Creative Resume Writing Still Alive and Well

February 26, 2004 ( - The art of "creative" resume writing is apparently alive and well in this still struggling job market.

A Cleveland firm, which fact checks resumes for employers, said incorrect start and stop dates for a former job topped its list of “Top Ten Resume Lies. Rounding out the list of dubious distinction put together by Background Information Services was:

  • false and/or inflated salary history
  • inaccurate former positions or titles
  • exaggerated or false listing of responsibilities at former job
  • false reason(s) for leaving job
  • false education Level (GPA) or inaccurate graduation information
  • false Information pertaining to special licenses/certifications acquired
  • non-existent awards and/or recognitions
  • phony graduation certificate/diploma
  • unexplained gaps between jobs

“This fact-stretching exercise is harmless when it comes to forgetting what month you might have left a job, but becomes detrimental when that job, in fact, never existed in the first place,” said Background Information Services president Jason Morris.

Based on results of Background Information Services fact-checking and industry data, more than half (56%) of resumes reviewed contain false or misleading data. More than a third (34%) lied about the applicant’s experience, education, and ability to perform essential functions on the job.

About one in 10 claimed credit for a college degree they didn’t earn, made up a past employer, or listed an old job that existed only in their imagination. About the same number misrepresented why they and an old boss parted ways.