Over 55% of people admit to lying on their resume at least once—here are the 8 most common lies

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When applying for a new job, the first thing a prospective employer sees is probably your resume.

But many people aren't entirely truthful. In fact, 55% of Americans have lied on their resume at least once, according to a recent survey from StandOutCV, which surveyed 1,785 Americans 18 or older who were employed between Oct. 12 and Oct. 26.

The number of Google searches about how to fake a resume is up 48% this year, according to StandOutCV, and those specifically related to faking a job reference are up 52%.

So, what are people lying about? Here are the eight most common resume lies told and the percentage of people telling them, according to StandOutCV:

  1. Previous work experience: 55.4%
  2. Skills: 43.1%
  3. College degree (or equivalent): 41%
  4. Personal details, such as age, location or name: 39.5%
  5. High school details: 39.2%
  6. Salary information: 33.6%
  7. Job specific software and/or equipment skills: 33.5%
  8. Employer references: 21%

Who is lying

The industry with the most employees lying on their resumes is manufacturing, with 72% of employees straying from the truth, StandOutCV found. The survey also found that 64% of health-care workers have lied and 63% of those in the arts have.

Men also seem more likely to fabricate information: 59.9% of men surveyed admitted to lying on their resumes, compared with just 50.6% of women.

Why people are lying 

There are a number of reasons people choose to lie on their resumes.

One reason people change personal details is to avoid racial discrimination, according to a 2017 study from researchers at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and the University of Toronto cited by StandOutCV. Names with Indian, Pakistani or Chinese origin were 28% less likely to get an interview than an anglo-sounding name, even if every qualification matched up, the study found.

Another extremely common lie is making up a college degree. Some candidates do this because their education does not match the job requirements, according to a survey by CrimCheck.

Similarly, members of younger generations may fabricate their work experience because they simply do not have enough to be considered for many jobs, CrimCheck found.

But it's never a good idea to lie on your resume. "Faking a resume is considered fraud. Thus, it is a criminal activity in most states," Mark Sadaka, principal attorney and founder of Sadaka Law, told StandOutCV.

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