Have you ever considered lying on your resume to make yourself look more attractive to potential employers? You’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey by business consulting firm StandOut CV found that 55% of job seekers have admitted to lying on their resumes.
But why do so many people feel the need to fabricate their work history? According to Joey F. George, an emeritus distinguished professor from Iowa State University, the reason is simple: truth bias. Evolution has taught us as a species to believe what others tell us, even if we don’t know them. This tendency is exploited by those who understand it, such as politicians like Rep. George Santos, who was recently caught in a resume fabrication scandal.
The use of fake job references and resumes has even spawned a cottage industry. Companies such as CareerExcuse and WorkReferences, offers services that create or overhaul your resume and list of references, complete with active websites, fake phone numbers, and fake email addresses for references. When prospective employers check on the references, they’ll find a worker posing as a former boss, HR executive, or co-worker who will verify the information on the resume. It’s all made up, but it’s legal as long as it’s not used to falsify educational history or professional licenses.
However, the more immediate threat to those who lie on their resumes is getting fired after the truth is revealed. It could also raise red flags in background checks and lead to civil charges. Some people turn to resume fabrication to overcome unfairness in the hiring process based on their ethnicity, race, age, or gender. Others may be trying to cover up gaps in employment or past convictions.
In the end, lying on your resume may seem like a quick fix, but it can have serious consequences. Instead of taking shortcuts, focus on highlighting your true strengths and achievements to make a positive impression on potential employers.