Resume Lies: How Common is Dishonesty? [Infographic]

And you thought Pinnochio was bad. As it turns out, your office is probably full of Pinnochios. According to a new OfficeTeam survey, resume lies may be on the rise.

Almost half of workers (46 percent) said they know someone who included false information on a resume. This is a 25-point jump from a 2011 survey.

Fifty-three percent of senior managers suspect candidates often stretch the truth on resumes. And 38 percent said their company has removed an applicant from consideration after learning they lied.

The Resume Lies and the Resume Liars

What are the areas on resumes where employees tend to lie the most? It is job experience at 76 percent followed by job duties (55 percent). Education (33 percent) and employment dates (26 percent) also ranked high.

More male workers (51 percent) know someone who’s lied on his or her resume than females (39 percent). Fifty-five percent of employees ages 18 to 34 can name a person who fibbed, the most of all age groups.

“It may be tempting to stretch the truth on a resume to stand out. But even small misrepresentations can remove an applicant from consideration,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “To verify information and avoid costly hiring mistakes, employers should conduct thorough interviews. Reference checks and skills testing with the help of a staffing firm also help.”

Revealing Resume Lies

Not lying at all would be the most direct lesson to learn from here. But also make sure your resume has no red flags for fibbing.

OfficeTeam identifies five signs a job seeker may be lying on a resume. They also offer tips for confirming details:

  1. Vague descriptions | Ambiguous phrases like “familiar with” or “involved in” could mean the candidate is covering up a lack of direct experience.
  2. Curious or missing dates | Having large gaps between positions or listing stints by year without months.
  3. Negative cues during the interview | A lack of eye contact or constant fidgeting may suggest dishonesty, so make sure you use strong, affirmative body language. 
  4. References offer conflicting details | Make sure all your references are completely up-to-date and accurate.
  5. Online information doesn’t match | The internet is a mindfield but try to make sure everything adds up.

The survey used responses from more than 1,000 U.S. workers. Also, more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees were polled.

Take a look at the infographic below for more insight.


resume lies


For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.





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