If you’ve ever recruited for a position, there’s a high chance some of your candidates lied during the hiring process.
Seven in ten workers admit to having lied on their résumés, according to a survey of over 1,900 U.S.-based workers from ResumeLab. And of the remaining 30% who haven’t lied, half say they've considered fibbing. The most used lies respondents put on their résumés were embellishing their responsibilities (52%), lying about their job title (52%), and lying about how many people they managed (45%).
Candidates lie on their cover letters and during job interviews, too. Seventy-six percent of respondents say they've lied on their cover letter, and 50% say they lie frequently. Meanwhile, around 80% of respondents say they've lied during the job interview, 44% doing so often.
While the rates of lying were around the same for most demographic groups, the survey found that applicants with master’s or doctoral degrees are the group most likely to lie. Eighty-five percent of advanced degree holders say they’ve lied on their résumé, 90% have lied on their cover letter, and 88% have lied during the job interview. Those without college degrees reported the second-highest rates of lying, while bachelor’s degree holders were the least likely to lie on their résumé, cover letter, or job interview. Still, over two-thirds or higher of respondents from every education level confess to lying.
Many job seekers, especially entry-level ones, may feel like they have to resort to lying to get their foot in the door. Earlier this summer, I saw a TikTok post by a young college graduate tearfully lamenting that she could not find a full-time job for two years because she lacked any job experience (a common phenomenon for many new job seekers). One of the top comments, garnering nearly 8,000 likes, plainly told the creator: “Lie. Say you worked at your parents' business doing whatever it is in your field. I had to do that out of college.”
Others find different ways to skirt the truth, like telling interviewers they can’t discuss a gap in their résumé because they signed an NDA. But it's not just job applicants doing the lying. One-third of hiring managers admit to lying to candidates, according to a survey conducted in August by ResumeBuilder.com.
“I'm seeing this more in several different surveys we're doing about lying. It is becoming more acceptable in our culture, which is horrifying,” Stacie Haller, Resume Builder’s chief career advisor, told me in August. “The folks who are earlier in their careers are living in this world. So why wouldn't they think it's okay to lie in these cases? There is no doubt that lying and its prominence in our society and our culture has had an effect on what we're talking about today.”
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com