying created legal issues for your employer. For example, if youre an architect and your company was sued due to mistakes you made on building drawings , your now-former employer can come after you for the damages.
Lastly, though rare, it is possible you could face criminal charges depending on what youve lied about. Theoretically, you could be charged with fraud or other crimes, depending on your lies.
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Is It Illegal To Lie On A Resume
Because resumes are not official, legal documents, it is not technically illegal to lie on a resume. However, this depends on the extent to which the lie is taken–for example, if an educational diploma, a passport, or other legal documents are falsified, this could result in prosecution for falsifying documents.
Generally speaking, employees who have lied on their resumes have no legal recourse against their former employers. This can also impact a former employee’s ability to seek legal recourse for an employer’s actions which may have been legitimately illegal. This is known as the “after-acquired evidence” theory. If the employment relationship was found to be based upon fraudulent information to start with, illegal acts that occurred during the employment relationship may not be actionable by law. It’s sad to think that employees could lose what limited rights they do have in employment relationships as a result of unethical decisions made during recruitment.
The Most Common Lies In Canadian Resumes
As we are now living in an era of fake news and alternative facts, we thought wed ask the question: is everything on your resume 100% accurate?
Most employers dont think so. They are becoming increasingly skeptical of what candidates claim about their skills and work history. In fact, a survey by the recruitment firm Employment Office found that over 80 per cent of employers believe that candidates are lying on their LinkedIn profiles.
Sixty-seven per cent of the 300 hiring managers and business owners surveyed said that candidates are most likely to lie about their past job titles and responsibilities. The other major areas where they feel people are most likely to fudge the truth are about the exact dates of previous employment, their education, and their qualifications.
So we asked Workopolis recruiters and members of the HR community where they find the most common resume half-truths, exaggerations, and lies. Heres what they said were the most widespread falsehoods in Canadian resumes:
This last point brings up an interesting question:
How do people get caught lying on their resumes?
The funny thing about lying on your resume is just how easy it is to be discovered. All the hiring manager has to do is ask your references the right questions, and the jig is up. Sure, many companies have policies on providing information about past employees. However, most HR departments will corroborate your job title, how long you worked there, and what your salary was.
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Is Lying On Your Resume Considered Illegal And A Crime
What is a resume?
It is a synopsis of a persons life. That is, it summates the different turning points in ones life. That is a persons education, his or her qualifications, achievements, accolades and previous work experience.
This document is basically compiled so as to send across myriad work institutions and to find a suitable job routine. That is for any job application is typically accompanied with this document. It is also known as curriculum vitae.
Now why did I go about discussing the meaning of this document? Simply to put across the importance that this document holds.
Legal Action Against The Employee
Is it illegal to lie on a resume. In most cases, however, a lie on a resume that is discovered after the person is hired is grounds for termination. If dishonesty is discovered, it is often grounds for termination and possibly legal action. In itself it’s not illegal or unlawful to lie, fib, tell untruths, etc, on a resume.
If the employees incompetence or lies caused the employer damages or caused it to be liable to another party, the employer may have a legal cause of action against the employee. Lying on your resume can land you in jail, get you fired, or leave you without legal recourse against an employer. In what circumstances, you wonder.
In many states, if you listed a fake degree, then your former employer can sue you for fraud if they prove that your lie hurt their business. Practicing medicine, law, or another profession thats regulated in this way without the correct credentials will place you and the. In severe cases, where a qualification is required to legally carry out a job, legal action could also be taken against you.
Is it illegal to lie on a resume? If you are lying on an application for a state or federal employer, it could be considered a crime since it is illegal to lie to a federal or state government agent. It depends on the type of lie and where it occurs.
Facebook likes as a performance reference). Is it illegal to lie on a resume? Is it illegal to lie on a resume?
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Problems With Suing Your Employer
In addition to losing your job, if you obtained your job by lying on a resume, you may not be able to sue your employer, even if your employer has violated your legal rights. For example, if you were dismissed from your job in an illegal manner, you may not be able to recover against your employer if your employer can show that they would have not hired you in the first place if you had been honest on your resume or application.
In general, courts have found that employees that lied in order to get a position cannot later sue their employer claiming that they were wronged. Some courts and legal professionals have dubbed this legal strategy the “after-acquired evidence” theory. Evidence that supports this theory has included:
- Having been terminated for cause from a former position and failing to disclose or admit to it
- Not putting a former employer on a resume
- Making false statements about education, experience, or holding professional licenses
- Concealing or failing to reveal a former felony conviction, and
- Making up a college degree during an interview.
Keep in mind that, like almost everything in the legal world, lying on a resume or job application may not be the end of the world. If you attempt to sue your employer, your employer can only use the after-acquired evidence if they can show that you would have been fired, or not hired to begin with, if your employer had known the truth.
Resum Fraud And The Law
When faced with the prospect of a new and exciting job, the temptation to sell oneself beyond ones true worth may be irresistible.
It is not uncommon to embellish ones credentials in the course of an interview or through a resume in order to get ones foot in the door. To a certain degree, most people are guilty of some form of self-aggrandizement when employment is within reach.
However, in addition to the obvious ethical drawbacks associated with misstatements of reality, lying on ones resume or obtaining a job through actual fraud or misrepresentation may have serious legal consequences.
On the other hand, the law views misinformation in the context of employment on a continuum from benign misstatements to the most disreputable and deleterious forms of deceit. Depending on where an individual finds himself or herself on that continuum, employment could not only be terminated for cause and without reasonable notice or pay in lieu thereof, but legal action from the employer becomes a reality if the misrepresentation actually causes harm.
As a matter of course, employees in Ontario and throughout Canada are regarded as vulnerable entities in the eyes of the law. Traditionally , employees have had little to no bargaining power when applying for a job.
Things have not changed tremendously: in most cases, the employer will present the employee with an employment agreement which the employee will feel obliged to sign, usually without the benefit of legal advice.
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How Do You Put Unfinished Degree On Resume
To do this, simply include your unfinished degree in the education section of your resume. Then, address the situation in your cover letter. For example, you may write something like this: Im currently on a two-semester leave from the Haus Cooking Academy as I focused on honing my skills as a sous-chef at Parkers.
Damage To Your Reputation
You can pretty much kiss your employment references goodbye if you’re found to have provided false information on your resume. Even if your employer doesn’t terminate the employment relationship for the fraudulent information, you’ll still have to suffer the embarrassment of having your employer know you lied. Additionally, our digital-age lives make it easier and easier for us to network with other professionals in similar industries. In fields that are small or specialized, word can travel pretty quickly. If someone lost a job due to dishonesty, there’s a good chance the word will get out. Some recruiters have even been known to flag candidates who have been found to have fraudulent information on their resumes. A simple lie could have career-long consequences.
How Long Should My Resume Be?
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What If I Lied About My Employment History
Their discovery of the lie will likely disqualify you from being considered for the open position. If they discover the lie after you are hired, it can be grounds for termination. Additionally, lying on your resume may put you in a position where youre asked to perform duties that youre not capable of.
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You Dont Have To Lie On Your Resume
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.
Should You Lie About Your Gpa
No. Lying about your GPA on your resume can have some serious consequences. You may think that the worst-case scenario is that you don’t get the job offer or called in for an interview. In fact, the worst-case scenarios are if you DO get the job.
Here is what can happen if you do get the job after fudging the truth.
Scenario 1: You get hired and the company later decides to verify your GPA. Not only will you get fired, but you may also have ruined future opportunities. What happens if your next employer asks why you left your last job? Or if they can contact a reference at your previous job?
Scenario 2: You get hired and after some time, the company decides to promote you to a higher-level position. They may look to verify your education and GPA. When they catch you in the lie, you’re now jobless with a longer work history. It will look even worse for you if your next employer can’t contact anyone from your last company.
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Get A Legal Assessment
Questions about employment and misrepresentations can deeply impact your rights. If you are unsure about your rights you’ll want to consult with a professional. Contact a local attorney for a legal assessment to learn how to minimize the fallout from job application misrepresentations and other employment issues.
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The Negative Impacts Of Lying On Your Resume
For starters, any trust you had built up with your employer is likely gone. And, if for some reason you werent caught for a while, the goodwill and possible references you may have had at that job are also gone.
Because you never know who knows whom, you may have also damaged your chances to build future networking connections. People may be more hesitant to connect with you or offer you assistance going forward.
Finally, consider that people will wonder about your ethics. Work aside, integrity matters and so does your reputation. Youve worked hard to get to where you are, so dont put things like this on the line.
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