Liar, Liar… Employers Report Catching Lies on Resumes

August 1, 2008 ( - Although only 8% of workers admitted to stretching the truth on their resumes, nearly half (49%) of hiring managers reported they caught a candidate lying on their resume, according to a recent survey.

Of these employers, according to a press release, 57% said they automatically dismissed the applicant, and 36% said they still considered the candidate, but did not hire him/her. A small percentage (6%) ended up hiring the applicant.

The most common lies discovered on a resume, according to the survey, include:

  • Embellished responsibilities – 38%,
  • Skill set – 18%,
  • Dates of employment – 12%,
  • Academic degree – 10%,
  • Companies worked for – 7%, and
  • Job title – 5%.

The most memorable or outrageous lies cited by respondents to the survey were:

  • Claimed to be a member of the Kennedy family;
  • Invented a school that did not exist;
  • Submitted a resume with someone else’s photo inserted into the document;
  • Claimed to be a member of Mensa;
  • Claimed to have worked for the hiring manager before, but never had;
  • Claimed to be the CEO of a company when the candidate was an hourly employee;
  • Listed military experience dating back to before he was born;
  • Included samples of work, which the interviewer actually did;
  • Claimed to be Hispanic when he was 100% Caucasian; and
  • Claimed to have been a professional baseball player.

The press release said industries experiencing higher incidences of resume fabrications included Hospitality (60%), Transportation/Utilities (59%), and Information Technology (57%). Government employers reported the lowest number of incidences (45%).

More than 3,100 hiring managers and over 8,700 workers nationwide responded to the survey which was conducted from May 22 to June 13, 2008.