Everybody Lies: How Resume Fabrications Bleed into Society

With lying on resumes and job applications increasing with the job market (56% of employers polled in a CreerBuilder survey reported finding some sort of fabrication on applicants’ resumes), one wonders why the general population is so apt to lie and marvels at the impact these falsehoods have on society.

According to Psychology Today, people lie for a variety of reasons, but the root of fabrication seems to come from a lack of self-confidence and a fear of rejection. Job seekers embellish their resumes because they do not feel that their qualifications can stack up against the competition.

These embellishments range from misrepresenting job responsibilities to inventing titles and/or employers altogether. Creating such untruths is a bold move considering employers can verify every detail on a resume by conducting a pre-employment background screening, which involves a thorough check of professional and educational references. With third-party background check companies in place, this process is inexpensive and efficient.

While an employer can expose the liars in the workforce with a little due diligence, these lies extend beyond the paper on which a resume is written. If someone is willing to fabricate his or her history in order to acquire employment (especially when that information can be verified within minutes), he or she probably doesn’t have a problem perpetuating self-falsehoods outside of the workplace.

The lies we tell create an alternate reality that is more favorable to the people we’d like to be, and asking someone else to accept that reality, whether an employer or personal acquaintance, is manipulative and destructive. Being exactly who you say you are, even if you may not be the ideal candidate for a position, requires less work and projects personal integrity into your interactions with others. In contrast, embroidering your qualifications will eventually have an unraveling effect that can cause permanent damage to your personal and professional reputation. Job skills and experience can be built much easier than trust can be repaired.

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