Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 13 2014

5 Unbelievable Resumé Lies

By David McMillin



It’s a fear that lives in the hearts of many job applicants: will my list of work experiences and accomplishments just drift to the bottom of the big stack of resumés sitting on the hiring manager’s desk? In order to avoid the waste basket, it appears that more applicants are willing to simply make up their personal work histories.

A new survey from CareerBuilder reveals that 58 percent of hiring managers have caught lies on resumés. Post-recession struggles have added to the problem. Thirty-three percent of respondents report an uptick in embellishments since the financial fallout of 2008. Many of them are making false claims about their skill sets, past responsibilities and dates of employment. However, a few of them are going above and beyond in their lying. Here’s a look at five of the most unbelievable lies uncovered in the research.

SEE ALSO: 10 Worst Words To Use On Your Resumé

1) Claimed to be the assistant to the Prime Minister of a foreign country.

Assistant to the the prime minister. Sounds distinguished, right? There was just one tiny issue in this applicant’s case: the named country didn’t actually have a Prime Minister.

2) Claimed to have 25 years of experience.

When you’re competing with plenty of applicants who have mile-long track records, it can be tempting to add a couple of additional years to your job history. However, this applicant was just 32 years old.

3) Claimed to have won an Olympic medal.

The research didn’t include whether this applicant went for the gold with this bold-faced lie. Let’s hope he or she didn’t just settle for bronze or silver.

4) Claimed to have been a high school basketball free throw champion.

While this lie was certainly less ambitious than the fake Olympian’s claim, the applicant caved and admitted it was a lie in the interview. Perhaps he was worried that the employer might challenge him to a game of knockout.

5) Applied twice for the same position — and used a different work history on each application.

If at first you don’t succeed, then try again. However, this applicant adjusted that adage to read, “If at first you don’t succeed, then just lie.”

SEE ALSO: 7 Factors That Will Impact Your Next Job Interview

Employers Get Serious About Scrutinizing Applications

While hiring managers have loads of applicants to review, they aren’t taking the process lightly. The research shows that more employers are spending more time reviewing each resumé. Additionally, they’re asking more people within the organization to take a look. Sixty-five percent of respondents indicate that two or three people look over each resumé.

Looking for help on how to increase the chances that your honest resumé will appeal to potential employers? Click here for five helpful tips.

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