Why Lie?

Why do people lie on their resumes? As a recruiter, it makes no sense to me. More and more we are noticing people who “inflate” their skills, add a fake degree and/or increase their length of time at their last employer on their resume. The sad thing is, for the most part, they don’t have to go to such extreme lengths to get hired. Many times, these job seekers would be hired based on their real skill set or resume, if only they wouldn’t lie.

On two separate occasions in the past week, we have caught job seekers clearly lying on their resumes. In both cases, they then proceeded to lie to us about why they lied on their resume. We are in the business of getting people jobs, not blocking them from getting hired. When someone blatantly lies on their resume and then lies to us about why they lied on their resume, we can no longer represent those people and often times, they become blacklisted industry wide. If I were to catch someone in a lie on their resume and they were honest about why they did it (ie. admitting they were desperate because they needed a job and showed remorse), I might be willing to give them a second chance.
The reason I am writing this article is to implore the unemployed and employed job seekers NOT to lie on their resumes. If someone is worried that their resume might not represent them effectively, they should not resort to lying! Instead, that person should work with a recruiter, career coach or resume writer to see how they can represent their background in a better light. There are many folks who we have represented who have been out of work for two or more years or have been lighter on certain skills and yet, we are still able to find them jobs by teaching them to be honest and coaching them on how to represent their backgrounds more effectively.
That said, the next time you want to fudge your dates, add a degree or throw on some additional skills that you don’t have, think about the ramifications of your actions and how one lie could cost you your career.

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