Survey shows lying on resumes doesn’t work

Everyone stretches the truth sometimes. A little white lie here and there may not seem like a big deal. Yet, when you allow those deceptions to slip into your resume it might be a much larger problem.

According to a recent survey conducted by, 57 percent of hiring managers, throughout the country, say they have caught a lie on a resume. Additionally, of that 57 percent, 93 percent did not hire the candidate who lied.

Providing an employer with inaccurate information can jeopardize a student’s career and it is unethical, unprofessional and in some cases, illegal, according to Dennis Hefner, the associate director at the University’s Career Center.

“Just don’t do it,” he said. “If you’re willing to take advantage of all that is offered at BGSU with projects, organizations and internships, then there should be no reason why you would have to lie on your resume.”

Stretched dates to cover up employment gaps or time-off after education are the most commonly- caught resume lies, the survey reported. Nearly one-in-five hiring managers said they have found this on a candidate’s resume.

Marsha Serio, the manager of employee relations for the University’s human resource department said that all University job applicants are warned upfront as to the punishments for falsifying information on either their application or resume.

“It could lead to disqualification from the hiring process, or termination of their position if the discrepancy is found after the hiring process has taken place,” she said. “We see it as a very serious transgression.”

Due to the increased number of job candidates who provide fraudulent information, hiring managers have become keener about this issue, according to the survey. Companies know what to look for and the areas most commonly fabricated.

Students should treat potential employers the way that they wish to be treated, according to Hefner.

“No one wants to take a job, move away from their family, find a place to live and then find out they’ve been lied to and the job isn’t what they were led to believe it was going to be,” Hefner said. “A student who misrepresents herself on a resume may be preventing a truly qualified student from getting an interview for that same job.”

Forty-three percent of hiring managers said they would automatically dismiss a candidate who fibbed on their resume, according to the survey. While others cited that it would have to depend on the individual and the situation.

Last April, The BG News reported that an investigation alleged Fostoria’s police chief, John McGuire, misrepresented himself on his resume. A background check revealed an inconsistency in his online bachelor’s degree from Concordia College and University.

The Fostoria Review Times reported that the police chief also exaggerated his rank at two previous jobs.

The survey reported other common resume falsehoods including: past employers (18 percent), academic degrees and institutions (16 percent), technical skills and certifications (15 percent) and accomplishments (8 percent).

The survey, called “Resume Lies,” was conducted from June 6 to June 16, 2006 and collected data from more than 2,200 working people.