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Pricing In Resume Inflation Risks

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Leland Bobbe | Stone | Getty Images

There may be signs of improvement in the labor market – but the pressure for job seekers to find an edge is rising.

It doesn’t matter if you have a GED or an MBA, human resource experts say more and more people are inflating their resumes to nail a job.

What’s contributing to this post-recession trend? One answer could be the pressure to afford tens of thousands of dollars in mortgages, student loans and credit card, cable and smartphone bills after months of being unemployed.


Peter Weddle, CEO of specialty publisher WEDDLE’s LLC which follows career and employment issues, said don’t underestimate the price of what a few white lies can do.

“I suspect there is a fair amount of embellishing around the edges that is going on in this environment,” said Weddle. “People need to worry about the unintended consequences of taking that kind of step… It will come back to bite you.”

According to Weddle, the problem is growing and not going away – especially as many applicants realize their job qualifications need to exceed what’s often advertised.

Plus, if these resumes are posted on professional networking such as linkedin.com and plaxo.com, he said they can do even more harm.

Weddle said, "The downside to those sites is that a little white lie or fib does more damage than it does on a (paper) resume because it has a much longer shelf life and much greater visibility. So the impact is likely not only to be significant in the near term but has a long term tail of harm that impacts on the person's career.”

Recruiters have picked up on the deceitful trend. Since there are fewer job openings, he finds recruiters are devoting more time and attention to candidates for each position. So, the odds of getting caught are higher.

Laura Hill, who runs career consulting firm Careers In Motion, works with thousands on the job search.

“Resume inflation does happen – and sometimes people go a long way before a false claim is uncovered and they get fired. It usually doesn’t go very far, however,” said Hill. “Today’s recruiters are savvy enough to determine when you didn’t actually do what you claimed on your resume… Liars beware!”

Stephanie is Squawk Box producer. Follow her on twitter @StephLandsman

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