Is Lying Ok on a Resume? Some Think So…

Though recent surveys reveal that resume fraud is on the rise, particularly since the 2008 recession, and despite more employers utilizing third-party firms that specialize in background and employment verification to vet job applicants, some employers say that they would still hire job applicants who lie on their resumes depending on the type of infraction committed.

In fact, not just some employers, but a reported whopping 40% said they would be willing to consider a job candidate with a lie on his or her resume, and 7% said they would overlook a lie entirely if the employer connected with the candidate.

While embellishing your resume with a few lies can certainly get you into trouble, the startling truth remains that many employers, in industries from high finance to retail, don’t care enough to drop a dishonest job candidate for one who with whom they may not get on with so well.

One might understand how an employer could let go an embellished skill set or job responsibility on a resume, but other common lies include fraudulent claims to academic degrees or professional licenses (yes, we are talking about doctors here). While the hope remains that medical facilities aren’t letting lying sacks without medical degrees operate on the unsuspecting public, the increase in employers’ willingness to overlook dishonest candidates proves just as frightening as the lies on the resumes themselves.

The Solution

Since a high enough percentage of employers value personal connection over personal integrity to prove alarming, an easy solution to avoid hiring a dishonest candidate is to conduct a thorough reference check, which will catch the majority of common resume lies, before sitting down with a job candidate. This fix may seem like a more tedious route, but verifying an appealing candidate on paper disallows that person from wooing a potential employer with further manipulation.

Additionally, checking a candidate’s academic background on a basic level (i.e. verifying his/her actual degree), seems well worth the effort, especially with so many third-party organizations performing the background checks on a potential job pool anyway.

The fact that job applicants should be honest on their resumes should go without saying, but the greater hope is that employers will initiate due diligence in the hiring process, through the use of thorough background screening, to create a safe and less-corrupt business environment.

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