A recent survey has revealed disturbing news. Nearly half of 1,300 respondents surveyed revealed that they had told at least one lie or major exaggeration on a resume at some point as job applicants during their job search process.
A full 46 percent of those job applicants surveyed admitted to using fabrication to make their employment history, educational credentials or some other aspect of their past look better than it actually was. The respondents surveyed were comprised of 300 senior managers and 1,000 employees.
Job Applicants Lying On Resumes Has More Than Doubled Since 2011
A similar survey conducted in 2011 showed 21 percent of job applicants admitting to lying on their resumes. This means lying and misrepresentation on resumes has more than doubled in just six years. The recent research was conducted by OfficeTeam, which is a Robert Half company.
Rates of those who were aware of someone lying on their resume was higher for men, as 51 percent of the males surveyed knew of someone who had told a lie on their resume. However, a substantial 39 percent of women surveyed were also aware of an incident of lying on a resume by a colleague.
Majority of Lies on Resumes Related to Past Job Experience
Younger workers aged 18 to 34 reported knowing more liars, with 55 percent of these respondents saying they knew at least one person who was not truthful on a resume. The spike in dishonesty could be due to a more competitive job market.
The type of information most often fabricated on a resume was regarding job experience – a full 76 percent of the lying job applicants misrepresented this area of their resume. However, other areas were also ripe for fabrication: 26 percent lied about precise employment durations and dates, 33 percent made creative adjustments to their educational experience or degrees, and 59 percent augmented the job duties they supposedly undertook at past jobs.
There are four primary signs that job applicants have lied on their resume. These include:
- Missing or Illogical Dates. When dates are omitted or don’t add up with the other information given on the resume, this information could be fabricated.
- A Lack of Details. Any area that is vague or lacks specific details could be suspect.
- Suspicious Body Language. If the subject has nervous facial expressions or body language during the interview regarding specific sections of their resume, they could be lying about these portions.
- References Don’t Corroborate Details. Following up with each employment reference can help to verify if job applicants’ information included on a resume is true.
The data revealed in the survey is in major contrast to what hiring managers think or assume about the people they are screening. A full 38 percent felt that lying did not occur very often, while 41 percent thought resume fraud occurred “somewhat often.” Just 12 percent thought it occurred very often, and 10 percent believe lying never happens on resumes.
The survey also found that over one third of hiring managers reported removing a candidate from consideration because it was discovered the job applicant had lied on their resume. It’s surprising that in the face of this evidence, 10 percent of hiring managers still feel that lying “never occurs” on resumes.
One of the best ways to determine if job applicants are being honest is with employment screening background checks. Companies that engage the services of a professional employment screener can determine a job applicants’ criminal history, education history, employment history, and much more.