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7 things people lie about on their resumes

Any business owner who sifts through dozens or even hundreds of resumes a year knows that at least some of what they’re seeing isn’t exactly factual. 

Some information that might be useful in making a hiring decision may have been left out, and there’s enough fudging going on to satisfy the sugar cravings of a small town in Indiana.

But how bad is it really? CareerBuilder took a look and, well, the news isn’t good.

Fifty-eight percent of hiring managers said they’d caught an outright lie on a resume. A third of them said things have gotten worse since the recession.

And yet, what’s really interesting is that getting caught in a lie doesn’t always ruin a prospect’s odds of landing that job.

Slightly less than half of the respondents said they wouldn’t rule out a job candidate just because they found an untruth on their resume; 40 percent said it would depend on what the candidate had lied about.

Here’s what people lied about most, according to these 2,188 respondents:

  1. Embellished skill set (57 percent)
  2. Embellished responsibilities (55 percent)
  3. Dates of employment (42 percent)
  4. Job title (34 percent)
  5. Academic degree (33 percent)
  6. Companies worked for (26 percent)
  7. Accolades/awards (18 percent)

Which industries have the best liar-spotters? Here’s the ranking of top busters:

  1. Financial services (73 percent)
  2. Leisure and hospitality (71 percent)
  3. Information technology (63 percent)
  4. Health care (63 percent)
  5. Retail (59 percent)

About the Author


Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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