There is some pretty heated debate out there about lying on résumés. One camp thinks its perfectly fine to embellish a résumé a bit--extending the number of years worked at a previous job or adding a few skills or accomplishments where only the surface was scratched, for example. If you're part of this camp, you believe that adding a little something extra--even if it's a lie--will help get your foot in the door for an interview because you know that once they meet your awesome self, they'll hire you.
While in the other camp--your friendly human resource department or manager who is considering you for a position--lying on your résumé is a huge negative. If found out, you will lose your opportunity or, worse yet, after being hired, be fired. They argue that lying on your résumé can harm your personal brand, and that any lying will come back to haunt you eventually.
Template company Hloom recently conducted a study of 2,000 people, asking them what lies they used as a tactic to land their next job. These are the seven things candidates choose to lie the most about on their résumés.
1. Foreign language fluency
As much as we'd all like to believe we're perfectly competent in three languages, more often than not, that's not the case. People often exaggerate about their foreign language capabilities, sometimes to the point of professing a much higher level of proficiency altogether.
GPA is just a number--so they say. People do tend to round up a little higher than what is acceptable on their résumés, forgetting that transcripts can always be requested.
Lists of awards are often exaggerated. Even if the person did actually receive an award for their actions, he or she will often still make the award out to be a bigger deal than it actually was on paper.
4. Computer skills
In today's modern age, we're all forced to have some level of proficiency with information technology. But some people simply go too far, even pretending to understand full programs with which they have no previous experience.
People come up with creative titles for their jobs all the time. Making any position sound more interesting and important, whether it's a club, organization, or workplace, is one of those white lies that appears on many résumés.
More often than not, applicants will embellish their salary a bit--or a lot--in order to garnish a higher offer. This is a pretty big risk to take, seeing that a simple call to your previous employer will produce the correct salary amount--to the penny.
7. Academic degree
Most surprising of all, there are actually a handful of people who lie about their level of academic achievement. They go so far as to say they graduated from XYZ University and, when checked, there is no record of their being a student at the university--ever.