Why you should never lie on your resume

26/05/2015BY: Tracey Mesken

We all know that job searching can be difficult and competitive, with many of us left wondering how we can make our resume’s standout against the competition. While it can be very tempting in the short term, to tell a lie on your resume, in the long term, it will always be a bad idea.

There is nothing more frustrating than coming across a job that you think you would love, to discover, that there are some requirements you just don’t meet.  It is human nature to be tempted under such stressful circumstances to tell a little white lie suggesting that you have more skills or greater experience than you really do.  However, the short term gains you might make in landing the job through deception can have long term consequences that may do serious damage to your career.

Scary Stats
Below are some shocking statistics from recent industry research.

  •  Resume fraud cost companies around $600 million per year.

  • 40% of HR managers and recruiters have increased the amount of time spent checking resumes over the last 3 years.

  • 57% of people embellished their skill set listed on their resume.

  • 51% of employers said that they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they caught a lie on  his/her resume.

Facts are facts
You may think that no one will be bothered to go to the trouble to check whether or not what you have written on your resume is true.  Maybe in the past you could have gotten away with that, but today it is very easy for prospective employers to use search engines, email past employers or training facilities and colleges to see if what you are saying is true.  Even the discovery of the most minor discrepancy can be enough to completely eliminate you from being put forward for the job.

Living up to your lies
Even if you manage to get your lie past all the checks, a serious problem still awaits once you start the job.  If you have said you have certain skills and experience on your resume you will be expected to demonstrate these abilities on the job.   Reality is, if you can’t do what you said you could do on your resume, it will soon become obvious and you will be dismissed.  Not only will you lose your job but your dismissal will cause problems with future job searches.

Lies are stressful
Maybe you think that you can successfully deceive your employer from realising you can’t actually do what your resume says you can, even if you can manage this, think of how stressful it will be to go to work every day, having to live this lie.  Simply keeping your deceptions straight so that you don’t contradict yourself will be a huge challenge.  This stress alone is enough to ruin any possible enjoyment you may get out of the job.


When it comes down to it, lying on your resume may seem like a small thing however, people who have tried to outsmart employers by lying on their resumes usually find that the only person they have outsmarted is themselves.  You are making a decision that could potentially affect the rest of your working life.   There are many honest ways to compensate for gaps in your resume, if you are unsure seek help from a professional resume writing or resume building service.  Reality is many employers will consider applicants that don’t meet 100% of the ideal requirements provided your strengths in other areas are presented effectively.  To lie on your resume is never the solution, it is always much better to keep your integrity intact.