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More than half of employers catch lies on resumes

Date posted:  7/10/15 12:15:00 PM It's best to avoid embellishing any details on your resume.

A little white lie on your resume might not seem like a big deal, but according to career expert Liz Ryan, you probably won't fool anyone in the human resources department.

"People think that they can make up and embellish details about companies that have been sold or gone out of business," Ryan told Monster. "But LinkedIn, Facebook and our wide-ranging networks will put a quick stop to most efforts to change history in our favor."

Many job seekers choose to fabricate their work experience in order to stand out from a crowded sea of applicants. But what kind of impact will that have on their candidacy?

A survey from CareerBuilder shows that your odds at landing the job aren't very good if you're caught in a lie. CareerBuilder surveyed 2,188 hiring managers and human resources professionals from a wide range of ventures and found that 51 percent of hiring managers would immediately dismiss a potential candidate if they found a lie on their resume. Additionally, 40 percent of hiring managers said they might dismiss a candidate depending on the lie they told, while just seven percent of employers revealed they could overlook a lie if they liked the candidate.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, believes trust is one of the most vital aspects to a successful professional relationship.

"Trust is very important in professional relationships, and by lying on your resume, you breach that trust from the very outset," Haefner said. "If you want to enhance your resume, it's better to focus on playing up tangible examples from your actual experience. Your resume doesn't necessarily have to be the perfect fit for an organization, but it needs to be relevant and accurate."

Some industries lie more than others
When it comes to certain job sectors, more candidates are likely to lie than others, according to CareerBuilder. The survey found that employers in the financial service industry deal with the most lies on a resume, as 73 percent of hiring managers have spotted lies during the application process.

But the financial service industry wasn't alone. Leisure and hospitality also produced plenty of embellishers, as 71 percent of human resource professionals in the sector have seen lies on a resume. Rounding out the top five industries with the most lies seen on resumes was information technology (63 percent), health care (63 percent) and retail (59 percent).

What are people lying about?
Some fibs and half-truths are more popular than others on resumes. CareerBuilder reported that 57 percent of employers have seen an embellished skill set on a resume, making skill set the most lied about topic during the job application process. Other common fabrications include embellished responsibilities (55 percent), dates of employment (42 percent), job title (34 percent), academic degree (33 percent) and companies worked for (26 percent).

Ryan told Monster that job seekers need to be upfront with their duties, even in an ever-changing market.

"Here's an example," Ryan said. "An office manager I know took on HR in her company after the HR coordinator left. The office manager's title was never changed, but she took on responsibility for payroll, benefits and so on. She put all of that on her resume, and changed her title to 'Office Manager (with HR responsibilities).' That's a perfectly good way for her to brand herself, because she hasn't changed the title to something her old employer wouldn't recognize or support."

For Brad Karsh, president and founder of JobBound, lying on a job resume isn't an ill-defined situation. He firmly believes that you shouldn't embellish any skill sets or past work experience.
"Any uncovered fib is liable to severely damage your reputation in the workplace," Karsh told Monster.