Applicants exaggerate their experience, credentials, and more

According to a recent survey, 32% of Americans admit to fibbing on their resumes to make themselves look more appealing to potential employers.

What are the top reasons for lies on job-hunters’ resumes?

Here are the responses to the survey:

  • to improve my chances of getting hired (72%)
  • lacked necessary qualifications (44%)
  • got fired/parted on bad terms from previous employer (41%)
  • to add more keywords to resume (40%)

Among those who lied, the most common exaggerations were found in these areas:

  • years of experience (46%)
  • education credentials (44%)
  • time position(s) held (43%)
  • skills or abilities (40%)
  • previous employer(s) (38%)
  • previous job responsibilities (36%)
  • professional achievements (33%)
  • professional credentials or achievements (27%)
  • references (27%)

While some applicants might get far along in the hiring process by lying, many others face consequences. After their lies were exposed, 41% had their job offers rescinded and another 18% were fired after they started. An additional 12% were reprimanded.

However, nearly 30% of applicants faced no consequences at all for lying. Presumably, that means they somehow muddled through their jobs with their lack of qualifications undetected.

Even worse: Finance is one of the top occupations where people lied to get a foot in the door: 45% of job-seekers surveyed in the industry admitted to stretching the truth on their resumes. That revelation may explain some things about colleagues you’ve had in the past.