One applicant claimed to have been an Olympic medalist.
Because the competition in today's job market is so fierce, desperate job seekers will literally do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd.
A whopping 58% of hiring managers have caught job applicants being dishonest on their resumes, and one-third (33%) of these employers said they've seen an increase in embellishments since the recession.
So, yes, lying on your resume will certainly help you stand out — but for all the wrong reasons.
Half (51%) of the surveyed hiring managers say they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie, while 40% said that it would depend on what the candidate lied about. Only 7% said they'd be willing to overlook a fib if they liked the candidate.
"I was surprised to see that about half of all employers said that finding a lie on a resume wouldn't automatically take the candidate out of the running," says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "Some of this may be because they're giving the candidate the benefit of the doubt that the inconsistency in the resume may be a mistake rather than a lie. But, in my experience, employers tend to take a tougher stance."
Being dishonest won't just get you tossed in the "no" pile; it can also land you a spot on CareerBuilder's new list of the most ridiculous lies people have told on their resumes.
Here are some of the most ridiculous and unusual lies hiring manager said they've ever caught on a resume:
- Applicant included job experience that was actually his father's. Both father and son had the same name (one was Sr., one was Jr.).
- Applicant claimed to be the assistant to the prime minister of a foreign country that doesn't have a prime minister.
- Applicant claimed to have been a high school basketball free throw champion. He admitted it was a lie in the interview.
- Applicant claimed to have been an Olympic medalist.
- Applicant claimed to have been a construction supervisor. The interviewer learned the bulk of his experience was in the completion of a doghouse some years prior.
- Applicant claimed to have 25 of years experience at age 32.
- Applicant claimed to have worked for 20 years as the babysitter of known celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Madonna, etc.
- Applicant listed three jobs over the past several years. Upon contacting the employers, the interviewer learned that the applicant had worked at one for two days, another for one day, and not at all for the third.
- Applicant applied to a position with a company who had just terminated him. He listed the company under previous employment and indicated on his resume that he had quit.
- Applicant applied twice for the same position and provided different work history on each application.
Some resume lies aren't so ridiculous. Fifty-seven percent of surveyed employers said they caught an embellished skill set; 55% have caught lies related to responsibilities; and 34% caught job title fabrications. Other common lies were related to academic degrees, previous employers, and awards and accolades.
"If you feel that you have to embellish your skills to be qualified for a job, then chances are it isn't the right position for you and you probably won't get hired," Haefner says. "Pay attention to what is most important to that company and draw parallels to your own experience. That's what will make you stand out."
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