These Are the Most Common Resume Lies Told by Millennials and Others (Do Any of Them Sound Familiar?)

These Are the Most Common Resume Lies Told by Millennials and Others (Do Any of Them Sound Familiar?)

Researchers found that millennials lie on their résumés more than twice as much as everyone else.

Not only do you need to find a suitable position to apply to, but you need impressive work experience and qualifications. Plus, it is a must that you equip yourself with an impeccable cover letter and résumé.

When joining a competitive applicant pool, the pressure to stand out may compel you to enhance your résumé with an embellishment or two. After all, will someone really check your self-proclaimed mastery in Microsoft Excel?

They just might.

According to a survey by GOBankingRates, only 5 percent of people fess up to falsifying information on their résumés. And, among that 5 percent of people who admitted to telling lies on their résumé, more than have had done it more than once.

But guess what? The survey revealed that millennials are more than twice as likely to lie on their résumés, with 11 percent of adults ages 25 to 34 admitting to lying at least once. Meanwhile, only 2 percent of older baby boomers ages 65 and up stated they had ever lied on their résumés.

Of course, there’s a good chance that, since these numbers are self-reported, they are far lower than what’s really going on. In fact, former human resources director Amy White believes lying on résumés is far more common than people admit to. She says:

Outright lying…is only 15 percent to 25 percent, but exaggerating skills or making job titles sound more appealing…happens 50 percent to 60 percent of the time.

So, exactly what is it that millennials and others are lying about on their résumés? As it turns out, pretty much everything.

According to the results of the survey, the most common résumé lies were in these specific areas:

  • Work experience
  • Dates of employment
  • Job titles in a previous role
  • References
  • College education
  • Previous responsibilities
  • GPA
  • Internship experience

These results match up with the results of another survey question, which asked why exactly respondents felt compelled to lie on their résumé. Of those who admitted to lying on their résumés, 24 percent said they lied to hide gaps in their employment, while 22 percent of people said they had a lack of necessary job experience.

Although people of all ages lie on their résumés, millennials–the age group that admits to lying on resumes the most–may feel justified in their actions because of a mistaken belief. Twenty-three percent of millennials are convinced that lying is the norm, and believe that more than half of the population lies on their résumés–a percentage much higher than the actual self-reported figure of 5 percent.

Regardless of which generation you’re a part of, lying on your résumé is never a good idea. Even if you get the job, having that lie hanging over you–hoping you don’t get caught and fired–could cause more far more stress than it’s worth.

If you lack the experience you need to get a particular job, then instead of lying about it, get the experience. You’ll be much happier–and more successful–in the long run.


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